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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday October 18 2018 to Wednesday October 31 2018

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All QC jazz events in clubs, restaurants, concerts, bars, cafés & festivals!


SJNPRO Bulletin

For jazz musicians and professionals

Wanted : College, university or semi-professional jazz bands to participate in the new JPL Victo Jazz contest! You could play at this festival that presents David Linx and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Habana Café, Andrea Lindsay, Michel Lambert and Dawn Tyler Watson, and more, and win 2000$ and a mentorship.

150x150_competition.jpgAre you a college, university or semi-professional jazz band of ten musicians or less living in Quebec ? You've got until Friday November 30th to register for the new JPL Victo Jazz festival contest. The contest focuses on jazz but pieces with influences of other styles, such as blues, funk, latin music or even pop music are accepted.

The selected bands will perform in front of the public at the JPL Victo Jazz festival to be held Thursday February 7th to Saturday 9th, as well as a chance to win a $2000 bursary, including $1000 offered by Yamaha Canada, and the personalized support of a Mentorship offered by the Danielle Lefebvre Artists Concert Agency. The bands' performances will be evaluated by a jury composed of professionals from the field. The participating bands must not have a signed contract
with an agency or production company.

To learn more about the selection criteria and to register before November 30th, visit (french version only).

Jean-Pierre Lambert has left us. The JPL Victo Jazz festival is born!

January 22nd 2017, passionate musician and renowned musical director Jean-Pierre Lambert left us. His passion, professionalism, rigor, involvement and determination has influenced a whole generation of musicians and teachers. So, animated by the very same passion that transmitted over time Jean-Pierre Lambert, a handful of collaborators and family deciced to launch the very first jazz festival of the Bois-Francs (Victoriaville) region. An event that promises to be as colorful as Jeepee (his nickname) could be, and that is designed to inspire the next generation of professional musicians.

To see our video of El Otoño by the Jean-Pierre Lambert Big Band in rehearsal in 2014, it's here

JPL Victo Jazz is on from Thursday February 7th to Saturday February 9th 2019 at Victoriaville's Carré 150 and includes belgian singer David Linx and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Habana Café, singer Andrea Lindsay, trumpeter Michel Lambert with singer Dawn Tyler Watson, Sortie 210, ICI Musique's Quand le jazz est là host Stanley Péan, and more.

For more info, JPL Victo Jazz

Guitarist Stéphane Wrembel presents The Django Experiment + special guests Denis Chang and Des Sourcils, Sunday Oct. 28th (2pm) at the Lion d’Or (Mtl) and Saturday Oct. 27th at the Grand Théâtre de Québec.

Stephane Wrembel 150x150.jpgFranco-American virtuoso guitarist Stéphane Wrembel will be presenting his Django Experiment at Montreal's Lion d’Or Sunday October 28th (2pm) and Quebec City's Grand Théâtre de Québec Saturday October 27th. This afternoon event features the Stéphane Wrembel, the Quebec City based Des Sourcils and Montreal guitarist Denis Chang, for an exciting one-day Django Fest. These outstanding musicians will be performing a mixed of Django-inspired music as well as creative original compositions.

The Stephane Wrembel band is composed of Stephane Wrembel (guitar), Thor Jensen (guitar), Ari Folman-Cohen (double bass) and Nick Anderson (drums).

To see Les Yeux Noirs by the Stéphane Wrembel Band, it's here

Originally from Fontainebleau (France), Stephane Wrembel has been based in NY for 20 years and has become one of the world’s leading voices of the Django style of music, better known as gypsy jazz. Wrembel has gained larger fame in the last decade for his Grammy Award-winning music, he composed Bistro Fada, the theme song for Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris as well as Big Brother from Vicky Cristina Barcelona. In January 2018, the Berkeley College graduate released his newest album, The Django Experiment III (four-star review in Downbeat Magazine), the third installment of an album series dedicated to the spirit of Django Reinhardt, creator of gypsy jazz and one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.

Over the years, Denis Chang has established himself as one of the most prominent figures of the Montreal gypsy jazz scene. The excellent Quebec City gypsy jazz band Des Sourcils will be promoting their new release Baignades with Mathias Berry, Antoine Angers, and Alexis Taillon-Pellerin.

The Stéphane Wrembel Band - The Django Experiment -  Denis Chang and Des Sourcils.

Montréal - Sunday Oct. 28th 2pm @ Lion d’Or 1676 Ontario E 514-598-0709. Quebec City - Saturday Oct. 27th 8pm @ Grand Théatre de Québec 269 René-Lévesque E 418-643-8131.

Feliciano's Dilemma Saudades : An unprecedented musical encounter between Australian composer Mike Ryan and quebecois saxophonist Jean-Pierre Zanella at L'OFF Jazz.

Mike Ryan 150x150.jpgAt L'OFF Jazz Australien composer/conductor Mike Ryan and Montreal saxophonist Jean-Pierre Zanella collaborated on the Feliciano's Project that was presented at Old Montreal's Centre PHI, Friday Oct. 12th with 12 musicians. This composition by the Australian and friend of Brazil is about the paradox that the human being has always confronted. It’s the musical expression of the universal dichotomy inherent to human nature, including what results from this dilemma. It’s the reflection of two fundamental and contrasting motifs: pro-self versus pro-social.

The concert was accompanied by a projection of Alice Kohler’s photographs, a Brazilian photographer of international renown.

So here's our video of Saudades, to see it, click here

Mike Ryan, composer/conductor
Jean-Pierre Zanella, saxophone
André Leroux, saxophone and flute
Ron Di Lauro, trumpet
Paul Schrofel, piano
Rémi-Jean LeBlanc, bass
Aquiles Melo, percussions
Dave Laing, drums
Josée Aidan, violin
Josiane Breault, violin
Annie Parent, alto
Élisabeth Dubé, cello

L'OFF Jazz at the Centre PHI, Montréal, Qc (Ca)

Virtuoso guitarist Stéphane Wrembel talks to us about gypsy jazz, Django, Woody Allen, film music, his musicians, a WOW moment of his career and NY's Django a Gogo Festival, in concert Sunday Oct. 28th (2pm) at the Lion d’Or (Mtl) and Saturday Oct. 27 at the Grand Théâtre de Québec.

wrembelentrevue.jpgCT - Stéphane what attracted you to gypsy jazz and Django's music?

Stéphane Wrembel - I wanted to discover more about jazz and that's why I got into Django, I know he's not what you could call a typical jazz guitarist, even thought he sometimes plays a lot of jazz chords, but it's something else, and that's why I got into him. So I bought one of his records, listened to him a whole lot more, and it was a revelation.

CT - What did you learn in the gypsy jazz camps that went behond the music and the notes?

Stéphane Wrembel - It's hard to explain. They have a traditional way of teaching and learning, they have no school and learn directly from each other, from master to pupil. But  mostly they have another way of doing things, things that you experience that you can't really explain with words. It's like seeing a film on Paris and the day you're there walking on the streets it's something else, there's that little something that you can't explain in words, another culture, way of living and vibe. So that's the way I learned, from master to pupil. They've kept Django's technique and vocabulary but in a different state of mind, if you listen to Django it doesn't really sound like gypsy jazz, there's something else with Django. Django is a bit like a hub, you can get something out of Django and go somewhere else, in different directions. The first approach was nonetheless with the manouche, and Django was a manouche.

CT - We have to talk a bit about Woody Allen and Midnight in Paris/Vicky Cristine Barcelona, did that experience make you want to write more film music?

Stéphane Wrembel - You're born to make film music or not. For me it's something that I've always has ease and fun doing so yes I'd like to make more film music. That problem with films is that they require big budgets, ressources and there's a lot of people involved. What's hard is not writing the music itself but rather getting into the circle of film music composers. Yes I'd like to do more film music, if I could, that's all I'd do.

CT - And what you'll be playing for these concerts, your latest albums and maybe a few gypsy jazz standards?

Stéphane Wrembel - Each concert is different, it depends of our mood, the room and  the public. We'll play a bit of everything, some Django some non-Django. And of course the Woody Allen themes. We're influenced by music from everywhere, from India, from Africa, etc...

CT - Those influences, how do you integrate them into your music?

Stéphane Wrembel - I always go back to the archetypes. Europe developped harmony and its extensive grammar, India rhythm and its extensive grammar. I see five things in music, a trilogy and a duo, so the trilogy of harmony, rhythm and sound and then the duo of the state of mind of composition and the state of mind of improvisation. And I think melody helps all of that. And then it's also a matter of how you do things when you're improvising and composing. Its about finding the melodic curve that connects those five elements and that's behond genres. Rhythms was developped in India, as well as Africa. In Europe we've been working on melody for the last 1000 years to acccomplish something extraordinary.

CT - Tell us about the musicians in the band...

Stéphane Wrembel - On guitar there's Thor Jensen who's from the american rock sound realm, you know the slide, the Strat, the Telecaster, amps with tubes, a very very complete guitarist, one of the best rock guitarists I've evev heard. We've got a solid harmonic and rhythmic base and structure but on the inside it's open. He knows Django very very well and know jazz quite well, he's got a broad palet of sounds and great timing. On basse we have Ari Folman-Cohen, he started playing classical violin when he was quite young, and then he played bass, played a lot of funk, soul, R&B, things like that, and then moved on to jazz, he has a very powerful sound, with a strong attack, marks time very well, he's a tower of power (laughs), a nuclear power plant, with amazing solos. On drums, it's Nick Anderson, one of the best drummers of the world, quite in demand in NYC. He's got a huge musical culture, he's played punk, reggae, jazz, classical, contemporary, etc... He plays everything really well, a great sense of timing and a great sound. When he's playing the brushes, when we're playing swing, I've never heard anybody play like that.  

CT - Tells about a WOW moment in your carreer, having played with so many great musicians...

Stéphane Wrembel - The Carnegie Hall March 3rd Django a Gogo concert with Stochelo Rosenberg, Al Di Meola, Larry Keel, was something really special. Playing Carnegie Hall is really a great moment, but this mix of players, it's something that had never been done you know. We played Al Di Meola's Mediterranean Sundance, that's like every young guitarist's dream. I've been listening to that piece since I was 15. And Stochelo is one of my masters, playing Django with Al Di Meola he'd never done that, and we played Nuages with us, and then Indifférence, stuff like that, it was really amazing.

CT - I like how in 2003 when you arrived in NY you approached many french NY restaurants and played quite a bit.

Stéphane Wrembel - Restaurant gigs help maintain a certain technical level, work new pieces and be incognito.  When I arrived in NY in 2003 I had to make a living right away, so I played in restaurants and had students. I found all the french restaurants that had live music and on Yahoo offered guitar classes. After one week I had 3-4 gigs a week a 7 students. A year later I had 9 gigs a week and 20 students, so I was quite busy. It was a physically intense period, playing every night, so about 450 times a year.

CT - Ever played with Woody Allen at the Carlyle?

Stéphane Wrembel - No but I met him on the set of Magic in the Moonlight à Nice, I played a scene that was cut, so I discovered Woody from the inside. He's a real calm and very nice person.

CT - At the Festival Django a Gogo that you founded do you work as much as you have fun?

Stéphane Wrembel - With music I sometimes have trouble making the difference in between work and play. The last one was very stressful, it had to be done but it was a lot of stress but when I walked on the stage of Carnegie Hall March 3rd with Stochelo and Al all of that disappeared. I worked on everything, really everything, the scheduling of the concerts and the masterclasses, the students, etc...I was my last as a producer the Festival will be produced by another company but of course I'll remain as Artistic Director and I'm actually working on the next one.

CT - What would you like to tell our readers about these Quebec concerts and what they can expect...

Stéphane Wrembel - It's always been hard to describe our music, it's always been a problem with our advertising, nobody's ever been able to describe our music very well, we don't play a genre. What's important for us is the message that's inside the music, the world of dreams and philosophy as well as NY's voodoo energy, the concerts are explosive and you won't get bored. And because we're always playing together, all year-round, it's like Barcelona's 2010 team (soccer), everybody's a forward, everybody's a defence player, a middlefield player, we play so much together, we know each other so well, it's hard to explain.
Videos :  For Apocalypse, it's here  / For Blues Mineur, it's here / For Irene's GJ Adventures 251, it's here.

The Django Experiment I & The Django Experiment II on CDBaby / The Django Experiment III on Amazon.

The NY Django a Gogo Festival (April 24-28 2019).
The Stéphane Wrembel Band - The Django Experiment -  Denis Chang and Des Sourcils.

Montréal - Sunday Oct. 28th 2pm @ Lion d’Or 1676 Ontario E 514-598-0709. Quebec City - Saturday Oct. 27th 8pm @ Grand Théatre de Québec 269 René-Lévesque E 418-643-8131.
Interview : Claude Thibault

CDJAZZ by Christophe Rodriguez

Samuel Blais - Equilibrium

The 2018 fall season is full of discoveries and highlights saxophonists such as Mehdi Nabti and his Les Règles de l’Art and Benjamin Deschamps and his No Codes, but there's more. On saxophonist (alto/baritone) Samuel Blais' Equilibrium, you'll discover ten solid tracks of jazz that have depth, with a modern jazz idiom that might require a bit more listening time for jazz newbies. This is far from jazz standards, and creativity, a form of art in itself, makes total sense on this album.

With a very busy road map and many musical connections, this new release is up to par to the musician's level. Even if this isn't some easy-listening jazz, those who love creative jazz that stands out will get into Equillibrium. With a solid team made up of pianist Jérôme Beaulieu, bassist Olivier Babaz and drummer Alain Bourgeois, the saxophonist and composer incites us to discover. Cultivating balance with a masterful laid-back attitude that's never severe, Samuel Blais displays a language that denotes years of playing, with a certain approach to risk and musical adventure. There's a lot of power here, with smouldering solos supported by a trio that is very cohesive. From the poetic From Hangzou to Nanning to Spiral Vision as well as Craig’s List, this rich new release stands out with it's relevance.

From Hangzhou to Nanning / Imitation Game / Craig's List / Unconditional / Third Row / 12 Shades of NYC / Semi-Chubby /
Ups and Downs / Spiral Vision

For a video excerpt, it's here

To listen to tracks on YouTube, it's here

To buy on iTunes, it's here

For more info, Samuel Blais

Samuel Blais, alto/baritone sax and compositions
Jérôme Beaulieu, piano
Olivier Babaz, bass
Alain Bourgeois, drums

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal

TVJAZZ  April 14 2014
Jean-Pierre Lambert Big Band - El Otoño - in rehearsal for the April 28th 2014 concert - I Got Rhythm - at the Lion d'Or

Young and promising, Theo Abellard's TSA Group at the Bootlegger, this Saturday October 20th.

TSA Group 150x150.jpgSix years ago after hearing Robert Glasper's In My Element, young Theo Abellard
decides at the very young age of 15 to swap the classical violin for jazz piano. His ascent is fast. While taking in bit by bit this unknown vocabulary, he's inspired by concerts at the many editions of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and exchanges with his models, Robert Glasper as well as Justin Brown or Thundercat.

Recently admitted at McGill University, he's working and honing his music with pianist and composer Marianne Trudel. Generally speaking, his music with a haitian/neosoul feel has a spiritual aspect for the young musician who was brought up in the gospel universe of the Church. For him, playing is also a way of glorifying God and healing the soul. Apart from his gospel influences, Theo «Sunny» Abellard cites Herbie Hancock or even Bud Powell as his influences, that he's listening to a lot these days.

Next Saturday at the Bootlegger on St-Laurent, check out the TSA Group with the pianist, Zach Fischer on guitar, Marie-Ketely Gomes on the bass and Raynal Ismeus at the drums. The four musicians will mostly play Theo's compositions, a spiritual jazz rich in groove inspired the magic in our daily lives. Walker, for example, is inspired by a four hour walk from Laval's St-François hood to Montreal's Côte-Vertu...

To listen to Walker, it's here

For their Facebook page, it's here

For the Facebook event page, it's here

TSA Group

Theo «Sunny» Abellard
, piano
Zach Fischer, guitar
Marie-Ketely Gomes, bass
Raynal Ismeus, drums

Saturday October 20th 8pm

Bootlegger, L'Authenthique
3481 St-Laurent, Mtl
Benjamin Goron :
Facebook / twitter

TVJAZZ  November 17 2017
Stéphane Wrembel Band - Les Yeux Noirs - Église St-James of Trois-Rivières, Nov 17th. 2017

TVJAZZ  September 1 2018
Petros Klampanis and the Quatuor St Germain - Chroma - Festi Jazz International de Rimouski 2018

TVJAZZ  September 1 2018
Cécile Doo-Kingué - Anybody Listening - Festi Jazz International de Rimouski 2018

TVJAZZ  October 5 2018
Kim Zombik Nicolas Caloia - Nazing Street - L'OFF Jazz 2018

TVJAZZ  October 5 2018
John Hollenbeck - Carte Blanche - L'OFF Jazz 2018

TVJAZZ  October 12 2018
Saudades - Feliciano's Dilemna - Mike Ryan - L'OFF Jazz 2018

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