Hot Jazz at The St. Lawrence Acoustic Sound Stage by Reg Coffey – December 7, 2011

CFN – This past Saturday, Dec 3 2011, The St. Lawrence Acoustic Sound Stage hosted something a little different, a night of jazz. At least it was different from what I have encountered there. And I would have encountered it on Sturday if I wasn’t at the Ingleside Tree Lighting Ceremony. Unfortunately I couldn’t be in two places at once so I flipped a coin and Tree Lighting won over jazz. The good news though is that someone did record the evening for me and I have watched all the video. It’s not as good as being there in person but I’ll take what I can get. Thanks go to Sandra Whitworth for doing my job for me and recording the performance.

The Ben Henriques Jazz Quartet played the entire evening to the delight of all present (so I’m told). Ben Henriques originally from Vancouver, is the sax player and leader of the quartet. At least I think he is the leader, after all the band is named after him. Nicola Bédard, a native of Quebec, plays bass. Mark Nelson from Calgary on drums and David Ryshpan from Montreal on piano round out the quartet. All four members of the band have considerable experience which was outlined very eloquently in the program so I am just going to copy it all.


Ben Henriques (Saxophone): Originally a native of Vancouver, Ben Henriques made his way to Montreal in 2001 to study jazz saxophone at the Schulich School of Music where he earned his Bachelor’s in Jazz Performance. Since then he has made a name for himself on the Montreal Jazz scene as a musician, band-leader, and educator. He has shared the stage with many Jazz greats including Joe Lovano, John Taylor, Phil Dwyer, Ben Monder, Jim McNeely, Dave Liebman and many more. His first re-cord as a leader “The Responsibility Club” (Rare Bird Records 2009) rose to #1 on the airwaves in February 2009 and was also selected as #2 jazz album of 2009 by Radio Jazz Plus. Ben is cur-rently in rehearsals for his next album, “Childlike Things”, and is teaching jazz materials at the Schulich School of Music.


las Bédard (Bass): Nicolas, a native of Quebec, com-pleted a Bachelors degree at McGill iPerformance Jazz in 2009. At that time, his professional career was already off to a good start, par-ticularly with the Grooveattic funk group and the Chicago Goes West jazz trio. He has been involved with numerous musical pro-jects, including the Rafael Zaldivar Trio, Makaya and the Trio Bruxo. In addition to North America, he appeared in concerts in Europe, by way of Brazil, while playing electric base as often as double base. His career as a performer has now been complimented by his role as teacher at the Notre Dame de Foy College. His diverse work experience has allowed him to master a broad spectrum of styles, from jazz to rock, by way of funk and Latin music.


Mark Nelson (Drums): Mark, a native of Calgary, was schooled in Montreal and New Zealand, and has been part of many cross Canada tours. On two occasions he received the Ted Frickleton Most Out-standing Drummer award at the Manawatu Jazz festival. With the ensemble Trio Bruxo, Mark traveled to Sao Paulo Brazil in the fall of 2010. Mark has participated in many tours and festivals in Europe and Que-bec with the artist Ian Kelly. Some of those specific events in 2010/11 included Les Francofolies de Spa Bel-gium, Reeperbahn in Germany and Osheaga in Montreal. Currently, Mark is involved in various music projects based out of Montreal, some of which include: Ian Kelly, Jon Day, Parc X Trio, Bean, Trio Bruxo, Cancion Mia, Marie-Fatima Rudolph Trio, Joel Kerr and Sylvain Ransy.

David Ryshpan (Piano): Pianist, composer and ar-ranger David Ryshpan is an active fixture on the Montreal scene. 2011 has seen him perform with guitarist Gary Schwartz’s LET-TINGO, a show nominated for the Opus prize for Best Concert of the Year, and saxophonist Matana Roberts, on whose recording Coin Coin: Gens de couleur libres he appears. David was also the musical director for Latin soul legend Joe Bataan’s debut performance at POP Montreal. His most recent project is Yo existo en tu si-lencio, an hour-long song cycle based on Mexican poetry for voice, piano, bass, percussion and string quartet, co-composed with vocalist Gitanjali Jain. David is a member of Kalmunity Vibe Collective, a frequent collaborator with multilingual hip-hop group Nomadic Mas-sive, and a contributor to CKUT 90.3 FM.

To see what is on the schedule at the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage after New Years you can go their web site.

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