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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday May 25 2017 to Saturday July 8 2017

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SJNPRO Bulletin

For jazz musicians and professionals

Summer is coming with DTW Jazz Factor at the HoJazz Laval et Michelle Sweeney at the HoJazz Montreal, Friday May 26th.

michellesweeney.jpgBe seduced by the DTW Jazz Factor on Friday May 26th at the HoJazz Laval. Born in England and raised in Ontario, singer/actor/songwriter DTW Jazz Factor is an accomplished artist. A multiple nominee of the prestigious Canadian Maple Blues Awards in numerous categories including Best New Artist, and Entertainer of the Year, DTW earned herself the title of Female Vocalist of the Year in 2005 & in 2007. Her original debut CD,  Ten Dollar Dress, is as multi-faceted as the artist herself and spotlights an exceptional songwriting talent as well. Often funny, sometimes poignant, but always moving, the release also earned her MBA nominations in Best Album and Best Producer categories, and her songs have appeared on numerous compilations.
Since then, she's also launched Jawbreaker.

Come listen to the HoJazz Montreal classics...Thursday evenings with legendary pianist Taurey Butler and trio, a little blues on Mondays with John Beaudine and Deep Blue, RnB and Soul Wednesdays with Snooksta and the Gangstas! Michelle Sweeney is in Comedy mode every Tuesday with her show Love, Laugh and Real Talk. A mix of humor,  games and Broadway style music. Accompanied by Taurey Butler on piano for a cabaret atmosphere worthy of the HoJazz Montreal, every Tuesday! And she's also on our stage this Friday May 26th with her other project presenting a mix of motown, funk and soul...full of energy, Michelle Sweeney will make you move all night long!

Stay tuned and check out our 2017 Montreal Jazz Fest line-up on!

For the HoJazz Montreal, reserve your seats at 514-842-8656 Montreal

House of Jazz Montréal - 2060 Aylmer
For the HoJazz Laval, reserve your seats at 450-232-5582 Laval
House of Jazz Laval - 1639 boul de l’Avenir, Laval

(cover charge 10$ Montréal and Laval)

Check out dozen of videos of these artists at the House of Jazz Montreal and Laval at

The RE : création series at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will wow you from Jean-Michel Blais to Blick Bassy and John Roney.

FIJM17_150x150_SJN_JohnRoney.jpgAs part of this year’s Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, June 28 to July 8, the Cinquième Salle series at Place des Arts has been named RE : création. This is a special request from the Festival programming team to a selection of artists: each one will revisit the work of another artist of his/her choice. The series will feature a number of premieres.

Jean-Michel Blais and his guests kick things off on Thursday, June 29 with minimalisme(s), presenting re-readings of the work of Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, Max Richter and John Cage. Maxence Cyrin follows on June 30 with variations on the music of Aphex Twin. On July 1, the band Misc (Radio-Canada 2013-2014 Jazz Discovery) revisits the world of James Blake. Holding a degree in composition and interpretation, Canadian pianist John Roney (photo) presents “the most ambitious project of his career”: his unique re-reading of the famed Keith Jarrett concert in Cologne in 1975, which would go on to become the biggest-selling solo jazz piano album in history.

The series will also feature the blues, with Jesse Mac Cormack paying tribute to Muddy Waters on July 3, while Cameroon’s Blick Bassy invokes the brilliance of legendary delta bluesman Skip James.

We can’t wait!

Info and tickets right here :

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presents the Couleurs SAQ series from Bokanté to Morgan James and Rodrigo Amarante.

FIJM17_150x150_SJN_RodrigoAmarante.jpgGet ready for a jam-packed summer as the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal opens its 38th edition! The Couleurs SAQ concert series presents these exotic, exciting shows in Club Soda.

The series opens June 29 with brand new group Bokanté, featuring Michael League and Guadeloupean singer Malika Tirolien, unveiling their debut album, Strange Circles.

The following evening, Kandace Springs takes the stage with her stunning Tennessee soul voice.

Jacob Collier, winner of two Grammy Awards, treats us to his debut album In My Room on July 1.

Brilliant Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith takes the stage July 2 with his 15th album, The Last Rider.

Flavia Coelho makes a Festival debut on July 4, warming us with her music from sunny Brazil.

Somi then brings us a fusion of African music and jazz with her latest album, Petite Afrique: The Other Black in Harlem, on July 5.

On July 6, Rodrigo Amarante (photo), the man behind the theme song to TV series Narcos, takes over Club Soda with his enchanting brazilianisms.

On July 7, the Festival series concludes with California artist Morgan James and her spellbinding voice embracing a blend of classics, funk, pop and R&B.

Have a great Festival!

Info and tickets right here :

Uzeb is back!  It's been 25 years since Uzeb, the great Montreal jazz/fusion band played their last concert at the 1992 Montreal Jazz Fest. Here's our interview.

uzeb trois 150x150.jpgUzeb is back after all these years for two R3UNION concerts (as of Dec. 22nd), June 29th 2017 at the Montreal Jazz Fest and for our french friends, July 2nd 2017 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. So I met guitarist Michel Cusson, bassist Alain Caron and drummer Paul Brochu to find out more about this power comeback and their state of mind. Here are the transcripts from the french video interview.
CT : What's the feeling to be back together after all these years?

Michel : It's very exciting, I don't get the feeling we haven't played for 25 years but maybe two months. There's a good buzz.

Alain : When we decided to get back together for next summer - which is not a new album project - we listened and scanned our music and decided what we wanted to play. So we've got a great setlist and with today's technology the sounds and arrangements will be even better, updated and with our identities. We want Uzeb to be at the level it was in terms of performance, playing and soundwise. 110% Uzeb!

Paul : For me it's a logical follow-up, I've been working with Michel and Alain in their own projects for those 25 years. It'll be a gas to get back on stage with them, and great to relive that magic.
CT : So what's the setlist? a best of? a little bit of everything?

Alain : Not a little bit of everything but some very precise things. We've chosen pieces that we felt like playing, riffs that touched us because of the music and the structures as well as a few Uzeb "hits", it'll be a surprise! We're revisiting some arrangements, redoing some parts in a new way, that's the way we work. Each time we play there's always a new idea. We want people to recognise Uzeb. We don't want to do something completely new, we want to play Uzeb. And I think that's what our fans wants. It'll be nice reunion.
CT : There's the Uzeb sound, can you reproduce that sound today?

Michel : Yes and no. Back then I had a ton of equipment, and it cost a fortune to transport. There's things that would be impossible to re-create. I've always been into technology and today more than ever, I'm fascinated by the level of precision that you can reach with that. As far as I'm concerned it's a huge upgrade of my sounds. Within each piece there are many different sounds that change and I can program those sounds very accurately, so it'll be nice 2017 version. The public will be happy to hear that, like a good wine that's matured. We're a band that has recorded many live albums so there's a lot of here and now, so maybe, maybe a new record after, but not before. So we won't launch a new CD at our concerts, but it might happen after.

Paul : I need certain pads to trigger specific sounds but they'll be much smaller, but with a much bigger sound. It's a lot easier to program than it was.
CT : What are your sources, your inspiration...

Alain : When I met Michel we played Charlie Parker but right away he plugged in a pedal, I got a bigger amp, added backbeat and that was the start of fusion, or jazz/rock, jazz...with a rock sound. After that there were many other influences. It's always been jazz open to the world. Jazz with improvisation, jazz language, and a sound with influences from all over, and could be cuban rhythms, classical harmonies, etc...I listened to Charlie Parker, Coltrane, but also Weather Report, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock,  Tower Of Power, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago, not too much into prog rock except Yes because of Chris Squire, I also listened to Motown and R&B. We were into music that was played with precision, like Steely Dan, with tight rhythms, so more of a pop, or studio attitude, with jazz improv and tight playing.

Michel : It's an interesting question, let me draw a parallel. Everybody's got Spotify, Apple Music, etc. So I went online and searched for Jimmy Hendrix and listened to vinyl albums I had way back and that I hadn't listened for 40 years. I realised that there was a connection, they had a lot of liberty adn they jammed. In the rock world, they were influenced by Miles, and vice-versa. There are phrases that he played and that I recognise and that I play, but I never copied them. There was also Cream, they didn't last long, that's true but when you listen to them, the played a piece for 10 minutes or more. That's a little bit like we what do with our power trio. At the very start Jean St-Jacques (drums-vibes-keys) brought some great things to the group, we then became the final trio and a certain liberty happened. Now, 25 years later we've grown and matured and we'll play with that. It's at another level now.

Paul : Real young, when I was 13-14 years old I played a lot of rock. Then I heard Billy Cobham and it changed my life around. After that I discovered Buddy Rich, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa. I'd put the record and play with it. Obviously, Weather Report, Chick Corea, Miles...
CT : When you were called St-Eusèbe Jazz, what's the first piece you played in...St-Eusèbe?

Michel : We never played in St-Eusèbe, that's maybe the only error on Wikipedia about Uzeb. The real story is that we were going to do our first show in 1975,  Jean St-Jacques, who was drummer back then (and after played vibes and keys), Luc Beaugrand and me, we looked at the calendar and it was St-Eusèbe's anniversary and and we played in Acton Vale. It then became St-Eusèbe and then Uzeb. Alain joined the group in 1977 and Paul in 1980. We probably played Chick Corea's Spain, something much too hard for  our young age!
CT : Out of the Uzeb 10 albums, which is your favorite?

Alain : You can't really an artist which is his favorite CD. They're like our kids, they each have their personality and ways.  On each of our albums we always did the best we could do at the time it was done. There are pieces and compositions that are better than others and on each album there is a signature that relates to what we were at the time. Obviously maturity came to our writing, production and all that. If I listen to our very first album (Uzeb live in Bracknell - 1981), it was completely green, young, but the energy was incredible.

Paul : I agree with Alain. Nonetheless, I prefer that trio formula, our last album, World Tour (1990), highlights well the efficiency of the trio.
CT : What are the Uzeb WOW! moments?

Alain : When I saw Michael Brecker playing next to me...

Michel : When we did the first part of Miles Davis in Toronto as a simple concert-goer. A music lesson in itself. It was in 1985 at Ontario Place, a fabulous moment, magical, 14,000 people, for a hour I was blown away. No just the notes he played, but the notes he DIDN'T play, and how he led the band without a word, just by moving around.

Alain : I have a story about that, I don't know if you remember. We'd just done the sound test and at a certain moment we hear that Miles Davis doesn't want us to play the first part! He doesn't want us to play, it's crazy, it doesn't make sense. Finally they brought him to his hotel and things worked out, whew!. Another story about Miles : He's walking towards me - he was my idol - we'd heard about him and how he could be, I tell myself, I have to say something, I have to say something, what was I going to say...well he walked right by me and nothing came out! I didn't speak english too well back then and what I was thinking of saying seemed so...ridiculous. So I opted for silence, like him. When we played in Djakarta, and Israel too, that was fantastic.

Paul : Playing with Michael Brecker, Don Elias, when we did the Olympia in Paris, great souvenirs.
CT : What do you listen to these days?

Michel : I don't have a lot of time to listen to music. So sometimes I go on Spotify and Apple Music and type names. It can be electronic music, the other day I was listening to some Meshell NdegeoCello, it can be very eclectic. In jazz I like the old classics that never age. I never get tired of listening to Miles Davis.

Alain : I've always got a Bill Evans album not too far and that I listen to when I don't know where I'm going. Dirty Loops, Snarky Puppy, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and I seach and discover music on Youtube. But when I'm writing music I don't listen to much music and prefer silence.

Paul : I don't listen to that much music, maybe because I work in music. As a teacher, I get a lot of suggestions from my students. Aaron Parks, Ari Hoenig, etc. and some
good old Miles.

CT : If you could play with anybody, dead or alive, who would that be?

Alain : I stopped playing the upright bass when Bill Evans died, I'd play upright again with Bill Evans.

Michel : There are so many, because I write film music, I'd like to meet Thomas Newman. Ni idol in particular. It's a thrill to share music, a common language and to share it. In Africa many years ago I found myself playing in Dakar with singer Alioune Mbaye Nder, he know Uzeb, I had my guitar, we jammed, it was phenomenal.

Paul : Jaco Pastorius, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock. Miles Davis, I would've loved!
Uzeb R3UNION (as of Dec. 22nd)
Thursday, June 29th 2017 at the 38th Montreal Jazz Fest
Sunday, July 2nd 2017 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris
Interview : Claude Thibault
For the french video interview, that's here

CDJAZZ by Christophe Rodriguez

Steve Amirault - Hold On, Let Go

Well-known by the Montreal public and the world of jazz, pianist/singer Steve Amirault - now living in Toronto - has got more than one trick up his sleeve. With Hold On, Let Go that goes back in time, we dive right into the realm of standards that made a certain era. Is is age or that period that beckoned our friend Amirault to revisit Moon River, Embraceable You, or Lullaby Of Birdland ? Maybe not, because if you read the linear notes, his mother are in his thoughts on Just Believe.

In a certain way, the pianist/singer chose the way of simplicity, to express certain feelings, but also as a tribute to certain pieces that have become a base for all musicians. If the spring heat on its way and the need for tenderness takes a hold on you, run to your record store or go directly to for this beautiful album.

Slowly but surely, because you've go to take your time, as we enter into Steve Amirault's universe. He charms and moves us with What A Wonderful World, Embraceable You or the unavoidable Lullaby Of Birdland made finest by the great Sarah Vaughan. Knowing well his trade, he plays the chords such as on All Of Me, but also croons us with a lot of good taste. Oh, and there's another surprise with Pennies From Heaven, which reminds us to what point pianists Art Tatum and Errol Garner were essential. On Hold On, Let Go, Steve Amirault sings with happiness as well as nostalgia. Bravo !

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

TVJAZZ  June 2 2012
Taurey Butler Trio - Someday My Prince Will Come - House of Jazz, June 2nd, 2012

Liberté-Anne Lymberiou's The Liberté Big Band - Montréal Formation, Tuesday May 30th at the Résonance.

libertebigband150x150.jpgA big band with 17 great musicians from the Montreal jazz scene, directed by talended young pianist, composer and conductor Liberté-Anne Lymberiou.

This is a first! Liberté-Anne Lymberiou is in Montréal with her compositions and talent as conductor of her large formation, The Liberté Big Band. Lymberiou is a recent graduate of the jazz performance program of the New York's City College. Part Quebecer, part Greek, born in Montreal, she started studying jazz a Vanier's Cegep before moving on to NY in 2012. After an unfortunate incident at the Canada-US customs, she was refused entry and could'nt go back to NY, at least for now. At that point, she decided to organise a concert in Montreal, a treat for us.

Her love for the big band inspires her and stands out in the fluidity of her compositions. With this dapper young 25 year-old woman, the pieces are all very different one from another. "That's how I write", she says. Her pieces have some unusual twists and are very diversified.

Liberté-Anne confides that the concert will have some great moments, playing original pieces. Pieces she also plays with her NY version of The Liberté Big Band. They highlight her evolution from 2014 to 2016. "We'll play one original piece from last fall, a suite entitled - Suite For Heartconcerns. We'll also play arrangements of Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn and Thelonious Monk with modern interpretations." she adds: "But mostly, there is a natural spontaneity fundamental to jazz and the group's playing, I think that's what's most important. The whole thing with nice rhythms and grooves. Of course, the bandmembers are all very talented musicians, players and improvisers. Some of the best in Montreal, so you can expect that it'll be cookin', like we say."

The ensemble will be playing pieces that range from afro-latin, free-jazz, bebop to funk and even more!

Le Liberté Big Band - Montréal Formation

Liberté-Anne Lymberiou, piano, conductor
trumpets :  Jocelyn Couture, Rémi Cormier, Jacques Kuba Séguin, Christopher Kerr-Barr
trombones : Modibo Keita, Alexandre Desjardins, Olivier Lizotte,
saxophones : Samuel Blais, Jules Payette, Annie Dominique, Evan Shay, Jean-François Ouellet
tuba : Julie Richard
bass and effets : Antoine Pelegrin
percussions : Elli Miller-Maboungou
drums : Alain Bourgeois

the event on Facebook, that's here
the band on Facebook, that's here

Tuesday May 30th at 9pm
5175A Ave. du Parc   
Coco -
Facebook / twitter
Coco Jazz, Tuesday night 7pm @ 100,1 CKVL FM

Thursday, May 25th from 6:36pm to 7:15pm, Claude Thibault presents his monthly feature at Quand le jazz est là, with Stanley Péan on ICI Musique.

Claude et Stanley 1_150x128.jpgThursday May 25th, from 6:36pm to 7:15pm,'s editor, Claude Thibault, is the guest of Stanley Péan at Quand le jazz est là on ICI Musique. They'll listen to (with some talking) these pieces from the artists in concert in Québec in the following days...

John Pizzarelli Quartet at the Festival des guitares du monde en Abitibi-Témiscamingue - Sunday May 28th 8pm - Rouyn-Noranda  / music : My Love

Huu Bac Quintet -
Les Vendredis Jazz at l'Espace Cercle Carré  - Friday May 26th 8pm - 36, rue Queen, Montréal / music : Schonwalder Waltz

Yannick Rieu Quartet
at Restaurant Arousse - Tuesday May 30th 6:30pm - 2 Blainville W / Ste-Thérèse / music : China Voices

The Liberté Big Band / Formation Montréal
- Liberté-Anne Lymberiou at the Résonance - Tuesday May 30th 9pm -  5175A Ave. du Parc, Résonance / music : Ali's Dance

AFJP : Annam's Family Jazz Project at the Café Bar Zénob - 171 Bonaventure / Trois-Rivières / music : Dim Sum Jazz

For more info on these concerts check out our Montréal and Outside Montréal calendars

TVJAZZ  April 26 2017
GFS Trio : Trilok Gurtu, Paolo Fresu Omar Sosa - interview and Monk-E Desh / Toridanzon excerpts - Palais Montcalm, April 26th 2017.

TVJAZZ  December 15 2016
Uzeb R3UNION interview with Michel Cusson, Alain Caron et Paul Brochu - Dec. 15th 2016

TVJAZZ  February 25 2017
Al Di Meola - Flight Over Rio - Montréal en Lumière, Feb. 25 2017

TVJAZZ  April 8 2017
Le Gros Groupe with Yannick Rieu - Projet Groove 5 - Côté Cour, Festival Jazz et Blues Saguenay, April 8 2017

TVJAZZ  April 14 2017
Benjamin Deschamps 5tet - Demi-Nuit interview - Upstairs, April 14th 2017

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