Jazz Fest – (Long Lost) BADBADNOTGOOD Feature from 2012


by Shanell Dupras

Jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD were scheduled to play Jazz Fest in 2012 shortly after the release of their new album on April 3, 2012, BBNG2, which mainly features covers of artists like Odd Future, James Blake, and even My Bloody Valentine. Stylus got a hold of Alex Sowinski, the drummer/sampler, and Chester Hansen, the bassist, for an interview. Shortly before our June/July 2012 issue went to press, BBNG cancelled a number of their Canadian summer dates. We’re happy that they’re able to make Jazz Fest this year. Here is our long lost BADBADNOTGOOD feature from 2012. Continue reading “Jazz Fest – (Long Lost) BADBADNOTGOOD Feature from 2012”

collage-à-trois :: Q + A

Everything is beautifully white or awfully brown, auto-body shops are padding their coffers, and Winnipeg’s annual-show-season has the addition of collage-à-trois’ Winter Show. Formed in the summer of 2011, the jazz-inspired trio has been steadily writing, rehearsing, and playing in and around Winnipeg—including the TD International Winnipeg Jazz Festival and the Fringe Theatre Festival Mainstage.

This year, collage-à-trois’ Winter Show is also doubling as the release of their debut, self-titled EP. Stylus sat down with the three women  for a laughter-filled chat about their formation, their EP, bilingualism, and their upcoming show. Below is an edited transcript.

Catch collage-à-trois’ second annual Winter Show at the Gas Station Theatre on Friday, December 21st. Doors are at 7:30; show is at 8:00. Tickets are $15 ($10 if you are a student).

Continue reading “collage-à-trois :: Q + A”

Curtis Nowosad :: A Man About Town

By Holden Bunko

Chances are if you are familiar with Winnipeg’s jazz scene, you have probably heard of today’s interviewee. Curtis Nowsad has been an active and participating member of Winnipeg’s music community for many years, but has recently come into his own as a musician. Weekly gigs, cross-country tours, and even an upcoming album release means that Curtis is a pretty busy dude, yet he absolutely loves what he’s doing, and shows no signs of slowing down. With talent like his, we hope he never does. Continue reading “Curtis Nowosad :: A Man About Town”

Les Doigts de L’Homme – 1910

Les Doigts de l’Homme’s latest album will bring you right back to the year 1910, as its title suggests. That year, a gypsy boy named Django Reinhardt was born. It took him less than 25 years to revolutionize the world of jazz and become a legend of the guitar, creating a new mix between American jazz and the traditional gypsy music of his community.
Now, the band is going go back to the roots of this music fusion. The album celebrates the 100th anniversary of Django Reinhardt’s birth, offering six covers of his songs, three new songs and eight covers of other traditional songs.
With no singing, this album is only dedicated to the purest tradition and expression of the style: improvisation. The solos will leave your ears and your brain awestruck and your mouth speechless. The speed in the interpretation is completely unbelievable, and the swinging accompaniment of the second guitar and the double bass will make your feet stamp.
The highlights of this album lie in the wonderful arrangement and interpretation of the waltz standard “Indifférence,” and the ballad “Russian Melody.” Standards like “I’ve Found a New Baby” or “Minor Swing,” are well executed and refreshed, and make for great listening.
However, the album tracks are uneven in length. During some tunes, the soloist seems to loose track of the melody, preferring to expose his technical virtuosity. If this trick works during two songs, you’ll then be overwhelmed by the hundreds of notes bombarding your ears non-stop.
In a nutshell, this album is certainly a good record and should please jazz lovers. That being said, the overwhelming virtuosity and the lack of melody highlights could be criticized, and lose your attention. If you are new to the style, your best pick might be to start with a best of the legend himself, Django Reinhardt. (Alma records, www.almarecords.com) Simon Delacroix

Jazz Fest Preview – May We Recommend?

Editors’ picks for stuff you should see during the 2010 TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.


They may be a household name now due to their supporting role on American network late night TV, but the Roots could’ve sold out the Pantages long before they became Jimmy Fallon’s house band. Questlove, Black Thought and company have been reshaping hip hop for 20 years, unapologetically injecting jazz and rock into their mix of rhymes and beats. These genre-busting Philadelphians are unparalleled live instrumentalists—as Late Night fans already know. Given how hard they rock from the sideline, you know we’re in for it when they hit centre stage. (Monday, June 28 @ Pantages Playhouse Theatre, 8 p.m., $64.50)


You know about Martha and her uncommon pedigree—daughter of Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III, sister of Rufus. You know about her frank, songwriting and raw vocals. This year at the Jazz Winnipeg Festival, you’ll see another side of this captivating singer. This time, Martha is Edith—Piaf, that is, the legendary French chanteuse. Wainwright recorded Piaf classics for her latest live album, Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, à Paris, and she will recreate those performances for a Winnipeg audience. Opening the show is singer/pianist duo José James and Jef Neve. (Sunday, June 27 @ Pantages Playhouse Theatre, 8 p.m., $41)


Tri-lingual Elisapie Isaac brings a dazzling and dense range of influences and inspiration to her music. Inuk by birth, she was raised in a northern Quebec Inuit community. She’s been a journalist, a filmmaker and half of the folk duo Taima, but now she’s struck out on her own with a solo record, There Will Be Stars. You’ll have two chances to experience her charming and transporting folk-pop (sung in English, French and Innu) on two occasions during the festival. Don’t miss out. (Sunday, June 27 @ Old Market Square, 7 p.m., free and later @ Aqua Books, 9:30 p.m., $12 adv./$15 door)


The record-conscious kids these days agree on just about everything these days—but I guarantee that if you force a group of stubborn people to choose their favourite Deerhoof record, there’s going to be one hell of a knife fight. There’s the absurd Milk Man, which has since been turned into a kids’ play, The Runners Four, their huge double album which is closest they’ll ever come to making pop songs, or the kitchen-sink attitude of Reveille—hell, you could justify any album they’ve made. This San Francisco four-piece has been around for more than 15 years and they’ve released 10 albums that can only be summed up as non-commercial rock and pop. Playing with time signatures, electronics, or harmonies, Deerhoof have done it all—yet they’re still known best for tearing it up onstage as a four-piece band. (Monday, June 28 @ Pyramid Cabaret, 9 p.m., $15 adv./ $18 door)


The Sunday night show of the Club Series is going to be quite the rowdy time. Think About Life, Canada’s finest sampler-and-synth-based band, is always bursting with energy, and singer Martin Cesar has more than enough personality to spare. A quick listen to the killer-catchy songs “Sweet Sixteen” or “Havin’ My Baby” off their latest album Family should be enough to convince that they’re worth seeing. But if that band isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, there is also Bonjay, an electronic Toronto duo steeped in dancehall and R&B. The duo began simply to play parties, but now they’re a full-fledged project, with thousands of followers and recordings to their name, which play out like an even more chill version of Santigold. (Sunday, June 27 @ Pyramid Cabaret, 10 p.m., $15 adv./$18 door)


True, true, there’s an awful lot of novelty wrapped up in the premise of this concert—under the name the Slew, Kid Koala and Dynomite D made the soundtrack to a film using nothing but biting rock albums and their sweet turntable skills, only for the film never to be released. Enter Wolfmother’s rhythm section. They dig the Slew’s music, they start playing together and voila, they’re all taking the show on the road. But despite all those pretenses, if the live show delivers anything close to the record that the Slew released, it’ll be one hell of a blow-you-out-of-the-water experience. Most of the songs are driving, in-your-face, and heavy-hitting like Wolfmother’s rock tracks, but it’ll maintain all of the quirk of Kid Koala that you’d expect—not to mention Kid Koala and Dynomite D dueling on not four turntables, but six. (Thursday, July 1 @ Pyramid Cabaret, 10 p.m., $18 adv./ $20 door)

Jazz for Humanity

By Kaeleigh Ayre

Being a co-executive director of an organization is not something every 20-year-old can put on their resume, but Rayannah Kroeker can. The fourth-year University of Manitoba jazz voice student is an up-and-coming presence in the Winnipeg jazz scene. When she’s not in class or participating in world development conferences, she can often be found performing with the Retro Rhythm Review or Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra. Since 2007 she has been putting her all into presenting Jazz for Humanity—an annual concert with a conscience.

Jazz for Humanity has blossomed into a multi-disciplinary event, but it began with a trip to Rwanda. Kroeker and her classmates were inspired to give back to the community they experienced there. With her friend Katrine Dilay, Kroeker helmed the inaugural Jazz for Humanity concert at Collège St. Boniface in 2007. In the years since, the event has outgrown its location not once, but twice—moving from St. Boniface to Prairie Theatre Exchange, which they sold out in 2009. This year, they’re on the Manitoba Theatre Centre mainstage.

Jazz for Humanity is partnered with Ubuntu Edmonton, a small non-profit organization that helps the widows and orphans of the 1993 Rwandan genocide. All funds raised by the organization through this event go towards helping those that reside within the small community of Kimironko to become self-sufficient. “The benefit of Ubuntu still being so small and mostly unknown is that they require very little overhead costs, and therefore most of the money we raise goes directly into the village,” says Kroeker. This is something that she is very proud of, and something she says doesn’t happen with a lot of the large-scale charities.

The evening is “drastically different than expectations,” Kroeker stresses. “We make a conscious effort to select a wide variety of repertoire. While we focus on world music, we also include elements of R&B as well as rap and hip hop. The audience comes away with a sense that it’s more world music than jazz because they don’t realize jazz sounds like that, that it actually is jazz.”

Unfortunately, she feels there is a stigma that comes with the word “jazz.” “People have an outdated view of the genre,” says Kroeker. “They expect the smooth sound of the ’20s, of dancehalls, Lindy Hop and scatting. They don’t take in to account that there’s been nearly a century of development within the genre, which is why we highly suggest even those that are wary of ‘jazz’ to come out. There is something for everyone to enjoy.”

On top of the fabulous performances to be expected from Kroeker’s sextet comprised of Will Bonness, Curtis Nowosad, Simon Christie, Shannon Kristjanson, Graham Isaak and herself, they are also showcasing several forms of dance. Performing are students from the School of Contemporary Dancers Professional Division, as well as returning guests presenting tango and a dance style from Central Africa. Steve Kirby is among the special guests, as well as other students from the UM music faculty. There will be an art auction and refreshments.

If this line-up alone doesn’t entice music fans, Kroeker hopes the desire to support a cause does. “It’s time to take action and get behind a cause. It’s important to know that all of the money goes straight into Ubuntu. We want to show adults that we care, that we can do things and create change. We’re always watching and evaluating everything around us, including government and business practices. We just ask that people come with an open mind and expecting to have a good time. It’s time to do things differently.”

Jazz for Humanity happens Friday, June 18 at the MTC Mainstage. Visit www.jazzforhumanity.org for ticket info.

New Music Tuesday Review: Elizabeth Shepherd, Heavy Falls the Night



Heavy Falls the Night

Elizabeth Shepherd manages to make music that’s eminently listenable without ever verging into easy-listening territory. Mixing pop sensibility in with strong jazz roots often leads to that land of watered-down sound, but Shepherd’s latest takes us along for the ride to a new, undiscovered country. Album opener “What Else” starts out percussive and bright, giving way to smooth vocal bridges. Title track “Heavy Falls the Night,” with it’s thrumming double bass, is a showcase for Shepherd’s vocal prowess—her voice is equally sure in a throaty, low register as it is scatting octaves higher. “High” loops vocals over electronics and compelling electric guitar, ending with Shepherd’s spritely piano. And then there’s her slowed-down, fresh take on the Anne Murray classic “Danny’s Song.” When she sings, “Even though we ain’t got money/I’m so in love with you honey,” it feels like the first time you ever heard that easy rhyme. The record is eclectic but completely cohesive. Spring’s arriving early in Winnipeg, and despite the title, this record is a perfect accompaniment for any and all seasonally-induced exuberance. Mark your calendars: Elizabeth Shepherd rolls into our town on Wednesday, May 26 at the Park Theatre. (Do Right Music, www.dorightmusic.com) Jenny Henkelman