11th Annual Yardbird Festival of Canadian Jazz
November 3 - 11, 2017







Friday, November 3, 2017

From Edmonton
Stephanie Urquhart

Stephanie Urquhart - piano
Brian Raine - guitar
Aretha Tillotson - basss
Joel Jeschke - drums


Known for her imaginative writing, Stephanie Urquhart is an Edmonton-based jazz pianist and composer quickly gaining an international presence and recognition. With eclectic influences such as Esbj÷rn Svensson, The Bad Plus, Yoko Shimomura, and Maria Schneider, Stephanie's music is adventurous yet genuine. Her international debut came this past May when she was invited to present her music at the 2017 International Jazz Composers' Symposium in Tampa, Florida. She then went on to win the Honourable Mention in the 5th Annual Jazz Composition Contest for Women Composers and had her music performed by the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra as part of the 2017 Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, Washington. Stephanie continues to perform and collaborate with artists around Edmonton, most notably the Yardbird Suite Jazz Orchestra, River City Big Band, Alberta Opera Touring Association, YONA-Sistema, and local video game band, Experience Points.

From Toronto
Harley Card Quartet

Harley Card - guitar
Matt Newton - piano
Dan Fortin - bass
Ethan Ardelli - drums


Since 2005, Toronto-based guitarist and composer Harley Card has lead his own group, the Harley Card Quartet, that showcases Harley's music and the collaborative, spirited playing of all the musicians. With strong roots in swing and jazz traditions, the group prioritizes melody in their approach to Harley's contemporary leaning compositions. The quartet is touring to celebrate the release of Harley's third album as a leader "The Greatest Invention" which is a follow up to 2015's "Hedgerow" and his 2008 debut "Non-Fiction". The new CD introduces eleven new compositions and features stunning performances.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

From Edmonton
John Sweenie

John Sweenie - saxophones
Chris Andrew - piano
Rubim De Toledo - bass
Ryan Pliska - drums


A perpetual student of music and the saxophone, John Sweenie is one of Western Canada's fastest rising stars of the saxophone. An Edmonton native, John has been bringing his breathtaking technique and fearless improvisation to stages around Alberta for the better part of the last decade. Over the last 15 years, John has had the opportunity to learn from some of Canada's greatest saxophonists and jazz musicians such as Kent Sangster, Jim Brenan, Ralph Bowen, and Jerrold Dubyk. Most recently, he completed his Bachelor of Music degree at MacEwan University, where he was included in numerous performances including being featured alongside Canadian composer Christine Jensen and master New York arranger and pianist Gil Goldstein. Other performance credits include Bob Mintzer, the Edmonton Jazz Collective, Tommy Banks and PJ Perry.

The 4TET Project, founded in December of 2014, blends traditional acoustic quartet sounds with rhythms and harmonies from funk, hip-hop, and rock music with influences ranging from Joe Henderson and Charles Mingus to Radiohead and The Wu Tang Clan. Aggressive and introspective at the same time, this is not your grandfather's jazz quartet.

From Toronto
Steve Amirault

Steve Amirault - solo piano and vocals


Nova Scotia-born pianist and vocalist Steve Amirault is one of the most accomplished artists in Canada. Coming up on his third anniversary of living in Toronto, the Juno award-winning musician has just released his sixth album, "Hold On, Let Go," to critical acclaim. His world-class piano playing, combined with his rich, soulful baritone voice, make Steve Amirault a performer not to be missed.

A celebrated artist, Amirault has won the Montreal International Jazz Festival Competition, the Prix Opus (Album of the Year for his recording, "Breath"), and two Juno Awards (for collaborations with Franšois Carrier and Christine Jensen.) This dynamic performer has shared the stage with many great artists such as Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman and has recorded with Sheila Jordan and Eddie Gomez.

"Steve Amirault is an exceptional artist!"
Raul da Gama, The Whole Note

Sunday, November 5, 2017

From Toronto
Heillig Manoeuvre

Henry Heillig - bass
Allison Young - saxophones
Stacie McGregor - piano
Charlie Cooley - drums


Heillig Manoeuvre is a Toronto-based quartet whose repertoire consists of original instrumental jazz. Bassist/bandleader Henry Heillig describes what they do as thoughtful fun. "I write songs, with melody and elements of my own character. They become jazz in performance with my musical partners." says Heillig. Heillig is best known for his twenty-plus years as musical director of Manteca, the nine-piece afrolatinworldbeatcalypsojazz ensemble. "Manteca was a great ride, much like an ocean liner. Heillig Manoeuvre, by comparison, is a sailboat that can change direction on a gust of spontaneous ideas. Our performances have form but also room for spontaneity, and we push each other to be our very best. Audience reaction to our approach has been uniformly rewarding!"

The current version of Heillig Manoeuvre, together since 2011, is on the cusp of releasing a third CD "Thoughtful Fun".

Bassist and composer Henry Heillig began his career as a singer-songwriter in Montreal. He learned stage craft in intimate coffee houses, and started playing bass accompanying his dad's favourite swing tunes in their living room. This combination leads directly to Heillig Manoeuvre's repertoire and performance style.

Concurrent with his time leading Manteca, Heillig toured with Sharon, Lois and Bram and Eric Nagler, producing music for his children's television series. He has been a member of harmonica virtuoso Carlos del Junco's ensemble for almost twenty years. For the last ten years, he has been involved as musical director and producer for a project called The Journey, which puts vocal veterans such as Jackie Richardson and Alana Bridgewater together with young singers in Regent Park, chronicling the ongoing redevelopment of their neighbourhood.

Tuesday, NOVEMBER 7, 2017

Tuesday Night Session

Jerrold Dubyk - saxophone
Chris Andrew - piano
Josh McHan - bass
Bill George - drums

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

From Calgary
Oliver Miguel's ONENESS Project

Oliver Miguel
- Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax, Electric Bass, Guitar, Keys, Percussion, Vocals, Loops
Luis "el Pana" Tovar - hand percussion
Lisa Jacobs - electric bass
Esteban Herrera - piano & keyboards
Carolina Slim - vocals


Saxophonist Oliver Miguel is a Canadian-based artist born in Chile. A refugee from his land, and a politically inspired musician, his Latin jazz music is delivered with traditional Latin percussion instruments, with dynamic contemporary arrangements, and fiery flamenco overtones. Oliver Miguel's performances have been described as "an emotional and intimate experience" (www.thelivemusicreport.com) and he has been reviewed as ""one of those rare beasts, a young, working, full-time local jazz musician with many creative outlets and many opportunities to do what he so loves." (Calgary Herald).

Oliver Miguel's immeasurable musical collaborations, in almost every genre, have made him proficient in many types of music, and on countless instruments. His rare gift is perfectly adapting any song to his world jazz style, and adding his tasteful virtuoso power. With eight instruments on stage and a looper, his live performance is something that must be seen and heard.

This one night only concert in Edmonton will provide a return to his deep Latin roots with modern sounds. One can expect heat, passion, and more heat!!! This concert will highlight Miguel's brilliant imagination as a composer, intelligent arranger and engaging performer resulting in an unforgettable evening, a testament to his creativity and raw passion for world music.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

From Toronto and New York
Trevor Giancola Trio plus One

Trevor Giancola - guitar
Matt Marantz - tenor saxophone
Jon Meyer - bass
Adam Arruda - drums



Guitarist Trevor Giancola is becoming a staple of Toronto's thriving jazz and creative music scene. He has performed as a member the Mike Murley Quartet, the Kelly Jefferson Quartet, Boptarts featuring Seamus Blake, Trevor Falls Collective, Josh Cole 4tet, Monk's Music, and his own trio and quartet.

He has shared the stage with Seamus Blake, Neil Swainson, Mike Murley, Sophie Millman, Dave Douglas, John Abercrombie, Donny McCaslin, Kelly Jefferson, PJ Perry, Pat La Barbera and many Toronto-based musicians.

Trevor received his Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance from TRU via Humber College and has studied with Ben Street, Peter Bernstein, Ben Monder, Lage Lund, Gilad Hekselman, Mike Moreno, Drew Gress, John Abercrombie, and many Toronto-based guitarists.

The Trevor Giancola Trio showcases original music and has been performing at clubs and jazz festivals since 2004.

"Giancola has a rich and warm tone, not unlike Herb Ellis, and shows he knows how to bop with the best"
George Harris, Jazz Weekly

"Among the best jazz trio recordings without piano to come my way in several years. Giancola has a traditional, pure, pinging guitar sound, phrased elegantly"
Jay Harvey, Upstage Blog


Friday, November 10, 2017

From Toronto
Lina Allemano

Lina Allemano - solo trumpet


Originally from Edmonton, Lina Allemano is a trumpeter, improviser, and composer currently based in Berlin and Toronto. She is bandleader of the internationally-acclaimed groups Lina Allemano Four and Titanium Riot as well as a collaborator with countless other cutting-edge contemporary projects in Europe and Canada.

Allemano was named one of Downbeat magazine's top innovative trumpeters for the future and was recently called "one of the most exciting new voices of the last few years" (Point of Departure). She has an active international career, performing and recording innovative contemporary music primarily in free-jazz/experimental/improvised settings but also a wide array of other genres. Her trumpet playing and artistic vision have gained her international recognition as being adventurous, expressive, and compelling.

Lina has released eight internationally-acclaimed albums on her Lumo Records label. Her trumpet playing can also be heard on countless other albums as well as film soundtracks. "Allemano is especially good at the melodification of thought and sound. Her finely textured improvisations are always intent but casual, as if she were merely picking out notes and phrases that have always been there, waiting to be made audible" (The Globe and Mail).

From Toronto, Sweden and Denmark
The North

Mike Murley - saxophone
David Braid - piano
Johnny Aman - bass
Anders Mogensen - drums





The North creates music combining the experiences of jazz musicians living in Canada and Scandinavia. Multi-Juno Award winners David Braid and Mike Murley are long time musical collaborators as are Danish drummer Anders Mogensen and Finnish bassist Johnny ┼man.

All leaders in their own right, these musicians share common roots in the jazz tradition while reaching forward as improvisers and composers to reflect their personal and cultural experiences. Saxophonist Murley's composition "The Split" conjures images of his native Nova Scotia through the lens of a Coltrane influence. Braid's "Lele's Tune" is a wide-ranging suite that showcases the compositional skills that have brought the pianist international acclaim as an artist who seamlessly combines classical and jazz music. Mogensen and ┼man are a formidable rhythm section that brings their vast experience and Scandinavian perspective to the group.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

From Montreal
Tevet Sela/John Roney Duo

Tevet Sela - saxophone
John Roney - piano




Alto saxophonist Tevet Sela brings a wealth and breadth of influences to his playing that few musicians possess. The adept and dexterous post bopper's music is often drenched in heavy blues and the Middle-Eastern inflections of his Israeli cultural heritage.

"The River" is a collaborative project between Sela and Canadian jazz pianist John Roney. Each artist has a strong identity as a leader and musical visionary, and the combination of their efforts is even greater than the sum of its parts. Through ten original compositions, the duo explores the blending of musical cultures from the Middle East, Europe, and North America to create a sound that is truly unique.

Klezmer ornamentations, North African rhythms, European classical textures, jazz improvisation and groove all flow together effortlessly as this exciting duo navigates new uncharted musical waters. Their fearless improvisations and open-minded musicality make every note honest and spontaneous, engaging the listener at every bend and turn.
As "The River" flows, it connects together our distant lands and welcomes us all to revel in its strength and beauty.


From Toronto
Alexis Baro & the Pueblo Nuevo Project

Alexis Baro - trumpet and flugelhorn
Jeff King - tenor saxophone
Jeremy Ledbetter - piano and keyboards
Yoser Rodriguez - bass
Ahmed Mitchel - drums
Jorge Luis Torres "Papiosco" - percussion


Alexis Baro is an exciting and engaging jazz trumpeter whose musical roots began as a kid growing up in Pueblo Nuevo, Cuba. He has performed on more than one hundred albums and can be heard as a feature soloist on some of the most transcendent Latin albums to be made in Canada.

In 2015 his album "Guilty Pleasure" was selected as the Gold Medal Winner of a Global Music Award in the jazz category and he was recently featured as an "Emerging Artist" in Billboard Magazine. On his latest recording "Alexis Baro & Pueblo Nuevo Jazz Project - Sugar Rush ", he features new original Afro Cuban jazz compositions played with a stellar group of musicians as a tribute to the musical influences of his childhood.