There is a new sound coming from the Northern prairies. The blues at the centre of that sound is sort of like the stepchild blues, the afterthought blues.
—Steve Kirby, musician
and the Northern Prairie Jazz Collective are set to release their first
recording. The group is made up of current and former members of the faculty of music at the University of Manitoba.
aim is to capture the character of the jazz sound in Winnipeg, drawing
on material that ranges from traditional to avant-garde. With original
compositions lined up alongside standards.
SCENE asked bassist Steve Kirby, who is also the director of jazz studies, to tell us about the motivation for the project.
Bassist Steve Kirby (courtesy University of Manitoba)
A jazz sound is a mix of all the music from all the culture that is
present and contributing to it. Every global region that has a jazz
scene has a particular sound that's attributed to the culture and
demographic that is there.
For example, New Orleans jazz is
different from Brazilian jazz which is different from West coast jazz
which is different from the Chicago jazz sound.
At the heart of what makes the jazz sound is the particular blues of
that region as well. Southern blues is like, "If it weren't for bad luck
I wouldn't have no luck at all."
There is a new sound coming
from the Northern prairies. The blues at the centre of that sound is
sort of like the stepchild blues, the afterthought blues. The, "Oh
yeah, Winnipeg is a Canadian city isn't it?" blues.
A stepchild is part blood relative and part legal kin. They often sit
just outside of the warmest family regard. They are charged with
innovating a way to fit into a situation that they often aren't quite
sure they fully appreciate. The Stepchild CD launch is November 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Park Theatre.