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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday March 22 2018 to Tuesday April 10 2018

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SJNPRO Bulletin

For jazz musicians and professionals

Discover Norwegian saxophonist and singer Bendik Hofseth with l’Orchestre national de jazz, Thursday April 5th at L'Astral.

Bendik Hofseth_150x150.jpgL'Orchestre national de jazz is delighted to welcome Norwegian composer, saxophonist, singer and jazz conductor Bendik Hofseth for a unique and special concert of his vocal and instrumental works, arranged for a jazz orchestra of 22 musicians including a section of nine strings, Thursday April 5th at L'Astral.
When Bendik Hofseth went to New York in 1987 and replaced world-renowned saxophonist Michael Brecker in the Steps Ahead band, it was certainly a surprise to many. A young man from Lørenskog in Norway, arriving in the jazz capital of New York and joining one of the most famous jazz bands in the United States! Since Steps Ahead, with whom he has toured several times around the world, he's collaborated with John McLaughlin, D’Gary, Rickie Lee Jones, Ray Phiri, and Hariprasad Chaurasia. He has participated on hundreds of recordings all over the world. 3 saxophone concerts have been written especially for him. Hofseth has written numerous commissioned pieces for film, TV and concert, using different genres and different ensembles. He has published eleven albums under his own name and has received numerous awards and honors over the years.
Let yourself be captivated by the Norwegian language and sounds of Bendik Hofseth.
Bendik's masterclass will be held Apr 3, 2018, 11:30 to 13:00, room A-025 (Wirth Opera Studio) at McGill University. The masterclass will be about Scandinavian music, his own music and music business management, digitalization and the music industry.

L'Orchestre national de jazz :

Saxophone/voice : Bendik Hofseth
Violins: Zoe Dumais, Amélie Lamontagne, Marie-Pierre Lecault, Dapnée Sincennes Richard
Altos: Valérie Arsenault, Julie Salamagnou Babaz, Marie-Lise Ouellet
Cellos:  Élisabeth Giroux,  Caroline Milot​ ​
Trumpets: Jocelyn Couture, Bill Mahar
Trombones: David Martin, Bob Ellis
Woodwinds: Jean-Pierre Zanella, Samuel Blais, Frank Lozano, Alexandre Côté
Guitar: Steve Raegele
Piano: Luc Beaugrand
Bass: Rémi-Jean LeBlanc
Drums: Kevin Warren
Percussions: Eugenio Osorio

To see a video of Bendik, it's here

For the FB event, it's here

L'Orchestre national de jazz with Bendik Hofseth
Thursday April 5th 8pm
305 Ste-Catherine W.

A few words with Norwegian saxophonist and singer Bendik Hofseth as well as with Jacques Laurin, GM and founder of the Orchestre national de jazz.

Bendik Hofseth entrevue 150x150.jpgThe Orchestre national de jazz pursues its path with creativity and collegiality with a 40th concert (wow really!) that will be held April 5th with Norwegian musician Bendik Hofseth, so we wanted to find out a bit more about this musician as well as Jacques Laurin, the GM and founder of the Orchestre national de jazz. Here goes.
CT - Bendik, how did you make the connection with the Orchestre national de jazz and Jacques Laurin?

Bendik - It was really easy, Jacques Laurin approached me with a request to come and perform. I was very happy to say yes as Montreal is a city I enjoy being in.

CT - In being a sax player as well as a singer, how do you share that creatively?

Bendik - I think of them as very complimentary really and they are if you exchange the larynx with a bamboo reed. Same breathing technique, same way of using the body's own resonance. I do tend to prefer male vocalists that are less emotional, more storytellers. This gives me the opportunity to be more expressive on the saxophone and to let the two aspects of my musicianship blend.

CT - When did you start playing the saxophone and who was your first teacher?

Bendik - I started when I was around 14. I only had one proper teacher really, I studied with Joe Allard for a couple of months in my youth. He was on the other hand very good.

CT - When did you starting singing and what was your first concert gig?

Bendik - I sang in a punk band and played the guitar. We played at school gatherings and the occasional gig outside. When I started to play the saxophone things got more serious and I delved into an established Norwegian jazz scene.

CT - What repertoire will you be playing with the Orchestre national de jazz?

Bendik - I’ve released 12 albums of my own music and there will be some old songs and some new. One part of the concert will be centered around «Smilets Historie», a cycle of songs recorded in 1999. I sing in Norwegian and in English.

CT - Is there something that we could describe as norvegian jazz?

Bendik - In Oslo where I live there is a vibrant jazz scene with many good players. Some more in the American tradition and some more in the ECM segment.There is also a free-jazz scene and electronica or even towards contemporary art music. I have tried to stay true to the music that I like to listen to and created my own blend out of all of these influences.

CT - You'll be giving a masterclass at McGill U. on scandinavian music, your own music, business management, and digitalization and the music industry, so not only about playing music itself but managing it, taking care of it...why is that important to you?

Bendik - For several years I have been engaged in policy making in the area of culture. After a while I realized that in order to create a fundamental shift you have to start with the beginning ; the young. So I developed a masters course in Music Business Management where I work as a part-time professor teaching young entrepreneurs to deal with the shifts in the music industry. 

CT - You'Ve played with many great bands, such as Steps Ahead, John McLaughlin, Rickie Lee Jones, etc,  tell us about a really WOW moment playing you've had...

Bendik - I remember a summer night in Mumbai performing with Shakti and Hariprasad Chaurasia. I got lost in the music and felt that I had strayed and lost the momentum. There were thousands of people in the audience. All of a sudden I hear some simple flute lines that Hariprasad  played that drew me right back and all of a sudden everything made sense again. Really good musicians have that gift; they can make the other musicians sound better.

CT - What music do you listen to?

Bendik - I listen to a variety of music. I like classical, jazz and I’ve also been exposed to a lot of ethnic music through my travels. There is a lot of good music coming out of Norway these days and I try to catch up in all genres. Leif Ove Andsnes, Sigrid, Knut Reiersrud, Nils Petter Molvær; Eivind Aarset, Helge Iberg, Mats Eilertsen are just a few of my current favorites.
Jacques Laurin 150x150.jpgThe first concert of the Orchestre national de jazz goes back to July 6th 2013 at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, 40 concerts later here's a little exchange I had with Jacques Laurin, its founder and GM. We actually have a video of Blue Yonder from that July 6th concert, here

CT - Jacques, considering the situation of music and jazz what motivated you to create the Orchestre national de jazz with twenty musicians?

Jacques - After a century of growth and uninterrupted innovation, jazz has struggled and acquired respectability. All over the planet, jazz is recognised as one of the most representative and creative art forms of the 20th century. In my mind it was essential and necessary to create a large jazz orchestra that would sustain the regeneration of this great musical tradition.

CT - With over forty concerts since 2013 presenting so many projects and artists how are the artistic choices made?

Jacques - The artistic choices are done collectively, looking into the projects presented throughout the year, and trying to present a balanced programming based on the different musical aspects that we want to present yearly : swing, bop, and contemporary by national and international artists, as well as commissioned works.

CT - So what are the plans for the Orchestre national de jazz in 2018 ? a tour ? an album ?

Jacques - Short term, we're finishing up the details of our next new residence at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montréal, as well as our summer concerts : the Montreal Jazz Fest, Festival de Lanaudière and Domaine Forget, with three special projects that I'll without a doubt soon announce. Long term, everything is possible.
Interview : Claude Thibault

Over two thousand young musicians and Carol Welsman get together to celebrate the 40th edition of the JazzFest des jeunes du Quebec on Saturday April 7.

logo JazzFest.jpgThe JazzFest des jeunes is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It was in 1978 that musician and educator Ted West  decided to organize the "Montreal Regional Jazzfest festival" which at the time had 3 bands competing. From 1982 to 1988, the festival moved to West Hill High School, and among the organizers were Mr. Denny Christianson, Mr. Michel Drainville and Mr. Robert Jodoin. McGill University hosted the festival between 1989 and 1991, and in 1992 the festival was held at André-Laurendeau High School and officially became the JazzFest des jeunes du Québec.

As part of this annual jazz festival, seventy five different bands will be performing on five separate stages at André Laurendeau High School in St-Hubert.  Let the Big Bands, combos singers and others carry you through a musical happening like no other.  Among the musical ensemble present, some will get the chance to perform on the big stage of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

As it has now become a tradition, the JazzFest des jeunes will end with sound and colors with a concert (5pm) featuring the internationally known piano-vocalist Carol Welsman, whom will be accompanied by the Big Band of l’Université de Montréal under the direction of master trumpet player Ron Di Lauro.

To see our video of Carol Welsman with the Big Band de l'UdeM on On A Slow Boat To China, it's here

Over twenty professional musicians will act as evaluators and coaches in special workshops.

The  Prix Hommage JazzFest 2018 will be awarded to Denis Mouton for his contribution to the Jazzfest over the last decade.

April 7th, 2018, 8:30am to 7:00pm
Adults$10 / Students - seniors $5 / 12 and younger : free
Information : 450-465-3628
7450 boul. Cousineau, St-Hubert

Brazil-Québec musician Diogo Ramos launches Samba sans frontières and needs your crowdfunding help before Thursday March 29th...

Samba sans frontieres 150x150.jpgHi, my name is Diogo Ramos, I'm singer-songwriter, from Sao Paulo in Brazil. My music is the sum of a long tradition of popular brazilian singers. I've dedicated all of my life to music, working on the production, composing and recording of 15 albums for over 20 years.

I've now been living in Quebec since 7 years and I wanted to compose music that bridged both the Quebec culture and my own brazilian culture. That's what led me to create this album Samba sans frontières. This album includes 10 songs mixing bossa nova arrangements on the music of Félix Leclerc, Gilles Vigneault and Pierre Perrault's poetry.

The Samba sans frontières crowdfunding campaign ends with this Diogo Ramos launch-concert!

For more info on this crowdfunding campaign, before Thursday March 29th, it's here

To see the video on this project, it's here

For the March 29th event on FB, it's here

Diogo Ramos's Samba sans frontières concert-launch
Thursday March 29th 8:30pm
O Patro Vys
356 Mt-Royal W

CDJAZZ by Christophe Rodriguez

Ensemble Gaudreault Turgeon - Jonctions

I feel spoiled these days. After flutist François Richard's magnificent album, the duo of guitarist Samuel Gaudreault and pianist Jonathan Turgeon do their thing with the release of Jonctions. In many of my last CDJazz articles I've often mentionned the lack of swing, the abstractness of some very intelligent compositions that sometimes sound too academic, well this is not the case. These two young musicians know their jazz history well, and you'll discover music that stands in between the Jazz Messengers and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Let's start with the opening track : La maison de verre. The message gets thru, the band is united and congrats to very smooth bassist Alex Le Blanc that tells a story. Let's talk about guitarist Samuel Gaudreault. I'm sure our friend has listened to Jim Hall a few times as well as Joe Pass, another giant. In Novembre, he very gently introduces the theme and then connects with the other band members. Throughout the tracks you'll hear trumpet players Lex French and Christopher Kerr-Barr, saxophonist Alex Dodier, the finesse of drummer Eric Maillet, and let's not forget pianist Jonathan Turgeon, probably one of the most brilliant pianists of the younger generation. As always, no standards, but no complaints because we discover these finely crafted compositions : La forge, On verra, or L’homme plante. Bravo.

La maison de verre / Novembre / Truyard pt.1 / Truyard pt.2 / L'homme plante / Pièce à géométrie variable / La forge / On verra /

Compositions : Samuel Gaudreault and Jonathan Turgeon

To listen and buy, and iTunes

Jonctions will be launched in Québec, Wed March 28th @ 5pm, at the District St-Joseph, for the Facebook event, it's here

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

TVJAZZ  July 6 2013
L'Orchestre national du jazz de Montréal - Blue Yonder - FIJM, July 6th, 2013

This Sunday March 25th, composer and saxophonist Joel Miller and his Large Ensemble present What You Can’t Stop - Music for large ensemble at McGill U.

Joel Miller Why You Can't Stop 150x150.jpgTwenty years after his first opus Find a Way, saxophonist Joel Miller takes up a new challenge by presenting the result of working with composer John Rea for two
years. What You Can't Stop - Music for large ensemble is the name of this new project (and inspired by a chance encounter of a crab on a beach) he's presenting this Sunday with his large ensemble, a band that joins student and professional musicians and that could be described as a small orchestra without strings.

Joel Miller's award-winning discography includes the 1997 Grand Prix of the Montreal Jazz Fest, a Juno in 2013 for contemporary jazz album Swim, as well as a East Coast Music award in 2016 for Dream Cassette. A savvy mix of folk, pop and afro-latin/contemporary explorations, Miller has renewed his inspiration giving way to this new music.

Feeling the need to bring more body and texture into his compositions, he's taken up a two year challenge to enrich his melodic and polyphonic range, and to find himself a new composer's shell, larger than the previous one. So it's with sixteen musicians that he'll surprise us this Sunday with the result of his musical  metamorphosis. A unique event not to be missed!

For more info,

The event on FB, it's here

What You Can't Stop - Music for large ensemble

Conductor, soprano/tenor sax : Joel Miller
Vocals: Jeanne Laforest, Sarah Rossy
Flutes : Rachael Cohen, Pierre Mendola
Clarinets : Kenji Bellavigna, Julie Olson
Bass Clarinet : Jennifer Bell
French Horn : Flo Rouseau
Trumpets : Bill Mahar, Lex French, Hannah Boone
Trombone :  Alexandre Lavoie
Soprano/tenor Sax : Jeremy Sandfelder
Piano : David Ryshpan
Acoustic Bass :  Fraser Hollins
Pitched percussion : Dylan Cohran
Percussion and drum sets: Sacha Daoud, Kevin Warren

Sunday March 25th @ 8pm
McGill University - Tanna-Schulich Hall.
527 Sherbrooke O
Mtl, QC
Benjamin Goron :
Facebook / twitter

Give your routine a break and get away for a Jazz Escapade in New York to see cuban pianist Chucho Valdés & Irakere 45 at the Blue Note (and more), Friday April 27th to Sunday April 29th 2018 with Claude Thibault of

Chucho 150x150_v2.jpgJoin Claude Thibault of and Steve Pelletier of Boutique Aventure for an all-jazz weekend Friday April 27th to Sunday April 29th in New York, the mecca of jazz.

Things get going Friday April 27th with cuban pianist Chucho Valdés & Irakere 45 at the Blue Note, mythic witness to the great moments of the history of jazz. 45 years ago Chucho Valdés created Irakere, a revolutionary group that introduced african rhythms to cuban music, for two videos of Chucho and Irakere, it's here (short) and here (long).

The next day, Saturday April 28th, in the afternoon, we'll have our own guided walking tour of Harlem, a hot spot of jazz, revitalised and witness to a current renaissance, starting at the site of the iconic 1958 photo, A Great Day In Harlem. That evening we'll discover three Greenwich Village jazz hotspots ; Small's, the 55 Bar (Mike & Leni Stern) and the Zinc.

The weekend package includes :
•Two nights at a Manhattan hotel
•One ticket for Chucho Valdés & Irakere 45 at the Blue Note
•A private guided waltour of Harlem and it's mythic venues
•The services of two guides - Claude Thibault and Steve Pelletier
•Montreal - NY round trip by private bus

Friday April 27th
afternoon : arrival in NY
evening : Chucho Valdés - Irakere 45 at the Blue Note (check out this Irakere 45 video here)

Saturday April 28th
afternoon : guided walking tour of Harlem
evening : visit of jazz clubs Small's, The 55 Bar, The Zinc, etc.
end of evening at Times Square

Sunday April 29th
A must-be-done Central Park walk
afternoon : Return to Montreal

The event of Facebook, it's here

Info  :  Claude Thibault -
Info, rates and reservations : Steve Pelletier of Boutique Aventure Voyages 514-842-4139
Rate : $899 per person (double occ.)

TVJAZZ  February 1 2013
Carol Welsman UdM Big Band - On A Slow Boat To China - Centre culturel de Beloeil, Feb. 1st, 2013

TVJAZZ  April 9 2015
L'Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal - Mingus Tribute - Celia - L'Astral, April 9th 2015

TVJAZZ  January 19 2018
Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers - CongaDanza - January 19th 2018 @ Panama Jazz Festival

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Maison du jazz février 2018