New music will move through The Banff Centre this month as Dave Douglas and Vijay Iyer, among the most inventive musicians in modern jazz, co-host three weeks of intense writing, rehearsing and performing with a lineup of leading young players from around the world.
The annual Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music runs to June 9. Directed by Douglas the event will bring together the best in improvisational jazz, hitting Banff audiences with a lively series of popular club shows and concerts.
The series will feature visiting musicians, including Latin-inspired pianist Luis Perdomo, alt-bluegrass singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still founder and lead vocalist), percussionists Tyshawn Sorey and Clarence Penn, saxophonists Steve Lehman and Chet Doxas, and acclaimed pianist and composer Iyer, who will take over as director of the workshop in 2013.
Audiences can catch impromptu, intimate gigs in The Banff Centre’s licensed underground Club venue weeknights until June 8, with bigger shows on June 2 (Iyer with Luis and Doxas) in the Margaret Greenham Theatre, and the finale concert June 9, celebrating 10 years of Douglas’ work in Banff, in the Eric Harvie Theatre (with O’Donovan).
Jazz junkies can get an extra fix after these mainstage shows with late-night gigs in the Maclab Bistro – you never know who will show up on that stage.
Grammy-nominated composer and trumpeter Douglas has devoted 10 years to jazz at Banff, mentoring and influencing countless young musicians and connecting them with the best improvisers on the contemporary jazz scene. Since 1993, he’s released more than 30 recordings and composed more than 400 works, touring with several ensembles including the Dave Douglas Quintet, Keystone, and Brass Ecstasy. Douglas also runs his own music label, Greenleaf.
Iyer’s 2009 Grammy-nominated album Historicity was named top jazz album of the year by the Village Voice, National Public Radio, and the New York Times, among many others.
Originally from Rochester, New York, Iyer’s music ranges between classic American jazz, inventive and improvisational original composition, and traditional South Asian influences. With 13 albums in 10 years, Iyer has collaborated extensively with musicians including saxophonists Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Coleman, poet-performer Mike Ladd, and electronica composer and musician Talvin Singh.
Jazz programming at The Banff Centre has provided one of the most important training grounds in the world for improvising jazz musicians and composers. It began in 1974, when jazz legends Oscar Peterson and Phil Nimmons came to Banff to put their ideas on jazz education into practice.
For a few weeks each summer, the International Workshop has brought leading performers and composers together with younger emerging artists in an intense program of master classes, ensemble playing, discussion, and experimentation (past mentors have included Chucho Valdes, the Bad Plus, Joshua Redman, and Bill Frisell).
Tickets at The Banff Centre Box Office at 403-762-6301or 1-800-413-8368.