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July 29: Chamberfest: Braid n’ Strings at La Nouvelle Scène

Jazz fusion is usually thought of as a combination of jazz and rock, but it's equally artistically valid to combine jazz with other genres – for example, chamber music. Recently, Toronto jazz pianist David Braid has been writing longer-form works which he performs with a string quartet. They're somewhere between jazz and chamber music: they have motifs from both genres and include both improvisation and through-composition. And the result is rich and compelling.

Braid has been regularly performing these pieces with a variety of string quartets in the last six years in Europe and North America. At the 2015 Ottawa Chamberfest, he collaborated with the Sinfonia UK Chamber Orchestra. He's recorded many of these compositions on his 2016 album, Flow, which was nominated for a Juno in the Instrumental category this year.

On Saturday, he will play with an all-star Canadian string quartet at Chamberfest: Juno and Opus award-winning Montreal violinist Mark Fewer, the NAC Orchestra's principal viola player, Jethro Marks, and two members of the Gryphon Trio, cellist Roman Borys and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon. Both Fewer and the Gryphon Trio have previously extended their classical range in collaborations with jazz performers.

They'll perform on July 29 in a late-evening show at La Nouvelle Scène. Braid says their repertoire will be from Flow, although they won't repeat his large-scale composition "Chauvet", which they'd previously played at Chamberfest and at the National Arts Centre [read our review of the NAC show].

Pianist David Braid and an all-star string quartet will perform Braid's compositions in a Chamberfest late-night show at La Nouvelle Scène (333 King Edward Avenue, just north of Rideau Street in Lowertown) at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. Tickets are $30, or you can use a Chamberfest festival pass. Tickets and passes are available on-line at chamberfest.com or at their offices at 4 Florence Street in Centretown, or at the door.

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