Wednesday, April 20, 2016

CANADA: Beth McKenna Jazz Orchestra – Home - Montreal (2016)

An original jazz-rock fusion, 8-movement suite inspired by multiple distinct and unique places in the city of Montreal, "Home: Montréal" is a monumental and epic work written for the Beth McKenna Jazz Orchestra for a 2016 premiere.

Home: Montréal is a monumental work which takes the listeners on a unique visit of Montréal without leaving their seats. Inspired by jazz, rock, contemporary pop, fusion, R&B, film genre, orchestral music and indie genres, Beth and her ensemble of 18 of the most versatile professional musicians in Montreal's jazz community deliver a powerful, riveting and epic yet inspired illustration of their city. This ensemble also has a representative and diverse cross-section of the Montreal music community as well!

From the Plateau Mont-Royal, to the developmental process of the Olympic Stadium with Montreal as a competitive world stage, to the chaos of the Montreal downtown, to the gentrification and rapid development of the Quartier Lachine Canal/St. Henri area --- Beth McKenna Jazz Orchestra will be performing the world premiere of this brand new suite, that illustrates the rich, spontaneous, diverse and colourful tapestry which is Montreal.

As a jazz orchestra composer and artist, Beth strives to bring jazz and contemporary big band repertoire back to the mainstream---to re-engage audiences and to attract listeners back to jazz as a genre, pulling her unique writing style away from swing, bebop and straight ahead jazz, greatly influenced by many composers including Brad Mehldau, Maria Schneider, Pat Metheny, Donny McCaslin, David Binney, Christine Jensen, Darcy James Argue and Radiohead.

Beth has studied and collaborated in her work over the past years via grants from the CALQ, with renowned award-winning jazz composers including Jim McNeely, Darcy James Argue (NYC), Christine Jensen and John Roney (Montreal), with connections as well to multiple GRAMMY award winner Maria Schneider---who helped shape Beth's formation as a jazz composer and the creation of this suite, and saxophonists Rémi Bolduc, Chet Doxas and Donny Kennedy.

Home: Montréal features Grand Prix du Jazz 2015 (Festival internationale de Jazz de Montréal) winner, Rachel Therrien, Trumpet soloist. (As well as soloists including Alexandre Dion, Annie Dominque, Claire Devlin - Saxophones, Art Kovalchuk - Trumpet, François Jalbert - Guitar, and Jonathan Turgeon - Keyboard/Piano).

Home: Montréal was made possible thanks to funding from the Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Quebec's "Grants for Up-and-Coming Artists: Music" 2013-14, 2014-15.

Public Choice Awards after launching "START" in 2015--:
#3 - "Montreal Jazz Artist of the Year" (2015)
#5 - "Best Jazz Act" CultMtl (2015)

Musical Director/Composer:
Beth McKenna

Alexandre Dion
Genevieve Gauthier
Annie Dominique
Claire Devlin
Paul Carter

Dominic Rossi
Frederic Bourgeault
Rachel Therrien
Martine Labbé
Rémi Cormier (on recording)
Art Kovalchuk (on live premiere)

Taylor Donaldson
Karine Gordon
Hélène Lemay (on recording)
Kalun Leung (on live premiere)
Christopher Smith

François Jalbert (Guitar)
Jonathan Turgeon (Piano/Keyboard)
Émile Farley (Electric Bass)
Peter Colantonio (Drums)