Upcoming Music Highlights
Silence Presents: The Mighty River
October 25, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
The Mighty River means stepping outside of time to the beat of a drum, the swell of a cello, and the leather of an unforgettable baritone vocal. Go back to the time of the troubador while you run forward to the future of post-post-rock. The Mighty River sell good feelings without escaping into the fantasy that everything is alright.
An idea more than a band, The Mighty River believes in music that stalls time, mutes bank statements, and softens the loneliness that makes us rush. Topically intense and sincere to a fault, The Mighty River’s new album is about a couple of anti-racist white guys diving into the mess of racism in North America through sound and lyric and the positions of their own bodies. Fear and trepidation abound, as does foolish desire to find out more about what the fuck is going on.
Silence Presents: Justin Gray & Synthesis
October 26, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Justin Gray & Synthesis is a contemporary world music ensemble that explores a captivating cross-cultural blend of Indian and western music.
Justin Gray is an award-winning bassist, composer, and producer based out of Toronto, Canada. In 2010 Gray designed and co-created the bass veena, a multi-stringed fretless bass, which draws influence from a combination of eastern and western instruments. Gray is the first artist to perform on this instrument worldwide.
Justin Gray and Synthesis’ debut album, New Horizons features original music, which draws inspiration from a wide range of musical influences, including Indian classical, jazz, western classical, and R&B music. Gray’s compositions synthesize these musical elements through a unique combination of rich sonic textures, inspiring melodies, and exotic grooves.
New Horizons – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi0Qnu1DxbA
Migration – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SDWy79Ntrc
Ebb and Flow – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-5ohQLSdgk
Silence Presents: Adam Bowman / Jason Raso Book Release
October 28, 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Although people enter the bass-playing continuum at different times, their stories are comparable. Players study their influences, hone their skills, and endeavour to find a style of their own. The trek can be long and frustrating but can also be very rewarding. It is important to stay positive and enjoy the ride!
Featuring: Bryan Beller, Matt Bissonette, Rich Brown, Scott Devine, Mark Egan, Damian Erskine, Matthew Garrison, John Goldsby, Jonathan Herrera, Jerry Jemmott, Percy Jones, Dave LaRue, Jon Liebman, Michael Manring, Jonathan Maron, Christian McBride, Edgar Meyer, Marcus Miller, Meshell Ndegeocello, Adam Nitti, John Patitucci, Rufus Reid, Billy Sheehan, Lee Sklar, Derek Smalls, Rhonda Smith, Steve Swallow and Doug Wimbish.
With Special Guests: Alissia Benveniste, Richard Bona, Alain Caron, Stanley Clarke, Mike Downes, Ed Friedland, Stuart Hamm, Mark King and Tony Levin.
Silence Presents: Mike McCormick’s Proxemics wsg Hymns57
November 1, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
The Proxemics Studies are a collection of songs that emerged from Canadian guitarist and composer Mike McCormick’s exploration of intimate space in its various manifestations.
In the summer of 2016, McCormick decided to address his performative limitations by composing a set of personalized technical studies for the electric guitar. Exploring the physical and practical distance between him and his instrument encouraged him to examine other “distances” in various aspects of his life. This lead him to compile a collection of saved letters, emails, and electronic messages sent to him from partners with whom he had been previously intimately involved in order to examine the emotional “spaces” he had created in his past.
Spanning a lengthy period of time (the earliest letter is from 2009) and a variety of relationships, these correspondences reveal the complex nature of human intimacy – some messages show the unabashed beauty of unconditional love, others reveal the bitterness of heartbreak, and still others expose the volatility of passionate lust.
Setting these texts to musical ideas derived from electric guitar etudes has resulted in a collection of compositions that explores the space between the guitarist and his instrumental capabilities, between the individual and his past relationships, and between the composer and his artistic output.
Mike McCormick – electric guitar
Laura Swankey – voice, electronics
Knut Kvifte Nesheim – drum kit, vibraphone
Hymns57 is a soundscape venture project. Working with field recordings and samples. Tape loops, guitar and a multitude of effects create lush waves of static, rolling tones, and haunting textures that crest and wash over you. Decaying and dissolving in the mix like a glowing, faded memory. Formulated to immerse you, under a wall of sound that leads your ears astray.
Silence Presents: Minor Empire
November 2, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Doors at 7:30 PM
Concert at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15 available on Eventbrite
Variously described by reviewers as “trippy”, “dreamy”, “cinematic”, “stylishly hip” and “deeply exotic”, award winning Turkish Canadian world music group Minor Empire has racked up a lengthy list of plaudits for its seamless blend of traditional music and modern sounds. Its debut album, Second Nature, earned it a Canadian Folk Music Award for World Group of the Year, an Indie Music Award for Favorite World Artist of the Year, a nomination for the About.com World Music Readers Choice Award and number one spot on the Canadian World music radio charts.
Exclaim praised the band for its “slinky, duby, knotty rhythms”. Le Devoir called the sound “refined” and said “Ozman weaves a most beautiful music from her roots”. Songlines praised “Ozman’s pure and sinuous vocals” and the “percussion that simmers with delicious intensity”. CBC Radio said “the album marked an important way forward for world music”.
Minor Empire’s sound is defined by the dreamy vocals of Ozgu Ozman, which soar above an ambient bed of organic instrumentation to create the airy, atmospheric vibe. Lead by guitarist Ozan Boz, band features some of Canada’s finest musicians; Michael Occhipinti on guitar, Chris Gartner on bass, Ben Riley on drums and Patrick Graham on percussion.
The band has showcased its captivating blend of ethereal vocals and trance-y, trip hop inspired arrangements at prominent venues such as Yoshi’s in San Francisco, National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Banff Centre for the Arts, Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Hillside Festival, Luminato Festival, Sunfest, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival, JAZZ.FM91 World Music Festival and Musikfest. Minor Empire was also featured on Identities, award winning documentary series on Jazz FM.
“This group of talented musicians have a deep understanding of what is takes to create dreamy and cinematic textures that unfold with a seeming simplicity. You hear it in the pure and sinuous vocals of
Ozman, and in the percussion that simmers with delicious intensity “
“I love how their sound blurs the lines between electronic and traditional Turkish music. I like how textured and trippy it is, and I especially like the guitars on this album – ominous and psychedelic.”
CBC Radio One
“The ineffable quality of Ozgu’s voice at the center of each song is the jewel from which the band radiates. Her charisma at center stage is both becalming and insurrectionary as the stream of her breathy voice urges the band and audience into deep feelings of longing and tranquility. Inspiration galore will be provided by this young and innovative group of master players.”
Roots Music Canada
“The album is a perfect symbiosis between the Turkish traditional elements and the contemporary jazz and electronic sounds. What I like so much is the authentic atmosphere the music breaths, but it’s modern sound at the same time. It’s tradition from a new generation, perfectly arranged, highest quality and an exciting collaboration between professional musicians. ..the album is like a concept record, all compositions have their own atmosphere but are connected at the same time, they form a natural completeness. A dream debut!”
“Group addresses Turkish roots in entrancing musical project. Ozman’s exceptional emotional expression becomes a language unto itself.”
“East and West connect in Minor Empire’s sad songs. The result rocks. Minor Empire’s sound is simultaneously ancient and modern, happy and sad—and perfectly suited to the folk-festival stages.”
“Flashing a polished, sophisticated sound, this Toronto-based group coaxes both Western and Turkish music into a delicious dance that is both fresh and stylishly hip. Deeply exotic, Second Nature moves effortlessly through 14 evocative tracks fashioned out of ripe Turkish hues and moody Western atmospheric landscapes. Bold, expertly worked and voluptuous, Second Nature will surely have world music fans clamoring for the next installment from Minor Empire.”
World Music Central
“…careful combinations of Western pop sounds, jazz improvisations, and Turkish traditional music and superb arrangements. The result is a smart band creating intriguing sounds and melodies set to a backdrop of funky beats. Ozman’s sultry vocals weave effortlessly through a tapestry of musical influences. “
“De Toronto, la chanteuse Ozgu Ozman tisse l’une des plus belles musiques à partir de ses racines turques: tout en élégance, l’interprétation est raffinée dès le départ. Et Ozman marie sa voix aux splendides croisements de guitares électriques et atmosphériques. On reste souvent dans les maqâms turcs, on ajoute des climats planants et on invite un musicien de marque dans presque toutes les pièces. Il s’agit bien de cela: le disque propose un équilibre quasi parfait entre les climats d’intimité et les claques percussives, entre la nuit des temps et l’urbanité qui s’y fond.”
“A slinky, dub-y Turkish soup of knotty rhythms, largely unsweetened. Chris Gartner’s deft bass work nearly melts into the percuss
Silence Presents: Surefire Sweat
November 3, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Surefire Sweat is made up of a diverse and multi-generational roster of Toronto-based artists. The music, composed by Juno-nominated drummer, Larry Graves, is original drawing on an amalgam of Funk, Jazz, Brass Band, Blues and Afrobeat. Inventive arrangements act as a vehicle for the all-star cast of musicians to engage listeners through improvisational explorations and danceable arrangements.
Silence Presents: Joe Policastro Trio
November 13, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
The Joe Policastro Trio is a Chicago-based alternative jazz trio led by bassist Joe Policastro featuring guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. While firmly rooted in jazz, the band’s open-minded and inclusive nature also brings rock, soul, funk, Brazilian, and free jazz to the surface while keeping the aesthetic of an acoustic jazz trio intact. Their most recent release, Screen Sounds (JeruJazz Records), is a collection of the trio’s re-workings of movie/TV music. Other releases by the band include 2013’s West Side Story Suite for Jazz Trio, and 2016’s POPS! (jazz interpretations of pop tunes from the 60s-90s), also on JeruJazz Records. In early 2019 the band will be releasing an album focused on their original material entitled Nothing Here Belongs.
“The group’s terrific new album, Screen Sounds, applies a diversity of approaches to all kinds of source material, consistently retaining the essence of the original works while boldly imprinting the trio’s personality” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader).
“The trio have refined their layered blend of the familiar and faintly far out, playing three nights a week at Chicago’s Pops For Champagne and through extensive roadwork. Their deep understanding of each other and deft analysis of choice repertoire repays repeat and close listening” (Michael Jackson, Downbeat).
Known for its eclectic taste and approach, the Joe Policastro Trio “makes the case that such musical hybridity is worth celebrating.” “Policastro…is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity”
(Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat).
“There are always new wrinkles to be found in the familiar. That’s a political stance that seems to serve the Joe Policastro Trio well…putting alternately gritty and focused touches on songs we’ve come to love….Policastro and company have found their niche tapping into different breeds of treasured songs” (Dan Billawsky, All About Jazz).
The Joe Policastro Trio is a band that can turn “pop tart into jazz art” (Travis Rogers, Jazz Owl) and one that “should have wide appeal among both jazz fans and listeners of other genres”
(Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine).