Michel Pagliaro; Quebec’s Greatest Songwriter?

 Michel Pagliaro is a legend in Quebec …

Anglophone artists, Francophone artists – any genre, unconsciously or consciously affected  by ‘Pag’.

Rarely do artists create such a vast ‘society affecting’ songbook in a quick period of time. The Guess Who, Dylan,The Beatles, The Stones,Elvis and Pag.

For this reason, it is fitting after all these years for a tribute album. Eleven of Pagliaro’s songs performed by twelve Quebec artists. A brilliant CD package for immense listening pleasure.

unnamed

Carl Bastien supervises a disc long overdue. A void within the borders is now filled. Pag and Gerry Boulet can now walk hand in hand across the Plains of Abraham.

Please listen below to some tunes from Pag Revisited.

Visit Pag Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – All That Jazz

Jazz at Princeton University Announces Diverse and Compelling Season


 
October 12, 2019 – May 9, 2020
 
Guest artists include Portuguese vocalist/composer Sara Serpa with Nigerian writer Emmanuel Iduma, Chilean vocal sensation Claudia Acuña, & Grammy-nominated Cuban drummer & MacArthur Fellow Dafnis Prieto
 
Faculty groups are led by Jazz at Princeton head Rudresh Mahanthappa, Trineice Robinson-Martin, Jay Clayton, Matthew Parrish, Darcy James Argue
 
2nd annual Princeton University Jazz Festival slated for Saturday, April 18, 2020

Jazz at Princeton University, helmed by acclaimed saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, presents a thrilling and diverse 2019-2020 season, October 12, 2019 – May 9, 2020. Highlights include performances by student groups joined by guest artists including acclaimed Portuguese vocalist/composer Sara Serpa with her Intimate Strangers project, Chilean vocal sensation Claudia Acuña, and Grammy-nominated Cuban drummer Dafnis Prieto. After a resoundingly successful inaugural year, Jazz at Princeton will also present the second annual Princeton University Jazz Festival on April 18, 2020.
“I’m very excited about the depth and breadth of this year’s Jazz at Princeton program,” says Mahanthappa. “With the contribution of some of jazz’s most inventive artists working alongside our accomplished students, we are hosting concerts that will engage, inspire and entertain. Last year’s launch of the annual Princeton University Jazz Festival was a great success, and the second edition promises to be just as outstanding.”

Jazz at Princeton’s six major student ensembles include the Creative Large Ensemble directed by Darcy James Argue, Small Groups I and A directed by Mahanthappa, Small Group X directed by Matthew Parrish, the Jazz Vocal Collective directed by Trineice RobinsonMartin, and the Vocal Improvisation Ensemble directed by Jay Clayton.

2019-2020 Season

Saturday, October 12, 2019 –Rudresh Mahanthappa Tiger Quartet+ 
8 pm, Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.  Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/rudresh-mahanthappa-tiger-quartet



Acclaimed alto saxophonist and Jazz at Princeton head leads a select group of students in a concert to kick off the season.

Friday, November 8, 2019– Sara Serpa’s Intimate Strangers
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/intimate-strangers.



A collaboration between Portuguese vocalist-composer Sara Serpa and Nigerian writer Emmanuel Iduma that draws inspiration from Iduma’s latest book, A Stranger’s Pose, a unique blend of travelogue, musings and poetry, with a foreword by Teju Cole. In a combination of music, text, image and field recordings collected by Iduma during his travels, Intimate Strangers explores themes of movement, home, grief, absence and desire in what Iduma calls “an atlas of a borderless world.” Co-sponsored by Jazz at Princeton and the Program in African Studies.

Sara Serpa – voice, composition | Emmanuel Iduma – text, spoken word
Sofía Rei, Aubrey Johnson – voice | Matt Mitchell -piano | Qasim Naqvi – modular synth 

Sara Serpa is a singer, composer, improviser who implements a unique instrumental approach to her vocal style. Recognized for her distinctive wordless singing, Serpa has been immersed in the field of jazz, improvised and experimental music since first arriving in New York in 2008.  Described by JazzTimes as “a master of wordless landscapes” and by the New York Times as “a singer of silvery poise and cosmopolitan outlook,” Serpa started her recording and performing career with jazz luminaries such as Grammy-nominated pianist Danilo Perez, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow pianist Ran Blake, and Greg Osby. Her ethereal music draws from a broad variety of inspirations including literature, film, visual arts as well as history and nature. As a leader, she has produced and released nine albums, (with labels Sunnyside Records, Clean Feed, Tzadik and Inner Circle Music); the latest being “Close Up” in collaboration with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander. Serpa has collaborated with an extensive array of musicians including John Zorn, Guillermo Klein, Zeena Parkins, Mark Turner, Tyshawn Sorey, and Nicole Mitchell, among many others. She has performed her own music in Europe, Australia, North and South America, singing at international festivals such as Festa do Jazz, the Panama Jazz Festival, Festival de Jazz de Montevideo, Wangaratta Jazz Festival and Adelaide Festival, Sopot Jazz Festival or venues like Bimhuis, Casa da Música, Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, The Stone, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Kennedy Center for the Arts, among others.

Emmanuel Iduma is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Born and raised in Nigeria, he has contributed essays and stories to journals, magazines, artists’ books, and exhibition catalogues. He is the author of The Sound of Things to Come (first published as Farad in Nigeria), and received a 2017 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant in arts writing, for his blog A Sum of Encounters. He is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, where he obtained an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing. In 2017, he was associate curator of the Nigerian pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He is the author, most recently, of A Stranger’s Pose.

Saturday, November 16 – Small Groups I and A – led by Rudresh Mahanthappa
8 pm, Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-small-groups-concert-2.

Jazz at Princeton University’s Small Groups I and A, directed by award-winning saxophonist and program director Rudresh Mahanthappa, present an evening of jazz at its most intimate in a showcase of improvisation and inspiring interaction. 

Thursday, November 21– Jazz Vocal Collective – led by Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-vocal-collective-2.

Jazz at Princeton University’s Jazz Vocal Collective (JVC), Princeton University’s elite small jazz ensemble that features solo voice, will join director Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin and showcase their original arrangements of classic and contemporary jazz compositions. 

Internationally recognized as one of the leading pedagogues in gospel and soul voice training, Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin specializes in vocal pedagogy and performance practices for contemporary commercial music styles (i.e. jazz, pop, gospel, R&B, country, rock, music theater, etc.). As the creator of Soul Ingredients®, a methodology for nurturing vocal freedom and authentic musical interpretation and expression, Dr. Robinson-Martin regularly travels nationally and internationally teaching voice, lecturing and giving workshops.

Saturday, November 23– Creative Large Ensemble – Led by Darcy James Argue
8 pm, Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.
Tickets and info: 609-258-9220 or https://music.princeton.edu/events/creative-large-ensemble-2.

Jazz at Princeton University’s Creative Large Ensemble led by Darcy James Argue continues to redefine the big band in an innovative program encompassing classic and contemporary repertoire.

Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based composer and bandleader Darcy James Argue has toured nationally and internationally with his 18-piece ensemble, Secret Society. Argue made his mark with his critically acclaimed 2009 debut Infernal Machines. 2013 saw the release of Brooklyn Babylon, which, like Infernal Machines before it, earned the group nominations for both GRAMMY and JUNO Awards. His most recent recording, Real Enemies, released in the fall of 2016, earned a third consecutive GRAMMY nomination. Secret Society maintains a busy touring schedule, with European, Canadian, and South American tours and four appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival. Argue has also toured Australia and New Zealand leading the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. He has led performances of his music by the WDR Big Band, the Danish Radio Big Band, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, the Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, the Big Band Palácio das Artes, and the West Point Jazz Knights. Argue has composed works for chamber duo and string quartet, art songs for Newspeak, and created arrangements for the Atlanta Symphony. In 2015, Argue was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition and a Doris Duke Artist Award. He has received commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation, the Jazz Gallery, the Manhattan New Music Project, the Jerome Foundation, and BAM, as well as ensembles including the Danish Radio Big Band, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, the West Point Jazz Knights, and the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New Music USA, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Composers Now, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the MacDowell Colony.

Wednesday, December 4– Jazz Small Groups in Concert – Led by Rudresh Mahanthappa
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-small-groups-concert-3.

Jazz at Princeton University’s small groups, directed by award-winning saxophonist and program director Rudresh Mahanthappa, leads student small groups in an energizing and beautiful evening of music.

Tuesday, December 10– Jazz Vocal Improvisation Ensemble – Led by Jay Clayton
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-vocal-improvisation-ensemble-2.

Jazz at Princeton University’s Vocal Improvisation Ensemble (VIE), directed by world-renowned Jay Clayton, presents its first performance of the year.

Jay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. Jay has gained worldwide attention as both performer and teacher. With more than 40 recordings to her credit, Clayton has appeared alongside such formidable artists as Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Reich, Kirk Nurock, Julian Priester, Jerry Granelli, Jane Ira Bloom, Gary Bartz, Jack Wilkins, George Cables, Fred Hersch, Gary Thomas, tap dancer Brenda Bufalino as well as fellow vocalists Jeanne Lee, Norma Winstone, Urszula Dudziak and Bobby McFerrin. She has taught extensively throughout the world and was on the jazz faculty of Cornish College of the Arts for 20 years. She is currently on the jazz faculty at Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Her book, “Sing Your Story: A Practical Guide for Learning and Teaching the Art of Jazz Singing,” was published by Advance Music in 2001.

Friday, January 10 – Jazz Small Group X – Led by Matthew Parrish
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-small-group-x-2.

The Princeton University Jazz ‘Ensemble X’ performs under the direction of master bassist Matthew Parrish. This ensemble evokes the small group tradition of the Art Blakey groups of the 50’s and 60’s where improvisation and inspiring interaction are key. The group performs as a septet with several featured trio performances. 

Matthew Parrish is a sought-after performer, arranger, composer, producer, and instructor. Matthew’s warmth in his playing and loyalty to delivering heartfelt, passionate works is apparent in every note, every tune, and every interaction with his fellow musicians. Born in central California, Matthew has performed and recorded with top names in jazz including Regina Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paquito D’Rivera, Clark Terry, Etta Jones, Orrin Evans, Clark Terry, Dr. Jonnie Smith, Savion Glover, Bill Charlap, Houston Person, and many others. He has recorded over sixty works, including his debut CD Circles (2000) and his most recent recordings with Karine Aguiar.

Saturday, February 22 – Jazz Vocal Collective with Claudia Acuña
Hear the renowned Chilean jazz singer, songwriter, and arranger share the stage with Jazz at Princeton University’s Jazz Vocal Collective Ensemble (JVC) in a concert that bridges cultures and traditions. The JVC is Princeton University’s elite small jazz student ensemble that features solo voice, directed by Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin.

8 pm, Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. Tickets and info: 609-258-9220 or https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-vocal-collective-claudia-acu%C3%B1a.

Chilean singer/songwriter/arranger Claudia Acuña possesses one of the most beautiful and compelling voices in jazz and creative music. While singing primarily in Spanish, her music crosses language barriers to communicate with power and deep feeling. Born July 3, 1971 in Santiago and raised in Concepcion, Acuña established herself on the Chilean jazz scene in her early 20s. When she arrived in New York City in 1995, Acuña quickly gained recognition as a leading voice on a scene rapidly being transformed by a wave of brilliant Latin American musicians. She plunged into collaborations with masters such as Jason Lindner, Harry Whitaker, Arturo O’Farrill, Guillermo Klein, and bassist Avishai Cohen, who co-produced her critically hailed 2000 debut Wind From the South (Verve). Her five albums as a leader established Acuña as a creative force, from 2002’s Rhythm of Life (Verve) and 2004’s Luna (MaxJazz) through 2008’s In These Shoes (Zoho Music) and 2009’s strikingly beautiful En Este Momento (Marsalis Music). Whether putting her stamp on popular Latin American ballads, reimagining jazz standards from a South American perspective, or infusing Afro-Caribbean material with a wide rhythmic sensibility, Acuña stands out as a passionate and emotionally incisive singer with a gleaming, burnished bronze tone. For much of the past decade she’s put her recording career on the backburner to focus on raising her son. Instead of touring, she’s stayed closer to home, where her keen intelligence and intrepid spirit has made her the vocalist of choice for many of jazz’s most creative figures. She’s thrived by pursuing multiple musical directions with artists such as Susie Ibarra, Billy Childs, Henry Threadgill, the Rodriguez Brothers, and Elio Villa-Franca. Acuña brings all of her far-flung experiences to bear on Turning Pages, an album that documents a major creative leap. Her key collaborator was Colombian-born string wizard Juancho Herrera, who produced the album, co-wrote several songs, and had a major hand in most of the arrangements. As much as Turning Pages points toward the future, the album is also an act of reclamation and recovery, as Acuña takes stock of her past via songs new and old. It’s the work of a woman reborn from the ashes, stronger, wiser, and more expressive than ever. Ready once again to take on the world, she’s eager to reconnect with longtime fans and build new audiences.

Thursday, April 9 – Jazz Small Group X – Led by Matthew Parrish
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-small-group-x-3.

The Princeton University Jazz ‘Ensemble X’ performs under the direction of master bassist Matthew Parrish. This ensemble evokes the small group tradition of the Art Blakey groups of the 50’s and 60’s where improvisation and inspiring interaction are key. The group performs as a septet with several featured trio performances. 

Saturday, April 18 – Princeton University Jazz Festival
Noon, Richardson Lawn. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/princeton-university-jazz-festival-0.

A free day-long outdoor lineup of today’s top jazz stars coming together in exciting formations and alongside Princeton University’s exceptional student jazz ensembles. Further details TBA.

Tuesday, April 21 – Jazz Vocal Improvisation Ensemble – Led by Jay Clayton
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-vocal-improvisation-ensemble-3.

Jazz at Princeton University’s Vocal Improvisation Ensemble (VIE), directed by world-renowned Jay Clayton, presents its final performance of the year.

Thursday, April 23– Jazz Vocal Collective – Led by Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-vocal-collective-3.

Jazz at Princeton University’s Jazz Vocal Collective Ensemble (JVC), Princeton University’s elite small jazz ensemble that features solo voice, will join director Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin and showcase their original arrangements of classic and contemporary jazz compositions. 

Wednesday, April 29 – Jazz Small Groups I and A – led by Rudresh Mahanthappa
7:30 pm, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall. Free and open to the public. Information at https://music.princeton.edu/events/jazz-small-groups-concert-4.

Jazz at Princeton University’s Small Groups I and A, directed by award-winning saxophonist and program director Rudresh Mahanthappa, present an evening of jazz at its most intimate in a showcase of improvisation and inspiring interaction. 

Saturday, May 9– Dafnis Prieto and Creative Large Ensemble
8 pm, Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. Tickets and info: 609-258-9220 or https://music.princeton.edu/events/dafnis-prieto-creative-large-ensemble.

Jazz at Princeton University’s season comes to a close with GRAMMY Award-winning Cuban-born drummer, composer, bandleader, educator, and MacArthur Fellow Dafnis Prieto joining Darcy James Argue’s Creative Large Ensemble.

From Santa Clara, Cuba, Dafnis Prieto’s revolutionary drumming techniques and compositions have had a powerful impact on the Latin and Jazz music scene, nationally and internationally. Various honors include a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship, Up & Coming Musician of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association in 2006, a 2018 GRAMMY Award and Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album for Dafnis Prieto Big Band Back to the Sunset, a GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album for Absolute Quintet in 2006, and a Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best New Artist in 2007. Also a gifted educator, Prieto has conducted master classes, clinics, and workshops throughout the world. He was a faculty member of Jazz Studies at NYU from 2005 to 2014, and in 2015 became a faculty member at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Since his arrival to New York in 1999, Prieto has worked in bands led by Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Chico and Arturo O’Farrill, Dave Samuels and The Caribbean Jazz Project, Jane Bunnett, D.D. Jackson, Edward Simon, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdés, Bebo Valdés, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and Andrew Hill, among others. He has performed at many national and international music festivals as a sideman and as a bandleader featuring several of his own projects and music. As a composer, he has created music for dance, film, chamber ensembles, and most notably for his own bands, ranging from duets to big band, and including the distinctively different groups featured on seven acclaimed recordings as a leader: About The Monks, Absolute Quintet, Taking the Soul For a Walk, Si o Si Quartet: Live at Jazz Standard, Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio, Triangles and Circles, and Back to the Sunset. He has received commissions, grants, and fellowships from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Carolina University, and Meet the Composer. In 2016 Prieto published the critically acclaimed drumming instructional book, A World of Rhythmic Possibilities: Drumming Lessons and Reflections on Rhythms.

Jazz at Princeton University under the direction of Rudresh Mahanthappa serves to promote this uniquely American music as a contemporary and relevant art form.  Our goals are to convey the vast musical and social history of jazz, establish a strong theoretical and stylistic foundation with regard to improvisation and composition, and emphasize the development of individual expression and creativity. Offerings of this program include academic course work, performing ensembles, master classes, private study, and independent projects. They also have the opportunity to participate in academic courses from the music department curriculum that encourage the study of the historical, social, theoretical, stylistic, and creative issues that pertain to the jazz idiom.

Hailed by Pitchfork as “jaw-dropping… one of the finest saxophonists going,” alto saxophonist, composer and educator Rudresh Mahanthappa is widely known as one of the premier voices in jazz of the 21st century. He has over a dozen albums to his credit, including the acclaimed Bird Calls, which topped many critics’ best-of-year lists for 2015 and was hailed by PopMatters as “complex, rhythmically vital, free in spirit while still criss-crossed with mutating structures.” Rudresh has been named alto saxophonist of the year for seven of eight years running in DownBeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Polls (2011-2013, 2015-2018), and for five consecutive years by the Jazz Journalists’ Association (2009-2013) and again in 2016. He won alto saxophonist of the year in the 2015-2017 JazzTimes Magazine Critics’ Polls and was named the Village Voice’s “Best Jazz Artist” in 2015. He has also received the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, among other honors, and is currently the Anthony H. P. Lee ’79 Director of Jazz at Princeton University.

Born in Trieste, Italy to Indian émigrés in 1971, Mahanthappa was brought up in Boulder, Colorado and gained proficiency playing everything from current pop to Dixieland. He went on to studies at North Texas, Berklee and DePaul University (as well as the Stanford Jazz Workshop) and came to settle in Chicago. Soon after moving to New York in 1997 he formed his own quartet featuring pianist Vijay Iyer. The band recorded an enduring sequence of albums, Black WaterMother Tongue and Codebook, each highlighting Mahanthappa’s inventive methodologies and deeply personal approach to composition. He and Iyer also formed the duo Raw Materials.

Coming deeper into contact with the Carnatic music of his parents’ native southern India, Mahanthappa partnered in 2008 with fellow altoist Kadri Gopalnath and the Dakshina Ensemble for Kinsmen, garnering wide acclaim. Apti, the first outing by Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition (with Pakistani-born Rez Abbasi on guitar and Dan Weiss on tabla), saw release the same year; Agrima followed nine years later and considerably expanded the trio’s sonic ambitions.

Mahanthappa has also worked with Jack DeJohnette, Mark Dresser, Danilo Pérez, Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, the collaborative trios MSG and Mauger, the co-led quintet Dual Identity with fellow altoist Steve Lehman, and another co-led quintet with fellow altoist and Chicago stalwart Bunky Green (Apex). His exploratory guitar- driven quartets on Samdhi and Gamak featured David Gilmore and Dave “Fuze” Fiuczynski, respectively. In 2015 he was commissioned by Ragamala Dance to create Song of the Jasmine for dancers and a hybrid jazz/South Indian ensemble. He was also commissioned by the PRISM Saxophone Quartet to compose a chamber piece, “I Will Not Apologize for My Tone Tonight,” which can be heard on the quartet’s 2015 double- disc release Heritage/Evolution, Volume 1

Smoke Meat Pete Live Music Schedule Here

Rick Keene Music Scene – Barb Diab Talks New Album and Working with B.B. King’s Longtime Drummer

Local singer and Blues lover Barb Diab has come a long way.

A teacher by trade, Barb’s love and passion for The Blues has transported her to places beyond her imagination. It just goes to show ya – follow your dream and one day your dreams may follow you.

Please listen below to my chat with Barb about her second album Mojo Woman and what it was like working with B.B. King’s longtime drummer Tony Coleman.

Barb? What’s up?

Visit Barb Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Rick’s Top Free Montreal Jazz Festival Picks

The Montreal International Jazz Festival is celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary this summer.

Aside from the usual top choices of tunes from all genres and all countries, this year the Jazz folks have added another borough to it’s already large territory. Verdun will feature class acts and expand the Jazz Festival experience to a larger portion of people who may not have the means to travel downtown.

Primarily – The Montreal International Jazz Festival is all about the music. No matter the punter’s taste, chances are the Jazz Festival will deliver the soothing musical beverage to quench the thirst for grooves, rhythms and sounds. There will be dancing in the streets of Montreal for ten glorious days starting at the end of June.

Here now are just some of the shows / artists who should be a highlight of the Festival’s free outdoor program. Click here for the entire roster.

 Charlotte Cardin will kick off the grand events on June 27, on the TD stage. Cardin is one of those voices that festival-goers know and love. Her musicality combined with a charisma that is mesmerizing – the 2019 Festival International De Jazz De Montreal’s debut show will get the party going.

On July 2,  Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker) will take the stage and the audience with force. Energy is the game and energy is the name of a show which will get everyone in a Jazz Festival mood.

Sunday, June 30 – Laila Biali is an act to check out if you are fan of vocal purity and sublime piano playing.  Jazz and Pop grounds the soul with a double punch not easy to pull off. Laila does …

Thursday, July 4 – Molly Johnson. Molly is a Canadian treasure who has paid her dues only to arrive at the top of the Jazz world heap. The winner of several Grammy Awards and critically acclaimed internationally; Molly has also recently launched a Black History website.

Monday, July 1st – Lorraine Klaasen: She gets her energy from her mother, famous 1950s South-African jazz singer Thandie Klaasen. Inspired by the Township culture and music, Lorraine takes the stage with the who is who of Montreal musicians including Joey the Saxman.

Thursday, June 27 – Cécile Doo-Kingué will knock your socks off. She is one of Montreal’s ( if not Canada’s) premiere guitar players who composes and sings with passion. One of the hardest working musicians from Montreal and it has payed off.

Friday, July 5 – Steve Marriner, the harmonica prodigy who has turned into the best harmonica player in Canada takes the stage. Steve has won numerous Harmonica player of Year awards within his band Monkey Junk and has recently toured with Colin James and was featured on Colin’s last album. Steve has also released an album with Blues great Harry Manx. A must – see show !

At 11 p.m. – Sunday, June 30: Ben Racine Band: In 2017, Ben Racine won the Albert King Award for the best guitar performance in the international blues band category in Memphis. Ben’s composing an arranging skills combined with his top of the line backing band make this show very hard to dismiss.

Saturday, July 6 – Sue Foley, Foley left Canada as a teenager to fulfill her dream of becoming a Blues guitar player. She has worked with the who is who of American Blues and just recently had Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top on her Juno nominated album as well as Jimmy Vaughn. The album The Ice Queen is one of the best you will ever hear.

Tuesday, July 2 & Wednesday, July 3 – The Liquor Store: This pioneering future soul band mixes funk, jazz and hip hop to create a potent cocktail. A groovy sound that will make dancing obligatory.

Thursday, July 4, Friday, July 5 & Saturday, July 6 – Urban Science #LECYPHER: These reinvented old-school hip-hop jam sessions have become an essential part of the Festival. With virtuoso musicians from every corner of the Montréal scene, live music and an open mic.  Every year it gets bigger and better. Cult – like status.

Every show brings something to the mix at this year’s Jazz Festival and above are just a few of the highlights. Click here to visit the Full Festival line – up including the indoor paid shows.

Please follow me on Rick Keene Music Scene for Jazz Festival news, reviews and interviews.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Sax Player Michael Eaton Displays Creativity on Latest Disc

It’s all about the sax …

For Michael Eaton, normally it is all about the sax. On the album Dialogical, it is not about the sax. It is about creating a ‘voice’ from several ‘voices’.

Please listen below to my chat with Michael and hear some great tunes!

Michael? What’s up?

Visit Michael Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Jeff Gunn’s ‘Sonic Tales’ A Must Listen for Every Guitar Player

Adding layers to a canvas sounds easy …

Every artist can add and subtract tones from their work of art. Experimenting and learning tones from around the world and ‘adjusting’ the canvas is an entirely different thing.

On Jeff Gunn’s latest offering ‘Sonic Tales’, exploration is the key. An entry into the sounds of an instrument Jeff has nurtured. Few guitar players have devoted so much time to not only growing themselves as players yet passing that knowledge on to other students.


Please listen below to my chat with Jeff and hear some great tunes from the album Sonic Tales.

Jeff? What’s up?

Visit Jeff Here !

Rick Keene Music Scene – Artist Nominations For Gala Trille Or 2019 ( Franco-Canadian)

L’Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique (APCM) announced the nominations for the 10th edition of the Gala Trille Or.

The gala is an opportunity for Franco-Canadian artists to shine. Seventy-six performers and industry professionals from across Canada are nominated in twenty-nine categories.

1. Artiste Solo

Damien Robitaille
Étienne Fletcher
Jacobus
Mélissa Ouimet
YAO

2. Groupe

Amélie et Les Singes Bleus
Georgian Bay
Jérémie & The Delicious Hounds
Les Rats d’Swompe
Moonfruits

3. Auteur.e et/ou compositeur.trice

Cindy Doire
Damien Robitaille
Étienne Fletcher
Mclean
Moonfruits

4. Album

Alexis Normand – Alexis Normand
Céleste Lévis – Donne-moi le temps
Cindy Doire – Panorama
Damien Robitaille – Univers Parallèles
Mclean – Une dernière fois

5. EP

Billy Love Band – Billy Love Band
Étienne Fletcher – Face A
Marie-Clo – Faune
Mélissa Ouimet – Amours jetables
Vaero – Le nœud

6. Album de l’Acadie

Julie Aubé – Joie de vivre
Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire – Viens avec moi
Shaun Ferguson – Résilience
Simon Daniel – Nightcrawler
Vishtèn – Horizons

7. Découverte (artiste ou groupe)

Étienne Fletcher
Jérémie & The Delicious Hounds
Kimya
Les Rats d’Swompe
Marie-Clo

8. Découverte de l’Acadie (artiste ou groupe)

Chloé Brault
Émilie Landry
Julie Aubé
Marty pis les Roots
Pierre Guitard

9. Chanson primée

Damien Robitaille – Tout feu, tout flamme
Étienne Fletcher – Chérie, Chéri
Mélissa Ouimet – Amours jetables
Rayannah – En attendant demain
YAO – Nomades

10. Spectacle

Damien Robitaille
Les Rats d’Swompe
Mehdi Cayenne
Règlement 17
YAO

11. Artiste solo ou groupe – Jazz

Janie Renée
Lucie D et les immortels
Suzanne Kennelly

12. Artiste solo ou groupe – Rock

Étienne Fletcher
Les Rats d’Swompe
Mélissa Ouimet

13. Artiste solo ou groupe – Roots

Ariko
Georgian Bay
Moonfruits

14. Artiste solo ou groupe – Musique urbaine

Jacobus
Kimya
YAO

15. Artiste solo ou groupe – Pop

Cindy Doire
Damien Robitaille
Loig Morin

16. Coup de cœur des médias

Billy Love Band
Damien Robitaille
Georgian Bay
Les Rats d’Swompe
YAO

17. Export Ontario

Céleste Lévis
Damien Robitaille
Jacobus
Mehdi Cayenne
YAO

18. Export Ouest

Étienne Fletcher
Justin Lacroix
Ponteix
Rayannah
Shawn Jobin

19. Export Acadie

Caroline Savoie
Cy
Danny Boudreau
Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire
Vishtèn

20. Export Québec

AUTOMAT
Cherry Chérie
FolkloFolie
Klô Pelgag
Les Tireux d’Roches

21. Initiative artistique
LeFLOFRANCO – #HautesVibrations

William Burton – Le Réveil
Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta (RAFA) – Nouveau Monde
Le R Premier – Planète Urbaine
Buzz Fortin – Session Buzz Fortin

22. Vidéoclip

Étienne Fletcher – Chérie, Chéri (réalisation : little jack films et brandon white)
Jacobus – Ma vie c’est un movie (réalisation : STEREO Films)
Marie-Clo – Taudis (réalisation : Groupe Média TFO)
Rayannah – En attendant demain (réalisation : Rayannah)
Shawn Jobin – Éléphant (réalisation :  Xavier MC / Vandales)

23. Présence web

Céleste Levis
Damien Robitaille
JOLY
Les Rats d’Swompe
YAO

24. Conception visuelle

Aya Gano et Jeff Homère pour LeFLOFRANCO – Retranscrire
Christian Pelletier pour Mclean – Une dernière fois
Christian Pelletier et Marc Étienne Mongrain pour Damien Robitaille – Univers Parallèles
Élodie Evanno et Gabrielle Dubois pour Moonfruits – Ste-Quequepart
Gaëtan Vëno Joachim pour YAO – Lapsus

25. Réalisation et arrangements

Loig Morin pour Loig Morin – La Rivière
Mario Lepage pour Shawn Jobin – Éléphant
Mark Howard pour Cindy Doire – Panorama
Olivier Fairfield pour Marie-Clo – Faune
Olivier Fairfield et Simon Jutras pour Mclean – Une dernière fois

26. Prise de son et mixage

Don Benedictson pour Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire – Je deviens le loup
Don Benedictson pour Suzanne Kennelly – Suzanne Kennelly Jazz
Frédéric Levac et Marc-Antoine Joly pour Céleste Lévis – Donne-moi le temps
Loig Morin pour Loig Morin – La Rivière
Sébastien Perry et Stéphane Rancourt pour Mclean – Une dernière fois

27. Émission musicale télé ou web

Balade – Machine Gum Productions
Balade à Toronto IV – Machine Gum Productions
FrancoMusique – Roch et Catherine Archambault
Session Buzz Fortin – Buzz Fortin
Suivez-moi – Sabine Daniel Productions

28. Entreprise

36 Mille – Mathilde Hountchégnon
Intello-Productions inc. – Yaovi Hoyi
JKB Communications – José Bertrand
LaFab Musique – Michel Bénac– Nathalie Kleinschmit

29. Diffuseur

Centre Culturel Frontenac
Festival du Bois – Centre francophone de Maillardville
Festival Edmonton chante
Le Centre culturel francophone de Vancouver
MIFO

30. Prix bâtisseur

(nominations dévoilée le 26 mars)

31. Prix hommage

(récipiendaire annoncé.e le 26 mars)

Visit  Trille Or Here

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene -Sass Jordan Releases Her Own Brand of Kick Ass Wine

Is there anything Sass Jordan can’t do?

 

Singer, songwriter, actress, judge, wife and Mother -Sass’ tasks are unique and numerous. Yet why stop there?

Jordan (currently working on an album of new material), has somehow found the time to release her own brand of wine. Kick Ass Sass White 2016 and Kick Ass Sass Red 2017.

For Sass, Rock n Roll and wine go hand in hand. 

Please listen below to my chat with Sass about The Maples Inn, the reason for the wine and how the idea came about.

Sass? What’s up?

Visit Sass Here !

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Some of the Best Music Shows in January

Christmas is gone and New Year’s celebrations are fading into either good or bad memories.

The winter blues can be overtaken by getting out and socializing. Music is your dancing partner.

Here are just a few shows you may consider and click on the links to check out full schedules.

 

January 12 Panic! At The Disco 

Place Bell, Laval
7:00 PM

January 25th The Sheepdogs & The Damn Truth

MTELUS, Montreal
8:00 PM

January 26th Bryan Adams In Concert

Bell Centre, Montreal
8:00 PM

Visit Evenko Here!

 

 

January 17, 8 p.m. French Quarter

Enzo Carniel House of Echo / Florian Pellissier Quintet invite Roger Raspail / Bibi Tanga & The Selenites

L’Astral (Maison du Festival)

JAZZ ALL-YEAR ROUND

January 10th Taurey Butler Trio at 7pm.

People often comment on Taurey Butler’s resemblance to the young Oscar Peterson, in appearance as well as his winning combination of hard swing and melodic invention. Gratifying as it may be, he backs away from the compliment. There’s only one Oscar, he says. But there is no question that the one Oscar Peterson had a profound effect on Taurey’s life and his music.

 

House of Jazz

 

Snooksta and The Gangstas

January 30th 7pm 

Snooksta and The Gangstas

Snooky was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised in a small city called Woonsocket in Rhode Island. At the early age of 6, he began humming and singing songs to his mother while keeping the drumming beat going with his mouth. Even then, at that young age, music was in his bones. So, his journey began into the wonderful world of drumming. Upon arrival in Montreal, Quebec, he met an extremely talented and well known performer by the name of Freddy James. He later became his drummer and back-up vocalist in his dance R&B band, known as Fusion 3. For the next 6 to 7 years, they toured Japan, Africa, USA and Canada.

When the Freddy James era was over, he continued to successfully perform in night clubs, gospel choirs, and worked with other great musicians in studios. By the spring of 2010 he stayed in Montreal to work and finish writing another CD. He started playing regularly at the House of Jazz with Geraldine Hunt: His quartet,Snooksta and The Gangstas – became one of the headliners at the House of Jazz.

 

To Order Rickkeene2@gmail.com

 

If you love Live Blues – visit

Smoke Meat Pete.com

In February – check out Wave 21 Live Here !

One of Montreal’s Best young bands. Listen below to Interview !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Year in Review Part Seven

As the year wound down – the music wound up.

Dweezil Zappa, son of Frank – stopped by to chat about his upcoming Montreal show and the legacy of his Father. Given the notoriety of Frank Zappa’s humor in music and lyrics, it was interesting to hear Dweezil’s take on everything not funny. The genius of Frank as a guitar player, a writer, a producer and an engineer taking forefront of the chat. Zappa’s tune Bobby Brown was the summation of all parts for Dweezil noting that song was a Top Ten hit in Europe while North America banned it from radio play. Says Dweezil; ‘It was the most requested song on Valentine’s Day and at College and high school dances.’

Maybe it is time North America relaxed?

Local nurse Chantal Guimond released her dreams.

A Blues and Rock fan her entire life, Chantal put out a CD with covers of her favorite tunes as well as a couple of originals. Combined with a great backing band and a fantastic vocal range – Chantal ( who is retiring soon) has a nice career in front of her. Judging by the reaction of her first live appearance – sick people may have a different location to go and get healed.

Angela Harris took time to chat about her new album; A Woman Like Me. It is one of the purest ‘rootsy’ albums released in the past ten years in Canada. Combining Country, Folk and Rock with a powerful voice – Angela may be the most talented singer and songwriter in Canada. And – she has only really just begun.

Speaking of talented singer and songwriters – Barbra Lica is up to her tricks again. This time – Lica made a wrong turn and ended up putting out a superb Country disc. She went to a songwriter’s convention without knowing the folks who were putting it on were from Nashville. Well, as they say – the rest is history and Barbra released one of the best albums of her career thus far.

Joe Louis Walker ( friends with Hendrix and roommates with the late Mike Bloomfield) sat down to chat about his latest disc. Joe is always informative in his chats and not only educates with words, his new songs are always pushing the limits in terms of Gospel and R&B. A great album if you want to know where people like Beyonce really come from.

Ontario youngster Max Parker took time to chat about his new songs and subsequent upcoming studio album. Max – although acknowledging the Justin Bieber connection via age and location – quick to point out he is his own man. Catchy riffs and a more Bluesy feel than Bieber – Max will not be repeating Bieber’s mistakes if he gets that big. The internet can be a good thing sometimes …

Rock /Pop legend Alan Parsons took time to chat (albeit briefly) about his first album in twenty years. The engineer, producer, writer and performer also discussed his DVD that has been implemented in Universities as a must have learning tool for studio recording. He also spoke of his friend and mentor – the late Geoff Emerich ( Beatles) and what Geoff meant to him. A great chat with a man who worked on Abbey Road, Let It Be and Pink Foyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

John Muirhead knows how to become friends with musicians. Just release an album about playing gigs in different cities and sleeping wherever you end up. John’s disc is a the beginning of a career that will bring him to the highest places. Songwriting is new to him and now that he has discovered to sing about the truth and what he knows – the musical sky is the limit for John …

Reuben ( Reuben and The Dark) stopped by just before hitting the road and coming to Montreal from BC. The chat revolved around his unique style and observations as a songwriter. Balancing the ebbs and flows of human emotion. The dark and the lights within and without. The band crashed their van outside Calgary on the way here and luckily none were seriously injured but some equipment was destroyed. Opening act ( in Montreal) John Jacob Magistery – saved the day and loaned Reuben and his mates what they needed. The show went on and it was a lesson in the rides of life – literally and figuratively.

It would not be complete on Rick Keene Music Scene without an annual chat with Steve Hackett of Genesis fame. This time – Steve spoke of Genesis’ landmark album Selling England by the Pound. Steve will be performing the album in it’s entirety in September 2019 in Montreal. The history of recording that album is a must hear for Genesis fans as things aren’t always what they seem.

Andy Kim took time out to chat about his induction onto Canada’s Walk of Fame. Combined with a resurgence of late with a critically acclaimed album; Andy’s fame is on the rise for the second time in his life. One of Canada’s greatest songwriters bares his soul and honesty for being ‘lucky’ in his life. A very humble and decent man .

Montreal’s own Justin Saladino won the Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge this year. Following in the footsteps of Steve Hill, Dawn Tyler Watson / Ben Racine Band and The Paul Deslauriers Band – Justin should take Memphis by storm. Hot on the heels of his most complete album to date (A Fool’s Heart), Saladino should be Quebec’s next global Blues / Rock star along with Jordan Officer.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Year in Review Part Six

And the beat went on. And on … And on …

 

The weather cooled but the music did not.

Malcolm Bruce took time to speak of his band and what a band it is. Bruce is the son of legendary bass player Jack Bruce (Cream) and together with Eric Clapton’s nephew (Will Johns) and Ginger Baker’s son Kobi  – the trio are paying homage to Cream. But wait. it is not what you think. No cash grab here. In the words of Malcolm; ‘Most people know my Dad for Cream and that only lasted a couple of years. My job is to spread the generous legacy and body of work of my late dad.’

 

The Proclaimers stopped by Montreal and amazed everyone with their songwriting skills. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) is the song everyone loves but it is the Zombie-esque harmonies that set them apart and allow the twins to continue their musical path. One of  a few bands that get stronger as the show goes on.

Colin James took time out to chat about his new disc. Miles To Go is a throwback of the old Blues tunes that enamored the young James in the first place. James is continuing the trend among older Rockers ( Myles Goodwyn, The Stones, Randy Bachman)  to pay homage to the Blues greats and release a Blues cover CD.

Lindsay Beaver is a Nova Scotia native current;y absorbing her Blues / Country / Rockabilly chops in Nashville. Lindsay spoke of her first CD and subsequent American tour. A Canadian making waves as a songwriter, singer and drummer. Alligator record top man has personally embraced Lindsay which saying quite a bit.

Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion released a song (Holy Smoke) which is an indication of what very cool stuff is coming. Rather than release an EP or album – the band will be showcasing their stuff one song at a time. Not to be greedy but to market themselves. Their sound is a purposeful Muscle Shoals one and that live on the floor feeling knocks your socks off. Once you listen – all the ‘star’ bands in Montreal crumple with weakness.

Blues veteran Jack DeKeyzer took time to chat about his homage album to the Blues’ greats. Checkmate is the name of the disc and Jack is in fine form as he covers some of the greatest tunes in not only Blues history – Rock as well. 

How many people do you know that sell out stadiums and are the King ( musically) of their Country and then throw it all away for integrity?

Senri Oe of Japan is that guy. He was the darling of K Pop in Japan and was the Country’s equivalent of Michael Jackson. Senri loves Jazz so he  moved to America and went back to school to learn his Jazz chops. How cool is that ?

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Year in Review Part Five

And the beat went on …

2018 continued in August where it left off in July.

George Thorogood was back in Quebec for the second time in three months. Trois Rivieres en Blues was the setting this time around and the swagger returned. Thorogood was ‘safe’ at Place des Arts in Montreal and in Trois Rivieres; he discarded the condoms. Rock n Roll is dangerous and Lonesome George delivered.

Global Bluestrotter Harry Manx released an album with Canada’s best harp player Steve Marriner on board and Harry took time to chat about it. Marriner – fresh off touring with Colin James, adding an ingredient to Manx’ genius which complimented Harry’s style without taking anything away. Manx never sounded better.

TV’s Survivorman Les Stroud chatted about his new disc. A surprisingly sound album complete with menacing riffs and acute songwriting. Stroud’s insight into the environment taking control of the lyrics and musically, a blend of Neil Young and Bruce Cockburn  took place. A brilliant disc.

The lead singer of The Guess Who, Derek Sharp took time to discuss the first new Guess Who album in twenty years. Sharp (also the husband of Sass Jordan) co-wrote half of the tracks and co produced the album. A throwback Rock n Roll disc with swing. A relief in this day and age and proving once and for all – the ‘ old guys’ know how to do it …

Continuing The Guess Who trend – guitarist and producer Will Evankovich spoke of the new album and his role as principle songwriter. Will, a relative newcomer to the band, provided old school mentalities and astute precision to an album that was recorded on analog equipment. Will is hot considering he also co-wrote and produced Styx’ latest album The Mission.

Continuing the Canadian Blues legacy is one Spencer Mackenzie. The young lad from Ontario has already won New Artist of The Year at The Maple Blues Awards and his album’s musicianship is far above his age in quality. A must see prodigy live if there ever was one. Buy Spencer’s new disc Cold November and support Canadian artists.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Year in Review Part Four

The music kept coming.

The Montreal International Jazz Festival got underway and this year was a great mix for fans of all genres.

July

Gary Petersen – the original drummer for The Guess Who (and a man who started drumming before Rock n Roll’s heyday) took some time out to chat about his career and the future of The Guess Who. Petersen has never stopped playing for the band (he owns the name) and along with his mates; the first brand new Guess Who album in twenty years  hit the shelves in September. An educational chat for sure.

Lonesome George Thorogood took time to chat following the release of his first ever solo album (Party Of One) and previous to his show at The Montreal Jazz Festival and Trois Rivieres en Blues.

The word legend is tossed about too easily these days but not in George’s case.  He started his career busking and within three years opened for Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones.

Not too shabby.

Sometimes the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Mary -Lynn Doroschuk just happens to be the daughter of Stefan Doroschuk (Men Without Hats). Mary-Lynn has a new band called Wave 21. A Country -Alt unit filled with catchy tunes and classy riffs. A Montreal group to keep your ears on. A Montreal band that will only get bigger.

Joan Jett graced Place Bell along with Tesla and Styx.

Jett as powerful as ever with Punky licks and attitude while Tesla catered to the more Heavy minded fans in attendance. Styx – making their fourth appearance in Quebec in the past seven years commanded even more respect than before. They were hot and the night lasted longer than any Grand Illusion.

Beth Hart

If Beth Hart stayed home and sang lullabies to her kids, the world would be a much sadder place.

Hart and her trio were in Montreal for The Jazz Festival and Beth stole the hearts of everyone. Telling stories of her very dysfunctional upbringing between soaring vocals and soft balladry – Place des Arts was on the verge of a collective hanky giveaway.

On this planet – no female singer can reach into their souls so deep and raise the roof so high within a song. Multiply that by fifteen tunes and see how tired you are from a Beth Hart show.

Boz Scaggs

Boz was here as part of The Jazz Festival and what a surprise musician he turned out to be. Unless you were / are a huge fan or came from a certain decade, Boz (to the general music world) was a two hit wonder. Like many musicians from the 70s and even the 80s, the limelight and success don’t go hand in hand. Boz has more talent playing, singing and producing/ arranging than about 75% of those with hits before or since. Put that in your hat and smoke it.

Jordan Officer opened up for George Thorogood at Place des Arts as part of The Jazz Festival and blew the roof off the joint. Officer has turned the corner in his Blues comeback and had George’s Destroyers shaking in their boots. Trois Rivieres is Jordan’s latest record and it will be considered the turning point in a soon too be mammoth career.

Ranee Lee

Easily the concert of the year in Montreal. 

Lee’s husband / musical mentor Richard passed away the morning of her Jazz Festival show and for most artists – the plug would have been pulled. Not only did Ranee perform, she outperformed any of the numerous award winning shows she had done before. Emotions were high (the crowd knew of the circumstances) yet Ranee used the emotion to grow stronger with each song. The concert will go down as one of  the greatest  in Montreal music history.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Year in Review Part Three

Half way through the year – the music kept coming.

The folks at The Montreal International Jazz Festival announced their line up and the stage was set ( so to speak).

June

Jann Arden was in town and at this point in her musical career – she is the Elton John of Canadian women.

The hits and the magic within new tunes are gone and she is relying on her past glories to fill joints around the Country. Thankfully, she is a very funny woman and the banter alone is worth half the price of admission. Add the hits from twenty years ago – you get fully what you paid for.

East of Sunday – Carvin Jones

Blues guitarist extraordinaire Carvin Jones made his first appearance in Montreal and local band East of Sunday opened up.

Jones is a monster on guitar and his showmanship – second to none. Think Buddy Guy without the powerful voice. East of Sunday are poised to take the Montreal Rock throne away from The Damn Truth. Look out this coming summer as both Carvin and East of Sunday will hit the road with heat.

Paul Young / Midge Ure

Paul Young was one of the biggest stars of the 1980’s video wave and Ure co-wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas for Band Aid. Ure was also the leader of Ultravox and a member of Thin Lizzy among other things.

Ure and Young held a double bill at Club Soda and only one showed up.

Ure was fine as he gained strength with his tunes – hits and all. Young, on the other hand was, well … old. Paul stumbled through a set continually struggling to hit notes and stay in key. When he did get in sync – his voice was weak. A sign of the end or an off night? Things that make you go hmmm …

Dr. Lonnie Smith

The good doctor ( the most sought after Hammond B3 player in all genres) put on a clinic at Le Gesu. Fifty years in the spotlight and recording with the who is who of music has enabled Smith to assume command over the audience, his band-mates and his instrument. Anyone who witnesses a Smith performance – is blessed.

Aram Demirjian

Conductor Demirjian sat down and spoke of his upcoming Montreal gig with Dreamworks Animation. The gig is a full orchestra playing the soundtrack live of DreamWorks classics such as Shrek and How To Train Your Dragon.

In the beginning of cinema, live orchestras were the only form of sound for a viewing audience. To witness and hear the experience in 2018 is a welcome change to digital dust.

Cecile Mclorant- Salvant

The second best female singer walking the planet ( Lisa Fischer would be first) put on a lesson in vocals. Adding all the great ingredients from all the great Jazz ladies ( Holiday, James, Fitzgerald) and her own unique voice, Salvant is the driver. Complete command of everything and she is’ just starting out’. A must see concert if you must see.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

If there ever was a female artist who did all for ‘art’s sake’- it is Gainsbourg. The actress / composer / songwriter / singer / writer / painter and poet lays all her emotions on her sleeve.

Her show at MTelus was not for the non intellects. Combining electronica and common place rythym with her piano sensibility is mesmerizing to the punters. Her fan base is devoted, loyal and safe to say; artistic.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – 2018 Year in Review – Part One.

What a year it was …

Twelve months have come and gone quicker than a man / woman looking for a one night stand. That’s what happens when music is in the air and in your soul.

Let’s take a look back shall we? Let us revisit the musical past of 2018.

January

Big Wreck celebrated twenty years as a band with a bang on show at The Corona. The loyal fans were not disappointed by the raw Rock / Alternative. /Grunge tunes spun by lead singer and principal songwriter Ian Thornley.

Canadian Country Star Tim Hicks was in town with a new album and injecting some much needed exposure of Country music to Quebec. The Country scene in this province is kinda underground yet Hicks brought the fans from behind their barns and into the spotlight.

Former Genesis guitar man Steve Hackett was in town in what appears as almost an annual event. The love affair between Hackett / Genesis and this province has never been more amorous as Hackett et al performed the Genesis catalog along with his solo stuff.

February

Kim Churchill, aka the man from Down Under, has more talent in his finger than the majority of ‘your top forty’ radio stars. Kim was in town promoting his new album and it was the second time in three years Kim was touring Quebec. The provincial love affair is nearing Steve Hackett territory.

Devon Cuddy (son of Jim) and his Devon Cuddy Band were in Montreal promoting their new EP. Devin is a chip of the old ‘Rodeo’ and just may surpass Dad in success due to his songwriting and piano playing (without the help of Greg Keelor).

Pianist Mike Jones released a magical album with a magician. Jones – happens to be the piano player for Las Vegas act Penn and Teller. Jones convinced Penn to record an album. Jones took four hours of his time to speak of the album, his favorite piano players (of all time) and Jazz in general. One of the most informative chats I have been privy to.

Montrealer Sule Heitner released an album and took some time to chat about it. Sule is one of the most talented guitar players playing in Montreal and his smooth voice and songwriting are a tip of the hat to old school R & B.

Eastern town-shipper and Blues veteran Mike Goudreau released an album of alternative takes. Songs that were there (but not really) all rolled into a pure Blues (and fun album). Goudreau also spoke of his success selling music to Hollywood.

Model / actress/ songwriter / singer Carla Bruni was at L’Olympia sporting her new album. Mick Jagger’s former squeeze and former first lady of France put on a bilingual show complete with a cover of Jagger / Richards’ Miss You. Serenity ruled with often humorous banter from this talented lady.

March

The most talented and adventurous student of The Blues in Quebec – Jordan Officer released an album entitled Three Rivers. Adding fiddle to his arsenal – Officer’s foray into his first love (The Blues) continues it’s assent to the highest peaks.

Inspired by the #MeToo movement – Rosie and The Riveters released an album to empower women and to also tell some sordid stories of their own. This Western Canadian – based trio make toes tap and hearts sing with pure music. A lot of tongue-in- cheek humor gets the message across also.

Montreal writer and author Kristian Gravenor has unearthed quite a few tales of the Montreal music scene in his book; Montreal 375 Tales of Eating, Drinking, Living and Loving.

On any given evening, a music lover could walk downtown Montreal and visit numerous clubs. All of them hosting bands and / or DJs. You wanted Jazz? No problem. Rock n Roll? Check out Kristian’s labor of love.

Canadian legend Kim Mitchell was in Quebec city because he is Kim Mitchell. Kim took some time to chat before his show and what a show it was. Timeless tunes and Canadian wit ruled the night with a soda in hand …

Bluesman Jack Broadbent was in town at L’Astral strutting his acoustic stuff. Very few men or woman take the time to understand and learn to play The Blues with conviction and place the likes of Robert Johnson in their pockets. Broadbent is the next generation of Blues-men who do it for the right reasons.

Canadian Music Hall of Fame member and front-man for April Wine Myles Goodwyn, released a solo album filled with the Blues and special guests. Myles proved that his first love in music will give him ‘miles’ to go in his career after (if) April Wine calls it a day. A two part chat revealed much about the man who remains an enigma to many.

Former Bostonian-turned-Montrealer-turned-New York-er Emma Frank released an album which may be one of the best of 2018. Ocean Av is the name and songwriting is Emma’s game. The album helped return Emma to Montreal as part of The Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Stay tuned for Part Two of 2018 In Review !

If You Like What I do – please donate here to help me support music.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Musical Christmas Gifts

Tis the season to be musical.

 

Here are a few options or gifts to place under the Christmas tree. If you like what I do – then donate here and give me a gift too!

The Damn Truth

Two concerts in January are ‘not be missed’.

January 25th sees Montreal’s own The Damn Truth along with The Sheepdogs. A double bill which will shake away the post- Christmas cobwebs.

January 26th sees Bryan Adams at The Bell Center. If you have never seen him live or think ‘what’s he done lately?’ – buying a ticket to a three hour sing a long is a must.

Visit Evenko for both shows.

Sheldon Kagan’s Memoirs

Retired Montreal DJ, promoter and all round music guru Sheldon Kagan has written a book detailing all his memories from a musical life unmatched. Whether it is an unsavory meeting with Miles Davis or an ‘almost superstar concert’ quashed by an unexpected death – Sheldon delivers a life story which every music lover must read.

Get Sheldon’s Book Here

 

Steve Creep Shows

Music does not need to be a ticketed item. A musician does not need to be a global star to warrant accolades. Montrealer Steve Creep is the hardest working musician in Montreal. His acoustics and band sets take place seven nights a week in places such as Brutopia and various McKibbons outlets (among others). Very few musicians have such a vast knowledge and repertoire of all genres. Steve is so good – former Montreal Canadien Tomas Plekanec sought Steve out following many Canadiens’ home games. Buy a beer or two, have a meal and support Mr. Creep.

Follow Steve Here !

2019 Blue Note at Sea

 

On January 26th for seven days you will cruise through locations including Nassau, The Bahamas, Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Key West, Florida.

The line-up on this cruise is a joint effort of Blue Note president Don Was and Blue Note Jazz Clubs president Steven Bensusan. Joining Kosins on the bill is Marcus Miller, Robert Glasper, David Sanborn, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Logan Richardson, Luques Curtis, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Elling, José James, Christian Scott, Terence Blanchard, Jason Moran, Kandace Springs, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Marienthal, Ben Williams, Taylor McFerrin, Terrace Martin, Derrick Hodge, Geoffrey Keezer, and many more! There will be various venues of different size, with main shows played twice nightly in the ship’s largest venue.

Blue Note at Sea Info Here 

 

New Kentucky Headhunters CD

Grammy-winning Southern rockers The Kentucky Headhunters are back on Alligator with Live At The Ramblin’ Man Fair, a raucous live album recorded in front of 25,000 screaming fans at the UK’s famed rock festival. In addition to the full live set, the album features three bonus studio tracks from the legendary Meet Me In Bluesland sessions featuring the late Johnnie Johnson, known for his seminal piano work on Chuck Berry’s most influential and famous songs.

Live At The Ramblin’ Man Fair features an adrenaline-fueled set list with the Headhunters at the top of their game at their first-ever UK performance. Mixing six high-energy originals, searing blues rockers and a thunderous take on The Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down, the Headhunters have never sounded more intense and fun.

Closing out the album are three recently discovered tracks featuring Rock &’ Roll Hall of Famer Johnnie Johnson on piano with the band, boldly underscoring the Kentucky Headhunters’ deep blues chops and Johnnie’s mastery of rockin’ piano.

Visit The Kentucky Headhunters Here!

 

Jess Mosaluke Christmas Album

Not only is Jess Canadian, she is also the heir to Shania Twain’s Country throne. Jess has won most Country awards lately and she treks into Christmas territory with an album filled with her favorites growing up. As roots as a  Christmas album will get.

Visit Jess Here !

David Myles Christmas Album

 

Not only is David Myles one of the best vocalists and songwriters in Canada – he also owns one of the largest hearts. Every year David puts on Christmas shows in malls in Nova Scotia and raises money for the less fortunate. Backed by his excellent album; It’s Christmas, a must see show and a must buy album.

Visit David Here !

Merry Christmas and Follow Me For More Christmas Ideas All Year Round.

If You Like What I do – please donate here to help me support music.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – There Is ‘No Woman’ Like Angela Harris

It is all about the roots after all …

Angela Harris knows all about the ‘roots’ of music. It is in her blood and DNA. In fact – Bluegrass and Country were all around her as a child …

Please listen below to my chat with Angela about her new disc;

A Woman Like Me.

Angela? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Angela Here !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Rock for Dimes This Friday !

Raising money for the March of Dimes via Rock n Roll.

Pretty cool …

Hosting Rock for Dimes 2014

Every year in several Canadian cities – corporate guys and gals get together and put on a Rock show.

This year, in Montreal – the event takes place on November 16th at The Corona Theater. It promises to be a night to remember and another big total of money raised for the March of Dimes Canada.

Please listen below to my chat with Marc Dore – chairperson for Rock of Dimes Montreal.

Marc? What’s up?

Visit Rock for Dimes Here

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Hey Dweezil! Where Did You Find That One? Concert Review

How do you describe Frank Zappa’s music?

Easy. A blend of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Genesis, Yes, Rush, The Ramones, The Kinks, the Beatles and every artist between 1920 until present day.

Frank Zappa’s brilliance as a writer, producer, arranger, guitar player and every other position within an intellectual realm artistically and socially was put on display via Dweezil Zappa in Laval last night. Epic could be the best way to describe the evening.

The Purple Lagoon, Andy and Don’t You Want a Man Like Me opened things up along with the punter’s minds who were not far behind in realizing music exists beyond corporate radio. The name of this tour is Choice Cuts. An insight into the non commercial world of Frank Zappa. Given Frank’s songs were mostly non radio friendly, choosing ‘choice’ tracks should be easy.

Think again …

Firstly – Dweezil’s Muthas are not your Father’s band. When each player within a band could headline on their own – something special is on the way. Dweezil himself – one of the finest guitar players ‘off the beaten path’ and an astute songwriter to boot. Detach the Zappa moniker and all it’s expectations – Dweezil could very well be in the same breath as Vai, Satriano et al. in the mainstream conscientiousness. Frank probably would want it this way and ensure the Zappa legacy maintains musical integrity.

As the show moved along – perhaps the ladies initially stole the show. Vocalist Cian Coey and multi – instrumentalist Scheila Gonzalez were on fire. Frank Zappa’s tunes contained whimsical female voices along with serious style. Both Scheila and Cian added their parts with conviction. Cian alone – stealing the spotlight throughout the evening with power, finesse and grace. An indication the ‘top forty’ radio female vocalists are nowhere near the best. Scheila no slouch either as her vocals more than impressed and her Sax playing otherworldly. Frank would be proud.

Call Any Vegetable, Tell Me You Love Me and T’Mershi Duween. Three more tunes which only the die hard Frank fans know aside from the band.

Drummer Ryan Brown, bassist Kurt Morgan, Chris Norton on keys and guitarist / vocalist Adam Minkoff were on the same bus. Travelling the Zappa songbook at light-speed. Shining alone when called upon and perfectly in sync with grooves as sweet as the most perfect five hour Funk jam. The completeness allowing Dweezil to do his thang.

Steve Vai was one of Dweezil’s teachers back in the day. Frank Zappa was one of Dweezil’s muses. Dweezil has worked with every guitar player worth their weight in gold. Nothing could go wrong within a solo and Dweezil’s own curiosity to grow as an artist – adds to the special moments when Dweezil takes the spotlight.

Suzy Creamcheese, Valley Girl, Zoot Allures, Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow and Joe’s Garage – the show and the intensity continued.

Serious musicians playing serious licks. Only the students of music can understand and appreciate Dweezil’s (The Muthas) take on his Father’s songs. Only serious students of music can appreciate Frank Zappa and his genius.

They can describe Frank Zappa’s music …

Visit Dweezil Here !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Jake Burns Still Has ‘Stiff Little Fingers’

Some bands fall through the cracks as far as recognition goes. Stiff Little Fingers are one of those bands.

Born at the height of Punk music’s global popularity, the band emerged from a Country that was not known for Rock music.

‘I have no doubt there were many talented musicians and songwriters in Ireland …” Says original and current member and songwriter Jake Burns. ” Due to the fear factor of losing jobs (that were few and far between) and the non acceptance of Northern Ireland musicians due to the political unrest in Ireland, sadly many chose or were forced to stay put.”

Stiff Little Fingers, a group of schoolboy friends formed in 1977. A time when groups such as The Ramones and The Sex Pistols were gaining momentum. It was another band however which many comparisons were made.

“Everyone kept telling us we sounded like The Clash and we were asked if they were a huge influence.” Says Burns on the eve of their November 10th show in Montreal. “We never really spoke with the guys from The Clash and wondered if they took us as a threat or admired us.”

Four albums in three years starting in 1979 saw the band emerge as a voice of unrest for not only the people of Ireland – the entire world. Punk music and Stiff Little Fingers were affecting fans and non fans alike.

“When I started writing songs, I had a little difficulty coming up with ideas and they were forced’ Says Burns. ” I spoke with someone and once I realized it is important to write what you know – that is when things changed for me as a songwriter and the band.

Stiff Little Fingers then suffered the same fate as many bands. Knowing each other for so long and being on the road and always together, the fighting started.

” All these years later, in hindsight – all we needed to do was to take a step back and we would have been fine …” Admits Jake. ” It was not about dislike, it was about the stress of the business and a lot of pressure to maintain a band.”

In 1987, following a hiatus and Jake partaking in a solo effort and collaborations, Stiff Little Fingers reunited and despite the words of the music business; The Fingers embarked on what would become a very successful tour in Germany to sold out crowds. Burns and the band have never looked back.

Burns

Since their reformation, Stiff Little Fingers have released six albums with the last being the critically acclaimed 2014’s ‘No Going Back’.

Jake Burns still follows the recipe of writing what he knows for success.

” I went through some major life changes such as a divorce and relocation to a different continent and I did not think anyone would want to listen to a middle age guy sing about a mid-life crisis and divorce. Luckily I was wrong …”

Stiff Little Fingers are in Montreal Saturday night November 10th at Foufounes Electriques.

Get Tickets Here !

Visit Stiff Little Fingers Here

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Reuben and The Dark; A Musical Success For Album Number Two

Rarely does a band come along which evokes feelings of hope within despair. Reuben and The Dark are that band.

Just five years in and (now) two albums under their belts, Reuben and the Dark are setting Canada on fire as they tour the vastness.

Arms of a Dream is their latest recorded offering and in 2014 they released their ‘rookie’ disc; Funeral Sky.

Please listen below to my chat with Reuben Bullock about the new disc and hear some great tunes !

Reuben? What’s up?

Visit Reuben Here !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Barbra Lica Is ‘A Little Bit Country’ On Her New Album

The word Jazzify is now a new thing …

Barbra Lica is one of the fastest -rising Jazz singers in Canada. Her last album – I’m Still Learning’, gained Barbra a Juno nomination for best Jazz album.

Stick to Jazz Barbra! Right?

Wrong.

By mistake – Barbra stumbled into Country music while learning her songwriting craft. The rest is present-day history.

Please listen below to my chat with Barbra and hear some great tunes from the new album; You’re Fine.

Barbra? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Barbra Here !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – A Zappa Doesn’t Fall Far From The Zappa Tree. PART TWO

Frank Zappa was all about artistic integrity. His son Dweezil is also …

Authenticity within sound is crucial to creating and delivering the art of music. Both Zappas live by that credo.

Please listen below to  Part Two of my chat with Dweezil Zappa as we chat about various topics including Frank Zappa’s foreshadowing. 

Dweezil? What’s up?

 

Visit Dweezil Here !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – A Zappa Doesn’t Fall Far From The Zappa Tree.

Playing guitar very well must be a DNA thing …

Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil, is a chip off the old block even though it is not sought out. Call it instinct, call it learned behavior or call it genetic – the artistic blood does circulate and will eventually come out in layered colors.

Please listen below to  Part One of my chat with Dweezil Zappa. Topics include his Dad, his guitar playing and many other interesting tidbits. Stay tuned for Part Two. 

Dweezil? What’s up?

 

Visit Dweezil Here !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Local Nurse Chantal Guimond Realizes Her Dreams

A nurse has one of the most stressful  jobs in Montreal.

Chantal Guimond knows this very well. A veteran of nursing for thirty years. -music has always been her source of relaxation following a hard shift.

Creating music has always been a dream and now Chantal has obtained step one. A CD and an official launch just the beginning of what may be a post retirement career.

Please listen below to my chat with Chantal and hear some great tunes!

Chantal?

 

Visit Chantal Here !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Ladies and Gentlemen; The Winner of The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge Justin Saladino

Only the good die young …

The Blues are steeped in tradition of making deals with the Devil at the crossroads. Bad in the Blues is a good thing.

Justin Saladino and his band were the baddest thing on stage Tuesday night as they competed and won The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge. The next step? Conquering the biggest Blues stage in the world.

Please listen below to my chat with Justin about the win and his steadfast work ethic to be better all the time.

Justin? What’s up?

Visit Justin Here !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Chris Velan is No ‘Amateur’ on Latest Album

Montreal singer and songwriter Chris Velan has it right.

His latest album contains lyrics so human, so profound and so unique – the only thing missing is an old landline telephone.

 

Please listen below as Chris explains ‘Amateur Hour’ among other things.

Chris? What’s up?

 

Visit Chris Here !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Five Finalists for The Quebec to Memphis Blues Challenge 2018

Every year someone heads to Memphis …

This year is no different.

Five bands have been chosen as the finalists in 2018. Five different sounds all within the confines of the Blues formula. Different but with the very familiar sound which propelled the legends of Rock n Roll to super-stardom.

Have a listen below to five songs from five artists. Can you choose a winner?

 

Visit the Montreal Blues Society Here !

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Joe Louis Walker; Every True Bluesman Tells a Story …

Joe Louis Walker understands the Blues …

The guitar player was around to witness the Blues being introduced to California in the late sixties and the early seventies. Being privy to guys like Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield.

Please listen below to my chat with Joe about Mike Bloomfield’s influence on The Blues scene and Joe’s new record; JourneysTo The Heart Of The Blues

Joe? What’s up?

 

Visit Joe Here !

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rick Keene Music Scene – Kyra Shaughnessy; A Breath of Fresh Music Air …

Sit back and escape …

Leaving the fast paced digital age behind is something Kyra Shaughnessy wants to pass on to listeners through her music.

On her fifth release – the (now) resident of the Eastern Townships has matured into a comfortable artistic place. Combining all previous learning curves into a beautiful arc.

Please listen below to my chat with Kyra about her new album Standing Still.

Kyra what’s up?

Visit Kyra Here !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.