August 7, 2014

54th Guca trumpet festival opens

This festival is the “the biggest festival of love, companionship and joy amid the sound of the trumpet,” Andric said, noting that it “strengthens the friendship among the nations”.

July 29, 2014

Taylor Haskins’ ‘Fuzzy Logic’

Great interview on NCPR for Taylor Haskins’ new recording ‘Fuzzy Logic’

March 12, 2014

FONT Canada preview: Nigel Taylor

Sunday, March 16, ”Trumpet Generations”
(Doors open at 8, Music starts at 830pm)
185 avenue Van Horne
(for venue info contact )


Teachers: Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to study with Laurie, but I did study with Jon McNeil who is a long time friend and colleague of hers.  He would sometimes mention her and her pedagogy.  My other trumpet teachers include Lou Ranger during my time at UVIC and Miles Newman from Saskatchewan before that.  More recently I studied with Anthony Coleman, Joe Morris, and several other NEC faculty during my time in Boston.


Influences: Greg Kelley, Nate Wooley, Peter Evans, Axel Doerner, Don Cherry, Kevin Drumm, Merzbow, Morton Feldman, …I think this list might get long now that I’ve exited from trumpet players so I’ll stop there.


Current Projects: I’ve been on tour in the States for a few weeks now playing with several different people and I’m leaving on another mini Canadian tour right after the CFONT festival.  These dates have all been free improv.  When I’m finally at home for awhile in April I’m going to spend some time writing for a group of Boston musicians I’m bringing up to Montreal for a recording session in May.  I also have a collaborative project with electro acoustic artists Max Alexander and Eric Powell that I’m hoping to spend more time on when I get back to Montreal.


On the Side/Hobbies: I have an 11 month old son, so most hobbies these days are baby related ones.  We like to spend time in the parks in Montreal, which when the weather is nice are really beautiful and lively with people.


I knew I wanted to play the trumpet when:  My older brother plays the trumpet and my father used to.  I think when I was little I just wanted to be able to do what they did so I started playing it pretty early in my life.  I always liked playing it when I was younger…I think me and the trumpet argue with each other more these days then we did then.
Performance Highlight: It’s hard to pick just one, so many gigs are rewarding but unique.  A recent highlight was playing at a house show in Boston with guitarist Chris Cretella.  We played right after Joe Morris and Patrick Kuehn.  Was one of those nights that the music just seems to go all the right places without you having to force it anywhere, and the audience was really listening and got that it was good.  It’s really a great feeling when the whole experience of the performance is good and not just some elements of it.


Dream Band: hmmmmm, thats a tough one!  I’m tempted to put people from radically different genres or times together but who knows if that would make a fruitful venture so…….I’m going to leave this one alone!


Fun Fact: I used to be really into juggling.  I was once Ben Mulroney’s stunt double on a Canadian TV show called “Corner Gas”.  If you ever see Ben juggling torches while riding a unicycle…


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March 11, 2014

FONT Canda preview: Lina Allemano

Friday, March 14 ”Trumpet Cultures”
(Doors open at 830, Music starts at 9pm)
Cafe Resonance 5175a avenue. du parc

Lina Allemano – Toronto: Lina Allemano trumpet, Brody West alto saxophone, Andrew Downing bass, Nick Fraser drums 

Teachers: Axel Dörner (Berlin), Laurie Frink (New York City), Kevin Turcotte
(Toronto), Bill Dimmer (Edmonton)

Current Projects: What are you working on? Arrangements, techniques
you’re practicing, other projects

As a leader, I have two active groups: my longtime project Lina Allemano Four, and my new group Titanium Riot.  I’ve just written new music for Lina Allemano Four that we’ll be playing in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and during our upcoming Europe tour in April. We’re hoping to record our 5th album later this year. Titanium Riot is just working on putting out our first album in the fall. I also play in various other creative projects as a side person as well as play a lot of improvised music.  I’m particularly looking forward to collaborating with some great European improvisers, Achim Kaufmann and Christian Weber, in Germany and Austria at the end of March. Trumpet-wise, I’m currently honing my circular breathing as well as other extended techniques that I’ve been checking out recently, and I’ve also been attempting to make my own mutes.

I knew I wanted to be play trumpet when…
I noticed it only had 3 buttons.  How hard could it be?

Dream Band: My long-time project, Lina Allemano Four.  8 years going and still
full of surprises!

Did you know? I have a balloon phobia.

March 9, 2014

FONT Canada preview: Bill Mahar

Friday, March 14 ”Trumpet Cultures”
(Doors open at 830, Music starts at 9pm)
Cafe Resonance 5175a avenue. du parc

Bill Mahar Quintet (Montreal): Bill Mahar trumpet, Jennifer Bell alto/soprano saxophone, John Sadowy piano, Clinton Ryder bass, Michel Berthiaume drums.

Some of my favorite teachers over the years have been:

(McGill) – Kevin Dean, Jim Thompson, Ted Griffith, Jan Jarzyk

(Banff) – Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Don Thompson, Dave Liebman,
Muhal-Richard Abrams, Cecil Taylor, George Russell
As a trumpet player, I would say the chronological history of trumpet players
Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Miles Davis, Kenny
Dorham, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis.
I would also like to add, as a sideline, Don Cherry, Booker Little,
and Kenny Wheeler.

As a jazz composer/arranger a few of my main influences are: Duke Ellington,
Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Gil Evans, Charles Mingus

Current Projects: What are you working on? Arrangements, techniques
you’re practicing, other projects
I am currently working on projects for my big band, The Altsys Jazz
Orchestra. Over the years we have produced many concerts of my
compositions and have done projects with Kenny Wheeler, Donny
McCaslin, Tim Hagans, Ray Anderson, to name a few. In the fall of
2014, we will be doing a project with british / canadian expat
composer John Warren. A canadian premier preformance of his large work
Tales Of The Algonquin.
I am also busy writing arrangements for concert band, brass quintet
and brass band.

On the Side: any other hobbies, other interests…
On the non-music side of things, I enjoy the outdoors though cycling,
sailing, cross-country skiing, and hiking.
I knew I wanted to be play trumpet when… after hearing a live
dixieland band made up of group of amatures who played with some great
energy. It really connected with me as an 11 year old. I started the
trumpet the next year.

A Performance Highlight:
My first indoor gig at the 1987 Montreal International Jazz Festival,
with the Vic Vogel Big Band at Place des Arts. Dizzy Gillespie was
the guest and we played music from his big band book. Dizzy played
trumpet, percussion, conducted, told a few jokes, and got me to do a
solo on his piece, Manteca. I felt like I had known Dizzy all my life
It was an up lifting experience for me at such a young age (and it
paid pretty good also).

Dream Band:
I play in several dream bands made up of Montreal musicians. I just
wish we were able to play more often together.

Did you know? A short story about some fun fact people wouldn’t
necessarily know about you.
I also play electric bass, ukelele, and a bit of thermin. I’m ready
for gigs on the bass and uke, but the thermin still needs a bit of

March 7, 2014

FONT Canada preview: Craig Pedersen

Sunday, March 16, ”Trumpet Generations”
Doors open at 8, Music starts at 830pm
185 avenue Van Horne
for venue info contact

Craig Pedersen Quartet (Ottawa-Montreal): Craig Pedersen trumpet, Linsey Wellman alto saxophone, Joel Kerr bass, Eric Thibodeau drums.

Teachers: Laurie Frink, John McNeil, Louis Ranger (American Brass Quintet, New York Philharmonic, Aspen Festival Orchestra), Karen Donnelly (National Arts Centre Orchestra) and one career changing lesson with Joe Morris.

Influences: Cage, Takemitsu, Zorn, Olivieros, Nate Wooley, JS Bach, Dave Douglas, Mark Rothko, Linsey Wellman, Mark Molnar, Scott Thomson…to name a few.

Current Projects: Craig Pedersen Quartet, It’s A Free Country (Pedersen/Kerr duo), solo trumpet. The IMOO Concert Series (Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outaouais in Ottawa, and the Musique Musique à La Poêle concert series in Montréal (

What am I working on? Releasing a new Quartet album. A method book of extended techniques for the trumpet (to be published by Hal Leonard/Berklee Press Feb. ‘05) Writing about my creative process, creative identity and anxiety. Working on developing a personal language that exists somewhere between who I am most easily, and what the trumpet does easily.

On the Side: swimming, walking, cross-country skiing, meditation, reading

I knew I wanted to be play trumpet when: I realized it was the activity I found the hardest.

A Performance Highlight: I recently wrote a new book for my quartet, and and we have taken to playing 1hr 30min power sets. Non-stop, no breaks, and completely exhausting. Each and every one of these has been a highlight for me.

Dream Band: Oh, I think I love my quartet the best.

Did you know? I planted trees for 7 summers in Northern and Interior BC?

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