Program & inspiraition "in their own words"
Hymn by Roddy Ellias - Was inspired by the harmonizations that Bach did of Lutheran choral melodies. Sometimes he did several harmonizations of the same melody. The melodies were simple, singable, the harmony inevitable, imaginative and colourful.
Prayer for the Planet by Roddy Ellias - Written in October, 2019 before the pandemic, was a prayer, a reflection on the state of the world such as climate change, racism, corporate greed, and political corruption. There was a lot to contemplate. This piece isn't a protest song, just a simple song of praise, optimism and of hope that the world will heal. It seems even more relevant now.
Skip Step by John Geggie - Composed a couple of years ago and was inspired by a very domestic scene viewed from my kitchen window. We look out on a long street and one day I saw a young family; the parents were clearly trying to get on with their errands while their young daughter was happy to simply amble along, unconcerned with deadlines. She seemed to be enjoying the day and walking as though playing hopscotch, thus the title Skip Step.
Jaye by Kevin Turcotte - Is a melancholic but hopeful country waltz. It was written after the death of American trumpeter Lester Bowie. Jaye is the second name of my wife and daughter. It was composed for a TV show called Duos:the Jazz Sessions to be played with drummer Jean Martin.
Cat and Mouse a spirited odd metred romp composed by the late great guitarist Justin Haynes - Written in the backseat of the tour van during a cross-Canada tour by the Ottawa group, The Jean Martin Trio. It was also recorded by Andrew Downing’s The Great Uncles of the Revolution featuring Jesse Zubot and Steve Dawson.
Family Portrait by Tara Davidson - Composed in the summer of 2015, it's lilting, odd metre tune was inspired, of course, by my family - a universal concept, something that we can help build, and also something that changes over time. In 2015 my own family portrait was becoming smaller due to loss of life. So while this song has an overall optimistic vibe, it's also a bit lamenting.
The Queen by Tara Davidson - Is an up tempo, intense, minor blues originally composed for and recorded with Ernesto Cervini's band, Turboprop. Ernesto included it on his most recent recording, Abundance, which won the JUNO this year for Jazz Album of the Year: Group. The Queen was inspired by entomology rather than monarchy. My husband and I were dealing with carpenter ants in our home at the time that I wrote the song. I came to learn that to eradicate the ant problem we ultimately had to find and kill the queen...
Nebula – Michel Delage
Roddy Ellias - guitar
John Geggie - bass
Michel Delage - drums
Kevin Turcotte - trumpet
Tara Davidson - alto saxophone
Ottawa’s Roddy Ellias, John Geggie, Michel Delage with Kevin Turcotte and Tara Davidson perform a mix of originals and standards.
Guitarist and composer Roddy Ellias combines a deep relationship with both classical music and jazz in his composition, improvisations and interpretations of jazz standards. He’s performed and/or recorded with numerous jazz giants including Lee Konitz, Tom Harrel, Joel Frahm, and David Liebman, and has toured with his own projects throughout Canada and the United States. His latest CDs, Sticks and Stones and Monday’s Dream have both received glowing reviews from highly respected publications Including Downbeat Magazine, Just Jazz Guitar, All About Jazz, Sound/Stage Xperience, the CBC, and The Ottawa Citizen. In 2013, Roddy was the only Canadian recipient of the Jazz Journalists of America Jazz Hero Award.
As a free-lance double bassist and composer, John Geggie has appeared on festival stages across Canada, the United States, Norway, France and Germany. In Ottawa alone, John has performed at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa Folk Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Music and Beyond Festival, the Canada Dance Festival and Bluesfest. He is greatly in demand as a versatile musician and creative composer both in Canada and internationally. He is currently on faculty at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam (NY), Carleton University and at the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau.
Drumming since the age of 16, Michel Delage’s rock was his earliest musical influence. But when heard he discovered Frank Zappa on the radio, Michel was inspired to pursue music as a career and craft. Michel's musical tastes has evolved to include Jazz, 20th Century classical composers, free-improvised music, world music, funk, rock and everything in between.
One of Canada’s great trumpet players, Toronto-based Kevin Turcotte, has performed as an integral member of several well-known bands and toured the world over. For over 30 years he has participated in hundreds of recordings throughout his illustrious career, receiving 36 Juno nominations, winning the prize 5 times, and a GRAMMY nomination once. Kevin was called upon to provide the trumpet tracks for Chet Baker (Ethan Hawke) in the acclaimed feature film Born To Be Blue and currently teaches in the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University.
Tara Davidson is a multi-JUNO Award nominated alto and soprano saxophonist who has performed around the world at prestigious venues and events such as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the JZ Jazz Club in Shanghai, China, and The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C. As a bandleader, Davidson has produced six recordings since 2004 and performed on approximately thirty recordings as a side person. Four of her six recordings as a leader have been nominated by the JUNO Awards. Davidson is currently on faculty at the University of Toronto, York University, the Humber College Community Music School and the National Music Camp of Canada (Jazz Faculty). Tara Davidson is proud to be a Yamaha Artist and plays their Custom Z alto saxophone, Custom CSVR clarinet, and YFL-577 Series flute.