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IMOO musicians explore new 'instruments' and new approaches

Scott Warren plays a new musical instrument. ©Brett Delmage, 2011It was a competition for the most unusual "musical" sound at IMOO on December 4, as a quartet of Ottawa improvising musicians and regular IMOO performers took the stage. Listeners who closed their eyes to focus only on the sounds of this show would surely have been challenged to understand what they were hearing.

Linsey Wellman played percussion with his music stand and metal water bottle, but mostly he stuck to alto sax and bass clarinet, having fun getting unusual sounds, including perhaps the appropriate Mooing of a cow, out of those, more conventional, instruments. Following Linsey's moove, one could imagine a farm coming to life in the following minutes.

Double bassist Philippe Charbonneau was a serious contender with his wire clothes hanger vibrating and being used to bow his bass strings.

Trumpeter Craig Pedersen upped the ante when he borrowed Charbonneau's bow and used it to coax notes out of the bell of his trumpet and flugelhorn. He got even more points for borrowing one of drummer Scott Warren's brushes, and using them to brush his trumpet, then mooving over to the side of Charbonneau's bass.

But the winner had to be Warren himself, when he brought out a roll of packing tape and did his best to control the crackling, squealing sounds coming out of what everyone (including himself) agreed was by far the least controllable instrument in the room. But definitely the one that riveted everyone's eyes and which he had the most fun with.

View more photos

Read more: IMOO musicians explore new 'instruments' and new approaches


Last chance to hear Evandro Gracelli before he returns to Brazil

Evandro Gracelli at Roda da Samba on October 22 ©Brett Delmage, 2011Evandro Gracelli returns to his native Brazil this week, after two years of generously sharing Brazilian music, his fine guitar playing and singing, and his friendly manner with Ottawa-Gatineau audiences and musicians. Thursday, December 1 will be your last chance to hear him perform with his group and other musicians who play South American music.  View our event listing

We thank Evandro for being part of the scene and warmly welcoming OttawaJazzScene.ca at his musical events during his stay in Ottawa.

Read unfolding.ca's interview with Evandro

View photos of Evandro with Roda da Samba on October 22.

View photos of Sol da Capital's February 10, 2011 performance at Mercury Lounge

Read more: Last chance to hear Evandro Gracelli before he returns to Brazil


Beatlemania: music for all ages

Capital Vox singers are accompanied by violinists from the Four Seasons String Quartet ©Brett Delmage, 2011A large and diverse crowd, ranging from toddlers to grandparents, clapped and even occasionally sang along to the Beatles, as the Capital Vox Jazz Choir showed how many different ways the band's classic songs could be arranged for choir, brass, jazz band, strings, and singers.

Fitting in with how old John, Paul, George and Ringo were when they actually wrote the music, young musicians had a prominent role in the well-attended November 19 concert at Dominion Chalmers United Church. The Capital Youth Jazz Orchestra provided the horns and brass, including marching through the audience playing Yellow Submarine. Four students from Canterbury High School soloed with the choir, and local singer Vanessa Mercier (not much older herself) stepped in at the last moment to sing the fifth solo part.

One fan wasn't even born yet: CBC announcer Amanda Putz, who was the M.C. for the proceedings, noted at one point that her unborn baby was reacting strongly to the music!

Read our interview with Capital Vox choir director Elise Letourneau: Capital Vox stretches the boundaries with jazz and the Beatles

View some photos from the concert and rehearsal

Read more: Beatlemania: music for all ages


Curiosity Killed the Quartet - Again

Brian Downey (drums), Zakari Frantz (alto) and Joel Kerr (bass). photo ©Brett Delmage, 2011 Alto saxophonist Zakari Frantz led Curiosity Killled the Quartet to keep the music alive and the goblins away well past midnight on Halloween night at Le Petit Chicago.

Back home after another highly successful European tour with Souljazz Orchestra, Zakari led a quartet including Mike Essoudry (drums) and two Montrealers increasingly known to Ottawa audiences: Adam Daudrich on keys and Joel Kerr on double bass. The group filled the evening with standards and original compositions by Daudrich. Later, the stage was opened to guests including guitarist Sean Duhaime, veteran drummer Brian Downey and others.

Zak's back with another quartet tonight (apparently curiosity did kill the first one!) that includes Eric Disero on keyboards, Marc Decho on bass, and Mike Essoudry on drums. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. at Le Petit Chicago.    – Brett Delmage


Stretch Orchestra teaches and plays in Ottawa today

Kevin Breit Matt Brubeck
Kevin Breit (l) and Matt Brubeck (r) perform in the Stretch Orchestra's CD Release concert
at the 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival.   photos ©Brett Delmage, 2011

The Stretch Orchestra may be the tallest band in Canada, with an average height of 6'5". According to the shortest member of the group, Jesse Stewart (at only 6'3") "it is also one of the most eclectic". The group, with Stewart on waterphone and percussion, Matt Brubeck on very cool carbon fibre cello, and Kevin Breit on a variety of guitars, recently released it's first album of the same name. They routinely traverse a wide gamut of musical styles—from jazz to rock to folk to various world influences, sometimes within a single tune. Their music stretches your ears.

The trio will present a master class at Carleton University from 3-5 p.m. today that is open to the public ($10 admission), followed by a house concert at 7:30 p.m..

    – Brett Delmage


Robert Fontaine's CD launch at Les Brasseurs du Temps

Robert Fontaine drives his quartet's first CD release to a close. ©Brett Delmage, 2011Drummer Robert Fontaine and his quartet (Tom Denison on bass, Rick Rangno on flugelhorn, and Yves Laroche on keyboards) debuted their first CD, The Quiet Fellow, at Les Brasseurs du Temps in Gatineau on October 2, 2011. Their live set, which included a number of songs from the CD, one new original, and some bopping standards, was preceded by a short video showing the group's live recording for the CD.

The Ottawa-side release party for the album will be this Sunday, October 23 at the Nepean Sailing Club.

Read our interview with Robert about the CD.

View the photo gallery

Read more: Robert Fontaine's CD launch at Les Brasseurs du Temps


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