Christine Jensen - saxophone, composition
Brad Turner - trumpet
Ingrid Jensen - trumpet
Shirantha Beddage - saxophone
Phil Dwyer - saxophone
Jean-Nicolas Trottier - trombone
Audrey Ochoa - trombone
Mike Downes - bass
Florian Hoefner - piano
Larnell Lewis - drums
The jazz big band is the antithesis of social distancing. Go ahead! Load 15 or 20 musicians on a bus, then squeeze together on a bandstand and blow saxophones, trumpets, and trombones at one another. Spit happens. Leave it to Montreal-based bandleader Christine Jensen to rise to the challenge of creating a trans-Canada coronavirus jazz orchestra to perform the music of a Canadian icon. For Tenacity, she’s recruited the cream of Canadian musicians—from Florian Hoefner of Newfoundland and Labrador to Vancouver Island’s Phil Dwyer, and including drummer Larnell Lewis, trumpeters Ingrid Jensen and Brad Turner, trombonists Audrey Ochoa and Jean-Nicolas Trottier, saxophonist Shirantha Beddage, and bassist Mike Downes—to perform Joni Mitchell’s masterpiece Both Sides Now. No tour bus required.
About the Artists
Montreal-based saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen has been described as, “an original voice on the international jazz scene… [and] one of Canada’s most compelling composers.” - Globe and Mail. She’s noted for her ability to transfer the intimate sound of a quartet into larger ensembles. Jensen’s music has been performed by ensembles around the globe. The past few years have kept Jensen busy on the international stage, taking her music to India, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Mexico, Sweden, Turkey and Haiti.
Trumpeter, pianist, drummer and composer Brad Turner is one of Canada’s most in-demand and highly esteemed jazz musicians. As a leader, Brad has released nine albums, seven as a trumpeter with the Brad Turner Quartet, and two as a pianist with his trio. In 1997 and 1998 Brad won Juno Awards for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, and again in 2017 for Best Jazz Album, recognizing his work in the internationally acclaimed electric jazz group Metalwood. He is also a member of the Jazz Studies faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C.
Hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of her generation, Ingrid Jensen is a highly sought-out teacher, collaborator, and soloist. The New York Times calls her “as versatile as she is vigorous.” After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1989, Jensen became the youngest professor in the history of the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Austria. In the 1990s, she recorded three highly acclaimed CDs for the ENJA record label, becoming one of the most in-demand trumpet players on the global jazz scene.
Larnell Lewis is a GRAMMY-award winning musician, composer, producer, and educator. A Toronto native, Larnell has quickly established himself as one of the most diverse and in-demand drummers currently on the music scene. Along with his long-standing position on the drums with Snarky Puppy, Larnell has led many highly successful groups of his own and toured the globe with some of the most well-known names in music.
Phil Dwyer is a Member of the Order of Canada, an Honourary Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a past recipient of the K.M. Hunter Prize. In 2012 Phil’s orchestral recording “Changing Seasons” won a Juno for Best Jazz Album. This is one of eleven Juno award-winning recordings on which Phil has appeared. Concurrently with his musical career, Phil is a practicing lawyer, arts presenter, mental health advocate, and philanthropist.
Multiple Juno award winner Mike Downes has been a major force on Canada's music scene since the early 80s. He has performed throughout Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Iceland, the United States and Canada. His extensive discography as a bassist, composer, arranger and producer includes his own Ripple Effect (2014 Juno winner for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year) and Root Structure (2018 Juno winner for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo).
Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, jazz pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, draws from a myriad of influences that culminate in his unique brand of modern jazz. With the Florian Hoefner Group, he has released three albums that have received rave reviews around the globe. He is the winner of two ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards and the Stingray Rising Star Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival. In September 2019 he released his new piano trio record “First Spring” on Alma Records with Andrew Downing on bass and Nick Fraser on drums.
Audrey Ochoa is one of Edmonton’s most prolific trombone players, playing Jazz, Rock, Pop, Latin, Punk, Ska and any other genre that will have her. Audrey released her debut album in 2014, Trombone and Other Delights, which spent several consecutive months on the !Earshot! Jazz Charts, eventually earning the #5 spot on the annual Top 10 for 2014. She released her second album Afterthought with her trio in 2017. The new album features her own compositions performed by herself and two of Edmonton’s finest, Mike Lent and Sandro Dominelli.
Jazz trombonist Jean-Nicolas Trottier has been active on the Montreal music scene since 2000. He is part of some of the best jazz ensembles in Quebec such as The Joe Sullivan Bigband, Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra, Jazzlab Orchestra, Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal, Trombone Action, Ensemble Rémi-Jean Leblanc and Rémi Bolduc & Random Masters. In addition, he has lead his own projects, as a composer, arranger and trombonist under the names of Acid Bunny, Jean-Nicolas Trottier 4tet, Jean-Nicolas Trottier 10tet and Jean-Nicolas Trottier Bigband. He has recorded seven albums as a leader, and more than fifty others as a sideman and guest soloist.
Two-time Juno-nominated musician Shirantha Beddage is a baritone saxophonist, composer and educator from Toronto. He has released three critically-acclaimed albums as a leader: Roots and Branches, Identity (2013 Juno nominee) and Momentum (2017 Juno nominee). His compositional skills have been featured on the Emmy-winning TV series Fargo; and he has received accolades from the Montreal Jazz Festival Galaxie Rising Star Award and recognitions at the Canadian Songwriting Competition.