Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jazz nights at the Georges Vanier Cultural Centre

In our ongoing partnership with the Georges Vanier Cultural Centre, we are pleased to present two nights of free jazz concerts in the heart of Little Burgundy this August. Renown Cuban-Canadian pianist Rafael Zaldivar performs his Cuban style jazz on August 7th  at 7 p.m. while the lively post-bop Mario Allard Quintet performs on August 21st at 7 p.m. Click here for all the details! 

About Rafael Zaldivar
Rafael Zaldivar was born in Camagüey, Cuba. Coming from a family of musicians, he started playing percussion and piano at age 7 and pursued his undergraduate studies at the Superior Art Institute of Havana. Moving to Canada at age 22, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montreal and a Master’s degree at McGill University within three years. During his musical career, Rafael has had the opportunity to learn with the greats Barry Harris, Kenny Barron, Danilo Perez, and Greg Osby and to play with the excellent Steve Coleman, Nate Smith, Francisco Mela and Terri Lyne Carrington. He has also had the pleasure of meeting the great Herbie Hancock in Havana, where the two men shared a highly instructive conversation on the subject of music. Rafael has been Awarded New Talent Contest by Radio Canada, OPUS Award by The Quebec Council of Art and Letters and most recently Archambault 6th edition Award New talent Contest. Nowadays, he performs in various concert halls and at festivals around Canada and Europe such as: The North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, international Jazz Convention in Germany and The Bean town Jazz Festival in Boston, United States.

About the Mario Allard Quintet
This post-bop influenced ensemble evolves in a net-free setting, where the creativity of the improvisers, helped with the precise and strong play of the rhythm section, can make us forget the absence of any harmonic instrument. By breaking free of traditional jazz harmony laws, and by pushing the rhythmic and melodic limits beyond tried-and-true expectations, the MAQ puts forward some truly fresh and intense music. Each musician executes brilliantly the written passages – a perfect mixture of counter- points and tutti – while allowing himself an improvisational freedom almost without borders.

Formed of Mario Allard (alto sax, compositions), Jean-François Fournel (tenor sax), David Carbonneau (trumpet), Sebastien Pellerin (double bass) and Alain Bourgeois (drums), this group built up a serious reputation on the Montreal since they launched their first record: MAQ – Mario Allard Quintet – in September 2007. The MAQ took part in the 2008 editions of the Montreal Off Jazz Festival, as well as the Montreal International Jazz Festival. After their amazing performance on one of the MIJF outdoor scene, Mario Allard imposes himself as a composer and wins the Radio-Canada/CBC Galaxie Award for two of his originals: Noffo and Bilbasan, which were chosen as the bests songs presented among the participating groups. The band participated at the National Jazz Awards in Toronto in 2009 and performs frequently in Montreal.

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