Beth McKenna – Beyond Here

Beth McKenna – Beyond Here

September 12, 2021

Beth McKenna: saxophone, flute, clarinet
Guillaume Martineau: piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer
François Jalbert: guitar, effects
Olivier Babaz: electric and upright bass
Peter Colantonio: drums
Sarah Rossy: voice

Born in Nova Scotia and a Montrealer since 2008, Beth McKenna is one of Montreal’s most versatile saxophonists, bandleaders, and composers. A Prix Opus Laureate (Concert of the Year – Jazz/World Music) and a 2-time finalist for Revelations Radio-Canada (Jazz), Beth has studied with a wide range of jazz music’s top voices, including Christine Jensen, Darcy James Argue, Jim McNeely, Rémi Bolduc, John Roney, and Chet Doxas.

Written almost entirely prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, McKenna’s new album Beyond Here was inspired by the impact we as humans have on the world around us. From conflict and climate change, to the fusion of North American culture with global influences, Beyond Here is pure energy from start-to-finish, pushing a sense of urgency to reflect on where we stand with our planet, and how our actions can echo far beyond the present.

This album mixes a wide range of influences: from Pat Metheny to Brad Mehldau, Snarky Puppy to Jacob Collier, and from Pink Floyd to the Brian Blade Fellowship. As a composer, McKenna writes with plenty of room for improvisation and spontaneous musical conversation, with a diverse pallet of colours and shifting rhythmic textures in each piece. As the album weaves from darker to more upbeat moments, McKenna’s unique through-composed approach to writing breaks through traditional jazz forms, creating a strong narrative that runs through the album from start to finish.

Release Date: Friday, October 22nd 2021

Release Concert: October 27th at L’Astral