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February 2020

Mark Godfrey – “Square Peg” CD Release Tour!

Feb 22: Studio 242 Recital Hall, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Feb 26: The Rex Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
Feb 27: The Rex Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
Feb 28: The Upstairs Jazz Club, Montreal, Quebec
Feb 29: The National Arts Center, Fourth Stage, Ottawa, Ontario
Mar 6: The Jazz Room, Waterloo, Ontario

Allison Au: alto saxophone
Matt Woroshyl: tenor saxophone
Chris Pruden: piano
Mark Godfrey: bass
Nick Fraser: drums

The minivan: a timeless icon that evokes memories ranging from little-league baseball games to nation-wide music tours. Square Peg is bassist and composer Mark Godfrey’s first full-length album, and it hits harder than the sliding door on your family caravan.

Named the 2019 Emerging Jazz Artist by the Toronto Arts Foundation, Mark has firmly secured himself in the fabric of the jazz idiom in Canada. Square Peg is Mark’s second release as a leader and features nine original compositions for jazz quintet and one original piece for solo bass. Joining Mark on this album are four of his longtime collaborators: saxophonists Allison Au and Matt Woroshyl, pianist Chris Pruden, and  drummer Nick Fraser.

Square Peg is a collection of compositions that span four years of Mark’s life during which he found himself living in Toronto and New York. Naturally, the most efficient form of travel between these two cities with a double bass was his 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, Jean Claude Van Tan. The reflection that occurred during these drives sparked creativity and ideas for Mark that ultimately resulted in this album. The music on Square Peg connects Mark to his family and friends, both cities, and the deep tradition of jazz performance that informs and inspires his voice as an artist.

From the ethereal and ambient opening of Black Stars to the raw, acoustic solo performance of Bucket List, Square Peg takes the listener on a joyride that is both turbulent and relaxing and thoroughly engaging from start to finish. Buckle up.

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February 22 @ 7:00 pm - March 6 @ 11:30 pm
Ontario and Quebec, Canada

Shuffle Demons “Crazy Time” CD Release!

Doors: 6:30pm

2 sets starting at 8pm

Toronto’s iconic musical magicians the Shuffle Demons are excited to release their 9th album, Crazy Time. Their first studio album in 6 years, Crazy Time features 10 new original Shuffle Demons songs, 7 instrumental and 3 vocal that run the stylistic gamut, from hard driving instrumental modern jazz, to vocal driven funk rap, to blues.

The record introduces virtuosic newcomer Matt Lagan on tenor sax and bass legend Mike Downes to the Shuffle Demons universe, alongside veteran demons Kelly Jefferson, Stich Wynston, and Richard Underhill. In celebration of the band’s 35th anniversary, original band members Mike Murley and Jim Vivian are welcomed back in to the fold to work their magic on 5 of the album’s 10 tracks. This is a dynamic new recording that features in-from-the-outside writing, virtuosic playing, and that classic 3 horns and rhythm Shuffle Demons sound.

One of Canada’s hardest touring bands, the Shuffle Demons recorded Crazy Time between tours of Central America, New Zealand and Australia, and the Canadian jazz festival circuit. Long time Shuffle Demons listeners will find modern jazz instrumentals alongside the classic Bop/Rap vocal tunes that have comprised the band’s repertoire for 35 years. Nine of the 10 songs were written by Juno award winner Richard Underhill and one by Kelly Jefferson. The album was recorded by iconic engineer Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music and produced, mixed and mastered by Jono Grant at Victory Drive Music.

www.shuffledemons.com

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February 27 @ 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St W
Toronto, ON M6J 1T9 Canada

LOCAL TALENT – ‘Higienópolis’ Album Release!

James Hill  – Piano and Keyboards
Rich Brown – Electric Bass
Ian Wright – Drums

LOCAL TALENT combines 3 of Canada’s most eminent instrumentalists performing together on record for the first time. The group is lead by composer and keyboardist James Hill, a rising star of the Toronto scene, known best for his work with international  jazz and hip hop sensations BADBADNOTGOOD and Autobahn Trio. Accompanying him are electric bassist Rich Brown (Rinse The Algorithm, Dapp Theory, Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa) and drummer Ian Wright (one of Hill’s Autobahn Trio bandmates, and one of his earliest collaborators.)

The concept for this project came to Hill while he was travelling in Brazil: the majority of the works were composed during a stay in the Higienópolis neighbourhood of São Paulo. Moved by the world’s ongoing issues of economic disparity, and completely enthralled with Brazil’s abundance of artistic and musical talent, Hill was inspired to explore new musical directions. Higienópolis’ musical themes present a tableau of stark contrasts, ranging from dark, melancholic motifs to bright, yet eerily apprehensive anthems.

This album is a debut of sorts for Hill: it’s his first full-length release as a group’s sole composer and director. Aesthetically, Hill’s ensemble is grounded in the improvisational realm of jazz music, though sonically, their reach is expansive, with elements that bring to mind ambient music, Classical, Brazilian pop, and fusion. The tongue in cheek name LOCAL TALENT serves as a reminder to audiences that wherever you are in the world, the odds are you’re surrounded by a wealth of artistic ability. With this album, Hill shines a light on the rich local talents of his adopted home town of  Toronto, Canada.

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February 28 @ 9:00 pm - February 29 @ 12:00 am
The Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W
Toronto, Ontario Canada
March 2020

Mark Segger: “Lift Off” CD Release in Toronto!

The weightless feeling of release when an airplane’s wheels leave the pavement; the moment in a concert when time suddenly slows to a halt, transporting the listener to another dimension; an out of body experience that leaves a performer feeling as though they’re in the audience, watching themselves improvise on stage. These experiences – simultaneously otherworldly and familiar – helped inspire Lift Off, the second recording by the Mark Segger Sextet.
Founded in 2008, Segger’s group features a top shelf selection of Toronto’s most accomplished improvisors. The project has been a common thread in the output of bandleader Mark Segger, who is currently based out of Edmonton where he is a doctoral Killam Scholar in composition at the University of Alberta. Segger has performed in jazz rooted scenarios with the likes of Allison Au, Lina Allemano, Jane Bunnett, Dave Burrell, Steve Swell, and Nate Wooley, among many others.
Much of this music was written in the two weeks leading up to the recording session, after a tour playing improvised music in Europe. Segger’s music reflects a wide range of creative interests, from the swing of Mel Lewis and his jazz orchestra to the genre expanding string quartet writing by composers like Bartok and Ligeti (heard clearly on For the Bees.) Bees also nods to the “insect music” of the 1960’s British Free Improvisation scene. An affinity for Berlin’s Echtzeitmusik tradition is apparent on the piece One Note.
Lift Off is a giant leap forward for Segger’s group, and is sure to become a touchstone recording in Canada’s jazz and creative music history.

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March 29 @ 10:00 pm - March 30 @ 12:00 am
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Avenue
Toronto, ON
April 2020

Peter Campbell – ‘Old Flames Never Die’ CD Release!

Peter Campbell: vocals
Adrean Farrugia: piano
Reg Schwager: acoustic & electric guitars
Ross MacIntyre: bass
Kevin Turcotte: trumpet & flugelhorn
Michael Occhipinti: electric guitar & effects

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April 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St.
Toronto, ON M5B 1T8 Canada
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