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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday February 21 2019 to Sunday March 31 2019

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SJNPRO Bulletin

For jazz musicians and professionals

The Improvisation Workshop Project (IWP) invites violinist Meg Okura and saxophonist Sam Newsome for a special concert & workshop at Tanna Schulich - McGill University, Saturday Feb. 23rd.

IWP Meg Okura Sam Newsome 150x164.jpgBased in Montreal, the Improvisation Workshop Project (IWP) brings together musicians of all backgrounds and experience levels (students and professional musicians, jazz and classical) to explore the tradition of jazz as “improvised chamber music” based on collective improvisation. Weekly playing sessions assemble different casts of musicians to try new ideas and interpret new material brought by project lead pianist and Jean-Michel Pilc, team members saxophonist Rémi Bolduc and trumpeter Kevin Dean, and other participants. Using an “improvisation as instant composition" approach and the collective improvisational process, the IWP investigates how such diverse disciplines as composition, orchestration, musical interpretation and improvisation combine organically into a coherent whole in jazz music, and also how a diverse lineup of musicians can hold natural and meaningful musical conversations.

The IWP's innovative research approach involves thorough documentation of the creative improvisation process, including post-playing session journals logged by all participants, allowing them to share their thoughts on the artistic process. By drawing from musicians’ insider perspectives, this archive provides a unique research resource for the study of improvisation-composition within a variable medium-size jazz ensemble.

On Saturday, February 23rd, IWP is excited to host violinist Meg Okura and saxophonist Sam Newsome as featured guests for a special concert at the Tanna Schulich Hall at McGill University in Montreal. They will be accompanied by some of Montreal's finest jazz musicians, including Jean-Michel Pilc (piano) and Kevin Dean (trumpet).

Together, Newsome, Pilc and Okura released 'NPO Trio Live at The Stone' (Chant Records, 2018) "a captivating hour-long set of music....the three musicians have an instantly-apparent rapport, with a synthetic vision that provides impressive cohesion and focus, despite the fully-improvised nature of the album that offers such an inventive, expansive approach to music-making." - Troy Dostert, All About Jazz

Also featuring :  Pierre Mendola (flute) / Jonathan Orland (alto saxophone) / Annie Dominique (bass clarinet & tenor saxophone) / Edouard Touchette (trombone) / Juan Sebastian Delgado (cello) / Cole Birney-Stewart (bass) / Summer Kodama (bass) / Thom Gossage (drums) Michel Lambert (drums).

Watch the beautiful documentary about IWP by Randy Cole, by clicking here

For more info :

For IWP on FB, it's here

For the FB event, it's here

Tickets (sold exclusively at the door): General admission $15 / Students $10 / Students - Faculty of the Schulich School of Music: Free entry

IWP concert / workshop featuring Meg Okura, Sam Newsome, Jean-Michel Pilc, Kevin Dean, and more.
Saturday Feb. 23rd 8pm
University McGill - Tanna Schulich Hall
555 Sherbrooke W.

Singer Andrea Lindsay - Entre le jazz et la java, Saturday, March 2nd at the Centre culturel de Beloeil.

Andrea Lindsay 150x150_v2.jpgAfter some time out from her carreer for giving birth to a little boy named Louis, Singer Andrea Lindsay and the very talented guitarist and producer Jordan Officer have cooked up an album of french and english favorites with a jazz twist. The album, named Entre le jazz et la java, was released in 2016 and won a Felix for Jazz Album of the Year at the 2017 ADISQ Gala.

Surrounded by 3 musicians, Andrea Lindsay presents concert that gets the public to hear songs from the album, including jazz classics as well as certain rearranged songs from the singer's repertoire, and that's getting rave reviews from the media.

Sylvain Cormier of the Devoir wrote this about her Festival International de jazz de Montréal concert, July 2nd 2017 :

This slighly chic - but not too uptight - jazz suits her so well, it's done in good taste and without the usual jazz trappings : it's a celebration, and it's well done. Andrea isn't going for a jazz career, but she could. On this Sunday night at L'Astral Andrea Lindsay owned the place. Everything that she sings works well, with that voice and her smile, how could you resist?

To see Le poinçonneur des Lilas filmed July 2nd 2017 at the FIJM, it's here

Andrea Lindsay, voice
Mike Rud, guitar
Fred Grenier, bass
Greg Ritchie, drums

Saturday March 2nd @ 8pm / Tickets are available at the box office of the Centre culturel de Beloeil (600 rue Richelieu - Beloeil J3B 5E8), by phone 450-464-4772 or online.

Omar Sosa tells us about Transparent Water, what it means, its philosophy, how this project is different for Omar, the meaning of Seckou Keita's senegalese texts, the connection in between Yoroba and Africa, improvisation, and what to expect at the Théâtre Outremont Thursday March 14th.

Omar Sosa Seckou Keita 150x158.jpgTransparent Water is the recent studio collaboration between 7-time Grammy-nominated pianist-composer-bandleader Omar Sosa and London-based Senegalese singer and kora master Seckou Keita.  Released in 2017, the project idea grew out of Sosa’s impromptu addition to a mid–2012 date with drummer Marque Gilmore at the CLF Art Café in London, in what was Sosa and Keita’s first musical encounter. Profoundly moved by the experience, Omar told Seckou he wanted to invite him to work together on a future recording project. Given their respective touring and recording schedules, it took a year, but Omar and Seckou finally went into the Fattoria Musica recording studio in Osnabrück, Germany and laid down the core tracks for Transparent Water. And here they are appearing at the Théâtre Outremont, Thursday March 14th. Here's a few words with Omar in between concerts in Barcelona.

Omar Sosa - It's a real pleasure to be on tour with Transparent Water because the philosophy of the project is to give hope to people and show the importance of clean water in our lives because without clean water it think we're in trouble.

CT - Tranparent Water is very meditative and inspiring...Seckou's voice and playing is soothing...

Omar Sosa - Well that means the message already passed because that's basically the idea with this project, to bring peace and tranquility. One of the reasons we called it Transparent Water is that as can see everything at the bottom of the sea and of the river, so we tried to be transparent with our music and make a lot of room for space and silence. You know throughout our careers Seckou and I the music we've played has has muscle, syncopation, rhythm, so when we decided to make this project the first conversation we had we spoke about peace, silence, reflection and contemplation. And with this format we decided to create a journey based on our musical tradition. One of Seckou's songs Fatiliku, who's from Senegal, is based on the cuban traditional piece : El Manisero. In Senegal this piece is really really important for that community because cuban groups used to go play there a lot, back in the days. A lot of the music that african people listen to comes from Cuba. So we're trying to presents all these elements in a subtle and contemplative way.

CT - It's also a deeper connection in between Yoroba and Africa...

Omar Sosa - Yes to connect both our traditions together and to listen to each other as well and make everything fluid, so it's important to listen to each other and to respect our tradition and this is basically what we did in Transparent Water. We went into the studio for a week preparing our music, eating and cooking together, Seckou is a really good cook so we got him to cook everyday. You know thru food and spices we get to travel the world and revisit our traditions. Food can inspire me because it's art, when somebody cooks something with spices and can feel traditions, the flavors of the food can bring you certain places, it can bring you to India, to Africa, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, to Canada, to France with the cheese and the wine...or Italy.

CT - On Transparent Water you say that you wanted to create something totally improvised...why is that?

Omar Sosa -  To be in the spirit of jazz, because jazz is freedom, jazz is what happens to you in the moment without any boundaries and this is the way we play music. These days I try to write the less I can and let my inspiration take in the moment and drive my emotions and then a lot of things happen that you weren't expecting because you're completely open to play what's coming to you and this is what we did with Transparent Water.

CT - Tell me about the texts of the songs...

Omar Sosa - He's taking about family, for example Dary is the name of his son, Mining-Nah  means connecting to each other, and then there's Another Prayer, it's all based on unity and love. Black Dream is about what people dream before they immigrate and the reality which can be completely different. All of Seckou's texts have a special meaning and carry a lot of peace, unity, integration and what we need on our planet today. They were written with the inspiration of the moment and in the spirit of how we did the project, spending a week in the studio, sometimes we'd record something and we'd go wow! this is great. Basically the whole album was one take because you know when you have too much time you stretch things a bit and then there's only one day left and then you really record...and that's what we did.

CT - What would like to tell our readers about what they can expect at your concerts?

Omar Sosa - Something simple : Love, unity, peace...and good times. Let's go on journey together.

Check out the videos of Dary, Tama Tama and Mining-Nah
Interview : Claude Thibault
Transparent Water

Omar Sosa, piano
Seckou Keita, kora and voice
Gustavo Ovalles, percussion

Thursday March 14th 8pm
Théâtre Outremont
1248 Bernard West

For tickets, it's here
They'll also be playing at Salle André-Mathieu (Laval) March 12th, Quebec City's Palais Montcalm March 13th and at the Maison du Citoyen in Gatineau March 15th.

Soundscapes : Bass/kalimba player Olivier Babaz with special guest guitarist Michel Cusson (Uzeb) at the Studio of the Segal Centre on Sunday March 3rd.

Olivier basse kalimba 150x184.jpgFor this special one night only concert in the intimacy of the Segal Centre Studio, bassist Olivier Babaz and his band invite audiences on an imaginative journey through music using his unique instrumentation of a double bass mounted with one and sometimes two kalimbas (a type of African thumb piano) as well as three others on a board. Grounded in many forms of improvisation, the evening’s repertoire will feature original pieces, personal arrangements of standards, and improvised soundscapes such as Monkster, Footprints and Saims.

Over the years, Olivier Babaz has performed and recorded his own music, and collaborated with many other artists as a sought-after bassist. Throughout his career, he has developed his signature style that blends different musical languages. His travels in Canada, Europe, and the Indian Ocean have helped him acquire unique experiences as a composer and accompanist.

He will be joined on stage by acclaimed guitarist, renowned composer, and founder of jazz fusion trio Uzeb, Michel Cusson, as well as by Alain Bourgeois, who shows off his powerful and virtuoso drumming.

Join us for the last Power Music concert of the season!

To see and hear his music : YouTube

For the Facebook event, it's here

Soundscapes : Olivier Babaz, Michel Cusson and Alain Bourgois, Sunday March 3rd 8pm

Segal Centre Studio. 5170 Côte-Ste-Catherine 514-739-2301. Tickets: $30 / Box Office: 514.739.7944 /

CDJAZZ by Christophe Rodriguez

Josh Rager - Dreams and Other Stories

For anyone who's up and about on the Montreal / Toronto jazz scene, the name of pianist Josh Rager is one you can't miss. A classic and "modern" jazz player, this chameleon player can easily fit into any genre, with great precision and uncanny sensitivity. From Tadd Dameron to Hank Jones with some Oscar Peterson and the under-estimated Jess Stacy swing on way (relisten to Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall concert), and that should give you a good idea about Josh Rager's capacities.

Dreams and Other Stories has some great interpretations, and they're all equally good. With the help of bassist Fraser Hollins, drummer Dave Laing and alto/tenor sax players Kenji Omae / Donny Kennedy, the pianist weaves some beautiful jazz. Whether on the standard Spring is Here, a beautiful piece of work by the Rodgers and Hart tandem as well as In A Dream, a very personal ballad that highlights his talent as a composer as well as a pianist, the outcome is consistant. To that you can add the dialogue of both saxophonists, that brings to mind the memory of Joe Henderson or even Mickael Brecker.

Now this is a great album.

Spring Is Here / Twinkle Toes / Those Who Came Before / New Waltz / In A Dream / Max's Facts / O Sacrum Convivium

For the EPK video :

To listen :

To buy :

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


TVJAZZ  July 2 2017
Andrea Lindsay - Le poinçonneur des Lilas - at the Mtl Jazz Fest July 2nd 2017

Two Makaya concerts this weekend, Feb. 22nd at the MDC Côte-des-Neiges and Feb. 23rd at the Maison culturelle de Mtl-Nord.

Makaya 150x150.jpgWith their dancing grooves, frenetic percussive improvisations and exotic colors, a Makaya concert is always a hit. And it just happens so that they're giving not one but two concerts with weekend. Their success can probably be explained by the diverse and complimentary influences of all of it's members. Pianist and leader David Bontemps has a classical touch and roots in haitian music. Guitarist/singer Jude A. Deslouches brings sensitivity and a soft touch to a repertoire made up of compositions and revisited traditional creole songs. Percussionists Cydric Féréol and Emmanuel Delly bring a touch of afro-caribean and West Indies grooves, while bassist Nicolas Bédard tops it off with a touch of jazz.

Their lively music, mostly instrumental, take on a particular life of it's own in concert, thanks to the multiples interactions in between the musicians, the improvised percussion duos as well the surging passages of the piano, marked by David Bontemps's concise and instructive presentations, sharing his reseach on this fascinating repertoire. From the story of the little girl in Peze Kafe, to famous Irène with Gwog Mwen on the way, could the five musicians and their music announce the end of winter?

They'll be sharing their musical symbiosis Feb. 22nd at the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges as well as the next day at the Maison culturelle de Montréal-Nord.

Don't miss them! And it's free!

David Bontemps, piano and musical direction
Jude Deslouches, guitar and voice
Nicolas Bédard, bass
Emmanuel Delly, congas and haitian percussions
Cydric Féréol, Gwo ka (traditional Guadeloupe percussions) and percussions

Friday February 22 7:30pm
Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges
5290 Côte-des-Neiges   

Saturday February 23 7:30pm
Maison culturelle de Montréal-Nord
12004 Rolland   
Benjamin Goron :
Facebook / twitter

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  January 28 2016
Omar Sosa Erol Josué Neges Fla Vodoun - Yon Zanmi Vini Wem - Festival International de Jazz de Port-au-Prince, January 28th 2016

TVJAZZ  February 5 2019
Rémi-Jean LeBlanc Nir Felder Rafael Zaldivar Tommy Crane - Shanghai - La Vitrola, Feb 5 2019

TVJAZZ  February 8 2019
David Linx and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra - Mathilde - JPL Victo Jazz, Feb 8 2019

TVJAZZ  February 8 2019
David Linx and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra - Isabelle - JPL Victo Jazz, Feb 8 2019

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Win a pair of tickets for Scott Bradlee's PostModern Jukebox March 1st at MTelus!

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