Browsing: Mainstream Jazz

In February: DAME Struts her Stuff at the Gesù Any listener familiar with Montreal’s experimental music scene is aware of DAME. If you don’t, it is the moniker of the distributor of albums filed under musique actuelle, the company’s name short for Distribution Ambiances Magnétiques etcetera. Last year, its 25th anniversary went by unnoticed, but an event celebrating this was not discounted, simply put off to this year. The party is now set for the 16th of February at the Centre Gesù. And a party it will be, according to the company’s head Joane Hétu, for it will run from 7…

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The Romantic Spirit of Beethoven Infuses the Montreal Chamber Music Festival’s 22nd Season May 26 ~ June 18, 2017 Pre-Festival Prestige Series ~ February 1, May 6, and May 10 For Immediate Release, January 24, 2017, Montreal, Quebec … The Montreal Chamber Music Festival presents Beethoven: Passion romantique, dedicating its 22nd season to the spirit of Beethoven, the great master who represents the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era.  Founder and Artistic Director Denis Brott, C.M. has featured the music of Beethoven on almost all Festival concerts, anchored by the performance of the complete Beethoven string quartets over six…

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Roscoe Mitchell & The Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra Saturday, October 15, 2016 Le Gesù, Centre de Créativité, Montreal Closing concert of the 17th edition of the Off Jazz Festival The stage of the Gesù Theatre in Montreal was pretty well taken up by instruments of all kinds on a recent mid-October evening: a host of woodwinds, some brass, a grand piano, two drum kits and a vibraphone. Come to think of it, it had all of the looks of a SMCQ concert (Quebec’s contemporary music society). The very size of the orchestra may well have brought to mind some of the…

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+ Jazz musician Guy Nadon, known as “le roi du drum” died at the age of 82. He passed away at 2 a.m. on Sunday in the Maison Neuve residence for older people where he lost his battle against kidney disease. He performed his last concert at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in June 2016. In 1998, he was awarded the jazz fest’s Oscar Peterson Award for outstanding contributions to the development of Canadian jazz. (English/French) + Peter Allen, voice on the radio for the Met Opera died at 96. He passed away at his home on Saturday in Manhattan. He presided…

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For its 17th edition the Off Festival de Jazz de Montréal (OFJM) dishes out what may well be its most ambitious program to date. All told, 24 shows of all stylistic stripes, from mainstream to avant-garde, will be staged in three concert halls (Lion d’or, Sala Rossa and the Gesù theatre) and as many clubs (Upstairs, Le Dièse onze and Résonance Café). The all-musician programming committee, presided by harmonica player Lévis Bourbonnais, is true to spirit in showcasing home-grown talent. Yet, it takes an important step forward by opening itself to more joint ventures between locals and guest musicians. Both…

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Since his arrival in town four years ago, trumpeter Hichem Khalfa has been on the move. Hailing from France, he came to Montreal struck by wanderlust. “I like to travel, discovering new things and places,” he explains. “At first I wanted to go to New York, like all aspiring jazz musicians. I was offered a scholarship there at the New School, but gave up on the idea when I saw what the cost of living was, paying the rent and all the tuition fees.” One day, he stumbled on McGill University and its jazz program. He came over for an…

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On Stage By the looks of it, there is plenty of live jazz at the Maisons de la Culture this season, and the following listings merely scratch the surface. In what might be one of his final appearances, Oliver Jones will play on November 18 at Maisonneuve. Bassist Michel Donato, for his part, hasn’t called it a day yet; on December 2, he’ll perform on a double bill at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, first by improvising in and around the Bach Cello Suites, backed by drummer Pierre Tanguay, then join forces with two other veterans, pianist Pierre Leduc and…

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With its eight pieces, the octet is an intermediate size group: larger than a jazz combo but falling short of a big band. For the composer, however, it gives him the chance to write more intricate arrangements in which each instrument can still be heard. Two such groups will be performing in town in the upcoming weeks, to whit in the city’s Maisons de la culture circuit. Pianist Felix Stüssi will premiere late this month an expanded version of his trio Les Malcommodes at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur. Throughout October, bassist Olivier Hébert will present his Lofi Octet on…

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+ Sir Roger Norrington is celebrating the unorthodox at the Proms this week. “As a rule, conductors stand on their dignity. They take themselves seriously. They like to be revered. In his own idiosyncratic way, Norrington himself is all three: dignified, serious and revered. But he is also a lot of fun. He wants to connect with his audience. So when his listeners laughed out loud at a musical joke during his performance of a Haydn symphony, he was not offended but delighted.” + Speaking of the Proms, read a review of Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing…

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For her widespread influences, Xenia Rubinos’s music defies neatly bound classifications. Now living in Brooklyn, Rubinos draws heavily on her Cuban and Pueto Rican heritage to create a personal brand of experimental soul that explores ideas of race and economic strata. The Afro-Latino jazz grooves are evident as well as indelible inspiration from neo-soul potentate Erykah Badu. Her most recent offering, Black Terry Cat, riffs off hiphop influences and the current political surround to create an exploration of how coloured women fit. The sonic texture finds its roots in the forceful pop hits of Beyonce to the cross-over success of…

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