Bourgie Hall presents

André Leroux & Friends

This concert invites us on an intercultural musical exploration through rhythms from around the world, in a performance that merges notated music and jazz improvisation. It brings together seasoned musicians with a keen interest in sharing musical ideas inspired by their many travels.

André Leroux, saxophones, flutes and clarinets

Saxophonist, clarinetist and flautist, André Leroux is a versatile musician working in the fields of jazz, classical traditional music as well as current and popular music. Born in 1963, in Saskatchewan, André Leroux studied music in Montreal. In the mid-80s, he played in several renowned groups, notably the Vic Vogel Big Band where he was renamed “The Kid” by the maestro. 

Since then, numerous collaborations have led him to perform all over the world. Now considered one of our best Canadian saxophonists, André Leroux was first influenced by greats such as John Coltrane and Sony Rollins, but he quickly knew how to invent his own style and forge his sonic identity. A raw, warm, sharp and explosive sound, André Leroux is a master in the art of exploring all the facets of his instrument.

François Bourassa, piano

François Bourassa—now with ten albums of original music under his belt—has become an ambassador for Canada’s thriving jazz community at an international level. A paragon of both consistency and evolution, he continues to seek out new challenges for himself, his colleagues, and his growing community of listeners. On April 16, 2021, Bourassa finally released his first solo piano album L’Impact du silence, recorded at La Buissonne in the southeast of France. On July 7, 2023, he released « Swirl », a new live album by the François Bourassa Quartet recorded in 2022 at Studio Piccolo in Montreal.

Bourassa’s talent was initially recognized by the Festival international de jazz de Montréal in 1985, kickstarting his trio’s recording and performing career throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1996, Bourassa’s trio joined forces with André Leroux, a saxophonist and flutist who is equally at home with a contemporary saxophone quartet as with a jazz orchestra as the featured soloist. Bourassa’s eponymous quartet has been a staple of Montreal’s artistic landscape for 25 years.

Born in Montreal in 1959, Bourassa was initially captivated by the electric guitar and the blues rock of Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix. Keyboard‑centric progressive rock was the catalyst to return to the piano at the age of 17. Through the gateway of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, Bourassa worked his way backwards through the jazz tradition. After completing a degree in composition at McGill University, Bourassa pursued a master’s at the New England Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Fred Hersch and George Russell, among other professors. Bourassa has also spent years as a teacher and clinician (McGill, UQAM, University of Montreal).

John Hollenbeck, percussion and drums

Composer/percussionist and six-time GRAMMY nominee John Hollenbeck is renowned in both
jazz and new-music worlds. He has gained widespread recognition as the driving force behind the
unclassifiable Claudia Quintet and the ambitious John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, groups with
roots in jazz, world music, and contemporary composition. He is well known in new-music circles
for his longtime collaboration with Meredith Monk and has worked with many of the world’s
leading musicians in jazz including Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Hersch, and Tony Malaby. John is the
recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award, and a Doris Duke
Performing Artist Award. His most notable works include commissions by Bang on a Can All-
Stars, Ethos Percussion Group, Melbourne Jazz Festival, University of Rochester, Ensemble
Cairn, Orchestre National de Jazz, and Frankfurt Radio Big Band. He joined McGill University
Schulich School of Music’s faculty as professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation in 2015

Rémi-Jean Leblanc, double bass and electric bass

Montreal based Rémi-Jean LeBlanc has been active on the Canadian music scene since 2005 and has collaborated with an array of musicians in Montreal and in Canada including Yannick Rieu, Jean-Michel Pilc, Marianne Trudel, Steve Amirault, Carol Welsman, Elizabeth Shepherd, the CNJO, and l’Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal. RJ has also toured extensively with different groups in Europe, China, Japan, Mexico, the US, and Canada and has performed with international artists such as David Binney, Seamus Blake, Greg Osby, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jeff Ballard, Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Ben Wendel, and Billy Hart. RJ has been on faculty at McGill University since 2017.

Other surprise guests!

Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 6:00pm
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