Solo Piano Double – Elizabeth Shepherd & Aaron Davis
July 24 @ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm$20 – $25
Our “Solo Piano Double” series is an intriguing concept in that each artist will give a 45 minute set – they will not likely be sharing the piano stool and dueting, although that is possible but not requested! We are offering a wonderful incentive to pick four concerts and pay for just three. It all comes down to great playing, open minds and the spirit of discovery.
Tuesday, July 24 we welcome another amazing pair of artists, Elizabeth Shepherd, whose debut album Start To Move was voted one of the best jazz CDs of the year by the listeners of highly regarded BBC Radio Worldwide’s Gilles Peterson Show. She is a jazz virtuoso with pop sensibilities & Aaron Davis. Aaron is an eclectic, first call composer/arranger and keyboardist in this country. He is a founding member of the Holly Cole Trio…
Velvety-voiced pianist Elizabeth Shepherd arrived on the international scene in 2006 when her debut album Start To Move was voted one of the top jazz albums of the year by the listeners of the influential Gilles Peterson Show on BBC Radio Worldwide. Since then, the Montreal-based soul-jazz innovator has established herself as one of the most alluring and imaginative artists on the scene today. Versed in equal parts Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army brass bands and classical sonatas, it is perhaps no surprise that this globetrotting talent has developed such a distinct and unique voice.
Elizabeth has been hailed as “a jazz virtuoso blessed with a pop sensibility”, praised by critics worldwide for her arrestingly original writing and soulful delivery. Along with artists like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, and Jose James she is seen as part of a wave of jazz musicians bringing the art form to a new generation of music fans.
The four-time JUNO nominee (Canada’s Grammy equivalent) has released five widely acclaimed records and toured extensively in North America, Europe, Japan and Mexico. She has sold out legendary clubs from Tokyo to Detroit, played major festivals like Montreal and North Sea Jazz Festivals, and opened for Jamie Cullum at The Hollywood Bowl. Elizabeth is also the only jazz vocalist to ever have been long listed for the Polaris Prize – Canada’s most prestigious music prize – an honour she has received twice.
Praise for Elizabeth Shepherd‘s 2015 JUNO-nominated The Signal , featuring Lionel Loueke:
- “A soul-groove masterpiece” Radio Koln (DE)
“Top 10 Soul/R&B Album of 2014” EXCLAIM
“The Best Jazz of 2014” PopMatters (US)
“An important work” The Evening Standard (UK)
“5 stars” Blues & Soul (UK)
“Superior sixth album” MOJO (UK)
“Best of 2014” All About Jazz (US)
“The most important vocal jazz record to be released all year.” Something Else (US)
“One of the coolest records of 2014” Winnipeg Free Press
“One of the best jazz albums of the year” ICI
“Arrestingly soulful….irresistibly hip” Montreal Gazette
- “Sublime” CBC Radio One
- “Best of 2014” All Music Guide (US)
Aaron Davis is an eclectic composer, arranger and keyboardist based in Toronto, Canada, who is perhaps best known as a founding member of the Holly Cole Trio and as a composer of music for film.
In 1979 he helped found world beat-jazz band Manteca, for whom he wrote and played keyboards from 1979 until 1991 and then again in 2008. In 1983 Aaron released his own album, “NOUVELLE AFRIQUE”. Davis’s second album, “NEON BLUE” was released in 1988, with Molly Johnson singing the title track.
In the late eighties Davis and bassist David Piltch formed a group with singer Holly Cole. As well as being a co-arranger of the Holly Cole repertoire, and writing some of her songs, Davis has done all of her orchestral arrangements, which have been performed by symphonies across Canada, the U.S. and Japan. He has also done orchestral & choral arrangements for other artists, including Alison Krauss, Natalie McMaster, David Clayton Thomas, Eliana Cuevas, Leahy, the Ennis Sisters, Eleanor McCain, the Canadian Brass, Quartetto Gelato, Sophie Milman, Kevin Breit and the Iseler Singers.
Orchestral writing of different sorts has also played a part in Davis’ film writing. Since 1985 he has scored more than 100 films. Aaron has been nominated for three Genie awards, and four Gemini awards. Aaron and co-writer John Lang won a Gemini in 1996 for scoring “No Price Too High”, won in 1997 for “Ebola: Inside An Outbreak”, and won a 2006 Gemini for “Every Day Einstein”. They were also nominated for Genie awards for Clement Virgo’s “Rude” (1995) and “Love Come Down” (2000).
In the fall of 1996 Aaron & bassist David Piltch released an instrumental CD entitled “Feast. Since 2006 Davis has worked as music director, pianist, arranger and composer with singer Measha Brueggergosman, most recently on the 2015 Rhombus performance film of Afro-American spirituals, “Songs Of Freedom”. In 2016 Davis also arranged and performed orchestral versions of some those pieces with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. Davis has been music director on 2 CDs with Measha: “I’ve Got A Crush On You”, and “Christmas”. Aaron has co-written songs with various songwriters, including Mary Margaret O’Hara, Ron Sexsmith, Carole Pope and Marc Jordan. Aaron also wrote 4 tunes and played keyboards on “Onward”, the 2008 Juno-nominated CD by Manteca. Aaron has contributed many arrangements to the Art Of Time Ensemble, performed with guest artists such as Madeline Peyroux, Sarah Slean, Gregory Hoskins, Liam Titcomb, Jessica Mitchell and Steven Page.
Other artists that Aaron has worked with include: Molly Johnson, John Alcorn, David Myles, Sarah Slean, Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Selena Ryder, Hawksley Workman, Angelique Kidjo, the Parachute Club and Rose Cousins, Jane Siberry. Since 2011 Aaron has been working on multi-media interactive art installations with, visual artist Candida Girling. They created “Marcovaldo’s Bench”, an installation which was part of Toronto’s “Nuit Blanche” festival in Oct 2011. Other installations include “Simply Breathing”, “A City Slice of Sky” and “A City Slice of Green” in Toronto and Buffalo, NY.
Davis continues to work with Holly Cole and Measha Brueggergosman, and over the last couple of years has recorded new CDs with Buffy St. Marie, Amelia Curran and Rose Cousins. He has also worked as a mentor at the Banff Centre for The Performing Arts and put together a Leonard Cohen Tribute with resident musicians there.