Gordon Grdina, François Houle, Kenton Loewen, Benoit Delbecq

Biographie Gordon Grdina, François Houle, Kenton Loewen, Benoit Delbecq

Gordon Grdina
Juno award winning guitar and oud player Gordon Grdina mixes elements of Arabic freejazz, rock and punk within the dofferent ensembles he leads.

A protégé of jazz great Gary Peacock, he is a well respected contributor to the jazz and world music scenes constantly being sought out for projects that need a fresh sound Songlines has just released “Think Like the Waves” a special SACD that is the culmination of all of Gordon ‘s artistic endeavors. The band is Gary Peacock - Bass, Paul Motian -Drums and Gordon Grdina -Guitar & Oud.

His main touring ensemble Box Cutter is a genre bending modern Jazz quartet featuring François Houle. They Have just signed a two CD deal with Spool and will be releasing their debut CD “Unlearn” in October 2006

East Van Strings is a guitar/oud, violin, viola and cello quartet that is inspired by Bartok, Berg and Arabic Taqasim. The other members of the ensemble are Jesse Zubot, Peggy Lee, and Eyvind Kang. They are touring and recording in December for an early 2007 CD debut.

He plays the Oud in the Arabic/Persian/Indian ensemble Sangha. They are touring in support of their debut CD “Omid” and preparing to record with Virtuoso Persian Classical and Balouchi singer Fatieth Honari.

As a freelance musician Gordon has performed or recorded with Eyvind Kang, Paul Motian, Gary Peacock, John Stowell, Francois Houle, Jesse Zubot, Chuck Isreals, Reza Honari, Amir Haghighi, Andy Milne, Mariam Matossian, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Chris Gestrin, Karin Plato, Quinsin Nachofff, Peggy Lee, and Dylan Van der Schyff.

François Houle
Clarinetist François Houle has established himself as one of today's most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces: classical, jazz, new music, improvised music, and world music. Whether he's performing works by Mozart or Messiaen, appearing as a featured soloist with orchestra, or improvising and embracing live, interactive electronics, François demystifies music for audiences everywhere. He is a faculty member at the Vancouver Community College School of Music, and in 2006 he became Artistic Director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute. In 2008 he was appointed as "Associate Composer" of the Canadian Music Centre.

Benoît Delbecq
was born in St Germain en Laye (F), June 6, 1966. He lives in Bondy, near Paris.

A dreamer and an adventurer in music, pianist/composer/producer Benoît Delbecq has been one of the activists of Hask (1992-2004) and Astrolab (1994-1999), two Paris-based cutting-edge jazz/improv collectives that have contributed to significantly revitalize the french creative music scene around the club Instants Chavirés in Montreuil/Paris. His music and projects include works for theater, dance, litterature, visual arts and motion pictures, that are being regularly invited by major festivals worldwide. He has released about 35 records as a leader or co-leader among a discography of more than a hundred discs.

Anchored in both jazz history as well as in aesthetical stakes of today's new musics, Delbecq’s works are world-widely acclaimed since the early nineties. He is a renown specialist for a personal and polymetric approach of "prepared piano", and has also an regular activity in the electronic department. His works are experimenting a blend of improvisation and composition in which he reveals a rich pallet of sounds, enlightened by stratas of multiple momentums, articulations and seemingly floating harmonies. Inspired by alternative urban musical experiments and electronic music adventures, he also improvises a personal approach of drum’n bass and ambient.

His works at the acoustic piano are mainly published by Songlines (Canada), when his electronic-oriented works with maverick accomplice Steve Argüelles are on Plush (GB).

Benoît was awarded ‘Prix jeunes affiches de la SACEM’ in 1995 with group KARTET, prix de la Villa Médicis Hors-les-murs 2001 for his first solo piano recording « Nu-Turn » (Songlines, 2003), was awarded with the fellowship of Civitella Fundation (New York, 2009), was awarded in 2010 a double Grand Prix International du Disque (Académie Charles Cros, the French Grammy Awards), and his trio CD «The Sixth Jump » (Songlines) was listed in the New York Times top ten jazz/pop records of 2010. His works for the Fred Hersch/Benoît Delbecq FUN HOUSE double trio (premiered and recorded in May 2012, to be released FEB 2013) have recently received the French Ministère de la Culture « Commande d'Etat » funding. Recently he was commissioned by JAZZTOPAD Festival in Wroclaw (Poland) for a new piece for the Lutoslawski String Quartet and two improvisers (Miles Perkin on bass and himself on piano).

During his formative years, Benoît has studied with Mal Waldron, Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Coleman, Dave Holland, Solange Ancona, Nicolle Mollard, Jean-Pierre Fouquey, Abraham Adzenyah, George Russel, Kenny Wheeler, Julian Priester... (IACP Paris, Versailles Conservatory, Banff Jazz Workshop 1987 and 1990, Cachan national Conservatory).

Benoît embraced a musical career in his early twenties after studying electronics and sound engineering (at CNAM Paris, ISTAR Paris and BTS Cinéma Janson de Sailly Paris) after which he worked for a little while as an assistant director for French director Jacques André in 1986.

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