Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra: Voices – A Musical Heritage

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra: Voices – A Musical Heritage

November 12, 2022

Personnel (*soloist)
Soprano Sax: Neil Watson (6*, 7*)
Alto Sax: Neil Watson (10*); Sean Irvine (1-5, 7);
Connor Derraugh (6, 8-10)
Tenor Sax: Paul Balcain (1-5, 7*); Niall Cade (3*, 6*, 9*);
Monica Jones (6, 8-10)
Baritone Sax: Lauren Teterenko (1-5, 7);
Kyle Wedlake (1-3, 6, 8-10)
Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Shane Hicks (lead); Matthew Walden; Richard Gillis (1*, 7*) Andrew Littleford (8*, 9*)
Trombone: Francois Godere; Joel Green (7*, 8*, 9*);
Jeff Presslaff (5*); Isabelle LaVoie (bass tbn.)
Piano: Will Bonness (1*, 3*, 5*, 6*, 8*)
Guitar: Larry Roy (1*, 4*, 6, 7); Marco Castillo (8);
Henry Onwuchekwa (6)
Bass: Gilles Fournier (1-5, 7); Karl Kohut (8, 9*,10);
Henry Onwuchekwa (6)
Drums: Fabio Ragnelli
Percussion: Victoria Sparks (7); Marco Castillo (6, 8);
Henry Onwuchekwa (6)
Congas & Cajón: Rodrigo Muñoz (4)
Conductor: Richard Gillis

Voices – A Musical Heritage is the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra’s sixth release since their inception in 1997. This album is a collection of commissions from eight jazz composers meant to reflect some of Manitoba’s musical heritage: First Nations, Metis, Ukrainian, Jewish, Chilean, Brazilian, Nigerian and Icelandic. 

Beginning with The Parallel Steppes, John Stetch’s creative three movement suite reimagines Ukrainian folk songs using chorale textures, fugue-like sections and exciting up-tempo swing. Throughout the album, the WJO weaves its way through the imaginations of each composer: an homage to Victor Jara in Rodrigo Muñoz’s Homenaje; an exploration of the ancient pentatonic scale in Jeff Presslaff’s The Living Mind; a celebration of community with Henry Onwuchekwa’s Oriri; sweeping, icy landscapes and folk music in Richard Gillis’s Shadows; Marco Castillo’s plea for protecting our Earth in Choro para Amazônia; the magical northern skies in Andrew Belfour’s Ishpiming; and the driving, relentless pursuit of Michelle Gregoire’s The Bison Hunt.

Release Date: Friday, December 9th 2022