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The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra with Christine Jensen and Jill Townsend Unveils Tidal Currents: East Meets West

A unique collaboration between the WJO and two of Canada’s leading jazz composers, Christine Jensen and Jill Townsend, this commissioned suite captures the spirit and essence of the bodies of water that shaped both composers since childhood. They are also featured on the album as guest artists, with Jill as conductor and Christine as saxophone soloist.

Line Up
Saxophones: Christine Jensen (alto, soprano), Neil Watson (alto), Niall Cade (tenor), Monica Jones (tenor), Kyle Wedlake (baritone)
Trumpets: Shane Hicks, Jenny Taylor, Richard Gillis, Matthew Walden
Trombones: Joel Green, Jeremy Duggleby, Francois Godere, Isabelle Lavoie
Piano: Will Bonness
Guitar: Larry Roy
Bass: Karl Kohut
Drums: Fabio Ragnelli
Conductor: Jill Townsend

Track Listing
(Focus tracks in bold)
1. Inside The Wave (Townsend)
Soloists: Matthew Walden, Fabio Ragnelli
2. Crossing Lachine (Jensen)
Soloists: Fabio Ragnelli, Niall Cade
3. Tidal Currents (Townsend)
Soloists: Karl Kohut, Christine Jensen
4. Rock Skipping Under The Half Moon (Jensen)
Soloist: Christine Jensen

What Folks Are Saying
“…a radiant and grand ensemble…We must express our pleasure in listening to this album, with its beautiful compositions, splendidly performed and with sumptuous arrangements. It is an album that can be played on repeat, and truth be told, we would have liked to have two more tracks. This is perhaps the only criticism we can offer regarding this album that evokes the vast open spaces, prairies, lakes, and rivers—a return to nature that is good for the heart and soul—so why deny yourself the pleasure?”
– Thierry De Clemensat, Paris Move

“This is a stellar release by a superb ensemble, with thought-provoking compositions from the featured guests. Multiple listening sessions will reveal new layers each time.”
– David Reed, The Belleville Intelligencer

“…a terrific ensemble whose seventh release maintains the high standard set by its predecessors…The four pieces form a half-hour suite whose rewards are plentiful, thanks to the playing of the ensemble as well as the quality of the material the composers provided to them…a splendid addition to the group’s discography.”
– Ron Schepper, Textura

“…venerable and always excellent…Impeccable recorded sound does the whole project justice.”
– Robert Rowat, CBC

About the WJO
The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra (WJO) is Canada’s first community-based, non-profit professional jazz orchestra. Founded in 1997 (registered charity in 2000), the WJO has matured to become an important part of Winnipeg’s cultural landscape, reflected in the ongoing support the organization receives from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Winnipeg Foundation, and other sponsors. The mandate of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra is to be an instrumental force in the promotion and development of big band jazz in Manitoba and beyond, through performance, composition, recording and education.

The WJO has sought to fulfill this mandate in several ways. They present a regular concert series that reflects the diversity of approaches to big band performance and repertoire. They hire Manitoba’s best professional jazz musicians to make up the ensemble, and allow for a rotation of personnel to bring in up and coming musicians. The WJO seeks to present the best big band jazz compositions and arrangements available, and they encourage new work through the commission of new compositions and arrangements for big band by Canadian and Manitoban composers (over 100 have been written for the WJO to date).

The orchestra collaborates with national and international guest performers and conductors that have informed and developed the ensemble, musicians and audience. The organization gives back to the community through educational outreach programs and projects including school ensemble performances at WJO concerts, their High School Honour Jazz Band project (a collaboration with Jazz Winnipeg Festival), and big band workshops held in several Winnipeg schools. Finally, they fulfill their mandate through recording the ensemble and its original music. The WJO has released seven albums to date, with many more on the way.

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