Friday, February 10, 2012

The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble

I'm very excited about this upcoming concert that's happening next Saturday, February 18th. Myself and some very talented and like-minded musicians are launching a new Jazz orchestra in town: The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble. We plan on presenting numerous concerts over the course of the year that feature Canadian Jazz music and contemporary works for Jazz orchestra.

I've always had an affinity for playing in big bands and have been very fortunate to have played and worked with many of country's top bands when I lived in Montreal and Toronto. With the stellar line-up of musicians involved this should prove to be a memorable event.


Summit Jazz Series presents
The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble
Inaugural Concert

Featuring contemporary jazz orchestra works by
McNeill, Grégoire, McCaslin and Brookmeyer
Special guests: Dean McNeill (trumpet), Craig Brenan (trombone)

Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm
Cantos Music Foundation/National Music Centre
134 11th Ave SE, Calgary
Tickets available at the door or by calling (403)-949-6414
Adults $20 (advance) $25 (door)
Students/Seniors $10 (advance) $15 (door)

Saturday, February 18, 2012 promises to be an exciting evening of music as the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble presents a premiere performance as part of the Summit Jazz Series at the Cantos Music Foundation. This concert will feature music penned by local and international composers performed by the crème of the region's jazz musicians. The ensemble of 16 musicians features some of the strongest talents in the region namely Mark DeJong, Jon McCaslin, Jim Brenan, Dave Reid, Michelle Grégoire, and many more as well as guest artists, from Saskatoon Dean McNeill, and from Edmonton Craig Brenan.

Saxophonist Mark DeJong, drummer Jon McCaslin, and pianist Michelle Grégoire share a common passion for the creation and performance of original Canadian repertoire for large jazz ensemble. Sensing a need in the Calgary community for an ensemble with this type of focus, these accomplished musicians set out to form The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble.

Calgary has a diverse and active music scene, and the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble will work to enrich and energize the musical environment by engaging Calgary's most active, creative, and interesting jazz and improvising musicians to create original music of the highest calibre. While many Calgary musicians have risen to prominence in a variety of genres and musical settings, there are numerous improvising and creative jazz musicians who deserve a higher profile on the local, regional and national level.

The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble will allow these musicians to present their work within the scope of a high-profile concert series, and provide incentive for musicians to continue to present their work on the national stage.

The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble will also develop innovation and creativity by encouraging the exploration of mutli-media concerts, mixed media, innovative performance spaces and community engagement.

The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble will create a legacy for the citizens of Calgary by commissioning new original works for large jazz ensemble from Calgary musicians, and providing an opportunity for those new works to be performed and recorded with the highest possible level of artistic integrity and professionalism. The Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble concert series will also provide outstanding educational opportunities and interactions.

The February 18 concert will be the first in a series of concerts. An inaugural season is planned for 2012-13 and more information will be made available as details firm up.

The inaugural program on February 18 will include works by Canadian composers Dean McNeill, Michelle Grégoire, Jon McCaslin, and legendary big band composer Bob Brookmeyer. Brookmeyer who recently passed has earned a reputation as a seminal composer and arranger and is considered the most important jazz composer of the post-Ellington era. This concert will in part feature music in tribute to this great master.

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