Dave Restivo (Karen Ruet)
Look out jazz fans, there's a new piano player in town and he's one of the best in the land!
You can meet Dave Restivo tonight at the Orbit Room at the Cool Wednesday Night Hang.
SCENE asked Steve Kirby, the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the U of M to introduce us to Dave, piano wunderkind.
This year, you'll see a new face in the house band at The Cool Wednesday Night Hang and in the hallways of the Faculty of Music down at the U of M. Jazz pianist David Restivo has already settled into the rhythms of performing, teaching, and coaching that are so essential to developing the next generation of players.
Dave has taught at the Banff Centre for the Arts and St Francis Xavier University. We're borrowing him from Humber College and the University of Toronto. He's a seasoned performer and a three-time winner of the Jazz Pianist of the Year Award from the National Jazz Awards.
Dave is a valued addition to our little team. He has a strong sense of rhythm, harmony, lyricism and phrasing. He knows a lot about the history of jazz piano. He has a deep love for the music, and obviously enjoys sharing that with his students. Most importantly though, he has a really generous spirit. He's approachable, thoughtful, supportive--he's a dove.
No doubt you'll see him playing around town over the next few months. In the meantime, make it your business to come down to the Orbit Room tonight to hear for yourself, what makes him special. Then shake Dave's hand, make him welcome to our city!
See the full article in the November-December issue of Dig! Magazine, available at cafés and bookstores at the beginning of November.
Now here's Dave Restivo to tell you about his side of the journey.
For several years now I have watched bassist Steve Kirby and company work to build a Jazz Studies program at the University of Manitoba. I have the honour of joining this team, at least for the 2011-'12 academic year. Performing with and teaching alongside such internationally respected artists as Steve, Jimmy Greene, Derrick Gardiner, Quincy Davis, Larry Roy, and Anna-Lisa Kirby, and getting to know them as warm, generous individuals, has been fantastic. Their passion, energy, and commitment to the highest standards of performance and pedagogy are an inspiration.
Jazz is more than scales and chords; it is a cultural language, a tool for communication, self-expression and social ritual. Of course, mastery of fundamentals like harmony, form, technique, and, most importantly, sound and rhythm, are imperative. They must exist, however, in service of something greater. The "Wednesday Night Hang" is a perfect example of this philosophy in practice- a weekly opportunity for students and faculty to perform for and with each other in an informal setting, sharing the joy and love of the music as it is transformed from an academic subject into a living, breathing, life-affirming thing.
Winnipeg is often below the Canadian jazz radar, compared to Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. While it seems on the surface that opportunities for aspiring jazz performers in Winnipeg are limited, as they are elsewhere, there is a long tradition here of philanthropy and support for arts and culture including theatre, dance, visual arts and music in its myriad of forms. Thus, there is an untapped potential to create a vibrant and thriving jazz scene, and I am excited by the possibility of being part of that process. I look forward to the year ahead, and my first Winnipeg winter, a true Canadian rite of passage!
This content is provided by Dave Restivo and Steve Kirby. The views expressed do not express the views of CBC. CBC is not responsible for this content
Steve Kirby's comments are courtesy of Dig! Magazine.
Here's Dave Restivo in musical action.