Tagged: L’OFF Festival de Jazz

Montreal OFF Jazz Festival!

It’s been a long time since I posted on my blog! I admit, I had a bad case of social media burnout after my Indiegogo campaign. But I’m back, although this first post is mostly self-promotion.

A lot has happened since May. I finished my album and launched it with a small tour, I graduated from the MLIS program at McGill, I toured on the west coast for a couple weeks and then had a vacation – and, I had a kid!

I promise I will talk more about being a dad in the future. But in the meantime I’ll just say that I feel lucky to live in a place where paternity leave is available for a freelance musician, it makes an amazing difference. I just wish I could have more time!

But now after a spending an amazing month at home with baby Suki, it’s back to work – and I’m diving right in to a crazy first week (I hope my chops can handle it). Here’s this week’s schedule:

Wednesday: Jason Rosenblatt​ Quartet at the OFF Festival

Thursday: Joel Kerr Quartet + 1 at the OFF Festival 

Friday: Vertige en 4 temps

Sunday: Warhol Dervish + Out Of Sight Of Land 

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First blog post

I think I’ll start a blog.  Why not?

The first thing I’ll write about is this past weekend.  It was an intense, music-filled few days.  Friday night I played with the Craig Pedersen Quartet at IMOOFest in Ottawa.  The night was opened by the solo cello with looping pedal and other crazy effects of Mark Molnar, and closed with the free improvisations for the Lina Allemano ensemble Titanium Riot.

Playing with Craig is very emotionally and physically demanding.  His music is very intense, and he pushes the band is sometimes uncomfortable but always interesting directions.  In order to rehearse for the show, we ran the set twice in a row in the afternoon (immediately after driving into Ottawa from Montreal), and then went to set up and soundcheck for the show (we also ate Shawarma twice that day).  The show went super well, but I’m still recuperating from several after-effects – including muscle soreness in my hands, and a ringing in my ears.

On Saturday, I played a wedding ceremony in Kirkland with my string trio, Trio Da Capo.  It was a nice ceremony, and entertaining because one of the couple’s four kids was running around the whole time, enjoying the sound of his new shoes on the church floor.

Saturday evening I was back in the Ottawa area, playing a house concert in a beautiful mansion in Gatineau with Renée Yoxon and Chad Linsley.  The name of the concert series is the Tiny House Mansion Concerts.  The place was incredible (I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo!), and the hosts were awesome.  They had an old, slightly out-of-tune Heintzman upright piano, which Chad made sound great.  It’s a total treat to play with these two!  I always need to be on my toes, the music often takes surprising twists and turns.  My favorite moment of the evening was when I sat down to listen to Renée and Chad perform a tune I don’t play on, entitled Little Prince.  As the last note faded, there was an audible group exhalation, almost a sigh – like everybody had been released from a spell all at the same time.  Maybe not a spell, more like a beautiful enchanted dream world, and they all came back to reality when the song finished.  It was a really incredible feeling.

Sunday morning began with a great, relaxed home rehearsal for Marie-Claire‘s upcoming album launch.  Maybe I’m biased, but I think it’s a great project, with a great sounding album, and a great band (Eric Thibodeau on drums! I get to play with him in Craig’s group, too).  Marie-Claire’s composition has always floored me, I wish I could write that well.  Apparently the album has been getting some CBC airtime, which is exciting!!

Sunday afternoon was a rehearsal with Siach Hasadeh, the formation with strings.  With this group we’ve been heading into a really beautiful and interesting area, incorporating more and more free improvisation and extended techniques into the group vocabulary.  So we worked on a bunch of improvisation exercises, and worked on some new material, and the whole process was exhilarating!  Hopefully we’ll be able to do another tour this spring….

Sunday evening I got to check out Eric Hove’s new project at the OFF Jazz Festival.  It was crazy!  Wild spectral music over cool grooves.  I’ve never heard anything like it before!  It’s not often I get the chance to go to a concert, so this was a real treat, especially since the music was great.  It was also a great jazz hang!

If you made it this far, thank you for reading.  I hope to post about once a week, so stay tuned for more!

I’m off to do some web design homework.