Launch Audio Player


Luis Tovar Releases Dance Inspired EP “Storm” with Sabrina Naz

Luis Tovar (feat. Sabrina Naz)


About Luis Tovar:

Luis “El Pana” Tovar is a JUNO-nominated percussionist from Venezuela. Since arriving in Alberta 18 years ago, he has made an indelible mark on the Western Canadian music scene, with 29 years of professional experience in percussion of world music instruments.

Regardless of musical genre or collaborators, Luis brings a unique combination of energy and positive dynamics to the stage or recording studio, drawing on his Venezuelan and Afro-Caribbean roots to engage in any project. He has played a prominent role in a variety of local musical groups, such as the Esteban Herrera Quintet, Montuno West, Perpie Nwa Olisa, Notas de 4, The Grandstand Show, and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. Additionally, he participated in DJD’s “Sistema Nervioso” show last year.

In a significant milestone of his career, Luis had the opportunity to produce the album “Luz” by Venezuelan singer Arturo Marc in late 2023. This experience allowed him to collaborate with two renowned Grammy-winning cuatro players, Héctor Molina and Jorge Glem, further enriching his career and consolidating his position as a renowned music producer on the international scene. Luis has collaborated with other internationally renowned artists such as Oscar D León, Willie Colón, Johnny Reid, and Gil Coldstein.

His mission goes beyond music; Luis’s aspiration is to share his talent with the community and promote unity within the Canadian territory through his performances and collaborations. He enjoys sharing his experiences and knowledge with the next generation of musicians, further emphasizing his versatility and dedication to exploring various musical styles and projects.


About Storm:

Storm is the latest project from JUNO-nominated percussionist Luis Tovar, who is passionate about using fresh compositions to blend Venezuelan, Afro-Caribbean, and Canadian musical cultures.

Luis has performed with Willy Colon, David Pavon, Tito Nieves, Jerry Rivera, Maelo Ruiz, Oscar de Leon, Pavlo and Rik Emmett, Luis Bonilla, Brian Hughes and Michael Mossman, and has been a member of The Oscar Lopez Trio since 2007.

Born out of a compositional collaboration with dancer Sabrina Naz, Storm features electric atmospheres, flashing instrumentals, and grounding rhythms in a movement-driven collection of originals.


Line up:

Stephen Williams – Saxophone

Andre Wickenheiser – Trumpet

Rohan Nicholas – Steel Pan

Jon Day – Piano

Daniel Nava – Bass

Luis Tovar – Drums, Percussion


Track listing:

  1. Stoot
  2. Orisha Orbit
  3. Storm
  4. Simmer Up


Daniel Janke’s Winter Trio Releases New Project: Available Light


Daniel Janke Winter Trio

Available Light

Released Friday April 19th on Chronograph Records

A collection of originals which draw from Janke’s experience in film,  upbringing in gospel and roots music, and love of improvised jazz.


Daniel Janke – Piano

Basile Rahola – Bass

Ariel Tessier – Drum

Track Listing:

1. Song For Margaret

2. Available Light

3. Giant

4. Blessed Assurance

5. Man of Constant Sorrow

6. Eleanor’s Waltz

7. River Ice

8. Café Bonton

9. Gospel For Betty

About Available Light:

Daniel Janke’s Winter Trio is an international project, involving a new collaboration with drummer Ariel Tessier (France), and bassist Basile Rahola (Spain). The trio members first met in France when Daniel was doing a residency at la Roche d’Hys domain des arts. They played as a trio in Paris a few times and did a modest tour in the Dijon region of France, before recording a new album.

Available Light is the product of this collaboration. The title is drawn from the film term which indicates shooting only with natural available light. It is a reference to the unique winter light conditions found in Canada’s north where Daniel has his studio.

The record features a collection of original compositions by Daniel, which showcase his breadth of experience composing with narrative intent for film, as well as his upbringing in gospel and roots music. Combined with his love of contemporary improvised music and jazz, the result is an album like no other, with elements from all these disciplines merging to form a wonderfully original, diverse, and evocative collection of work. The tunes incorporate both structured and free improvisation, and are a seamless blend of North American composition aesthetic and European jazz approach.

About the Trio:

Daniel Janke (piano) is an improviser and composer based in Yukon, Canada. His work is eclectic, crossing many genres and disciplines, and frequently taking him to Europe and especially Berlin. Daniel studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and has a Master’s in ethnomusicology from York University. His piano style is heavily influenced by an upbringing in gospel music, and a long career composing for film, including Subconscious Password, which was nominated for a 2014 Oscar Award. Other recent collaborations include work with violinist Mark Fewer, soprano Rachel Fenlon, and clarinetist François Houle. Commissions include works for the Penderecki String Quartet, Standing Wave Ensemble, Toronto Symphony, NEM, Bozzini String Quartet, and the Continuum Ensemble. Recording releases include Body In Motion [2022, Centrediscs], and Crystalline with clarinetist François Houle [2022].

For more info:

Basile Rahola (bass) is from Barcelona, and currently lives in Brussels. He started playing the electric bass in 2001 at the age of seven at the European Institute for Rhythmic Arts Training in Montpellier, France. In 2012, he participated in jazz workshops with pianist Pierre Coulon-Cerisier, and bassist Alfred Vilayleck. In 2013 he entered the jazz department of ENM (National School of Music) in Villeurbanne, Lyon where he studied double bass. Basile has played internationally in Spain, Canary Islands, Belgium, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Morocco. He continues his career as a musician based in Brussels, Belgium, where he plays with his main projects Baz Trio and Basile Rahola Quartet.

Ariel Tessier (drums) is originally from Pau, France where he started playing drums and classical percussion. Ariel continued his learning by following the lessons of the jazz class from the CRR, then from the CNSM in Paris, where he graduated in 2013. In 2015, he spent his first stay in New York which turned out to be decisive.  A very active musician on the Parisian scene, he performs regularly in France and abroad with many from the younger generation, but also with renowned musicians such as Riccardo del Fra, Pierrick Pedron, Antoine Hervé. He is the winner of several national competitions including that of “Jazz à la Défense” and “Jazz Migration”.


The Way Back Whens Present Debut Album: Live at the Yardbird Suite



Live at the Yardbird Suite

Released Friday April 5th on Chronograph Records

A fun-filled collection of instant classics brought to life by a brand-new, old-fashioned  traditional jazz band, filling the spectrum from joy and whimsy to sassy and sultry.



Dan Davis – Clarinet, Saxophone
Keith Rempel – Sousaphone, Bass
Audrey Ochoa – Trombone
Eric Weiden – Trumpet
Brett Hansen – Banjo, Guitar
Dan Stadnicki – Drums, Cymbals
Barbara Vargas – Tap Dance
Dan Gervais – Fiddle

Track Listing:

  1. One More Once – Dan Davis
  2. Sorry ‘bout Your Luck – Keith Rempel (VIDEO)
  3. Mud Boggin’ – Keith Rempel
  4. Before You Know It – Dan Davis (VIDEO)
  5. I Got Rhythm – George and Ira Gershwin
  6. Just a Closer Walk – Traditional
  7. Gospel Medley – Arr. Keith Rempel
  8. Ella’s Dance – Dan Davis (VIDEO)
  9. Leda’s Melody – Dan Davis
  10. One Night in Invermere – Dan Davis


About The Way Back Whens:

The Way Back Whens are a brand-new, old-fashioned traditional jazz band. Featuring a renewed collaboration between Dan Davis on clarinet and saxophone and Keith Rempel on sousaphone and bass, and joined by Edmonton’s finest old school players, The Way Back Whens will take you… well, way, way back! Their music is inspired by the work of Louis Armstrong, Bennie Goodman and Django Reinhardt. Dan and Keith are joined by Canada’s finest trombonist Audrey Ochoa, Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle champion Daniel Gervais, and Barbara Vargas on tap dance. Brett Hansen, Daniel Stadnicki and Eric Weiden bring their inimitable talents on Banjo, Drums and Trumpet to round out the group.

Jazz is at its best when it’s spontaneous, dangerous, electric, interactive, and live. The risk of a sour note, the opportunity for sublime connection – it’s what makes jazz a wonderfully vibrant music.  This record features trad jazz and gospel tunes, surf rock, laid back funk, intricate four-part writing for the horn and violin section, and a beautiful ballad in the style of Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind”. Audrey Ochoa and Dan Gervais deliver standout performances, while Dan Stadnicki and Barb Vargas entertain and amuse the audience with their antics on “I Got Rhythm”. Keith Rempel lays it down on the bass and sousaphone, and Dan Davis climbs the clarinet and saxophone with equal ease.

This debut album brings together a phenomenal cast of talent, but like any good jazz group, the value of the band far exceeds the sum of its parts. On a canvas of compositions that feel at once familiar and new, filling the spectrum from joy and whimsy to sassy and sultry, the band paints a sound so rich in color it can’t help but satisfy the ear and put a grin on the face. Add a dose of tap dancing and the tangible excitement of the audience, and we get a feel-good live energy the likes of which can’t be found on many albums these days. But then, they are The Way Back Whens.


Aimee-Jo Benoit and The New Assembly Present Sophomore Album Horns of Hope

Aimee-Jo Benoit – Horns of Hope

Released Friday, March 29th

Barefoot (single) released Friday, March 8th

Release concert Saturday April 6th at Theatre 1308, Calgary AB


A deeply personal and heartfelt vocal jazz record that explores the duality of Hope, and its coexistence with struggle, pain and loss.



Aimee-Jo Benoit – Vocals
Carsten Rubeling – Trombone
Mark DeJong – Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Andre Wickenheiser – Trumpet
Daniel Gaucher – Drums
Mark Limacher – Piano, Rhodes
Jon Wielebknowski – Upright Bass, Electric Bass

Track Listing:

(100% MAPL, focus tracks in bold)

  1. Barefoot (K.D. Lang / R. Telson)
  2. Bird on a Wire (L. Cohen)
  3. A Soft Place to Land (K. Edwards)
  4. Little Green (J. Mitchell)
  5. Moon at the Window (J. Mitchell)
  6. Where Will I Be? (D. Lanois)
  7. You Were Here (S. Harmer)
  8. Free (A. Benoit)

Praise for Benoit’s 2020 release BORJONER:

    • “Reshaping pop-rock material through a jazz aesthetic and improvisational flights results in sparkling gems throughout the band’s debut album… Benoit has planted the seeds for what one hopes will become a lengthy discography.” – Downbeat Magazine (Editor’s pick July 2020)
    • “Benoit’s crystalline delivery is suffused with warmth and an emotional investment in the material” – JAZZIZ
    • Peaked at #1 on the Canadian National Jazz Chart


    About Aimee-Jo Benoit:

    Renowned for her distinctive vocal style, articulate diction, and expressive phrasing, Calgary vocalist Aimee-Jo Benoit is recognized for her unwavering commitment to featuring the works of Canadian songwriters in her repertoire. Her performances guide the audience along the path of her emotional roots with the music of Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell as well as Leslie Feist, Michael Feuerstack and others. Benoit takes a classic approach to standards as well as interpreting well- known contemporary songs into a new sound, paying homage to the long-standing jazz tradition of creating a new canon.

    Continually honing her craft, Aimee-Jo has studied privately with Tamara Beatty, Leon Leontaridis, Cheryl Fisher, Vivian Martin & workshopped with Jay Clayton. Her discography includes four studio albums with Woodpigeon from 2008-2012, has lent her vocal talent to recordings by Summerlad and Aaron Booth in 2005 and 2008 respectively, as well as Hermitess’ 2020 release, “The Tower.”

    Independently released in June 2020, her debut album “BORJONER,” a improvisation led collaboration with TRIO VELOCITY, marked a significant milestone in her musical journey. On March29, 2024 her sophomore album HORNS OF HOPE will be released on boutique label Chronograph Records.

    In addition to being a performer, Aimee-Jo has earned a Master of Arts degree in the academic study of religion, with a particular emphasis on examining the correlation between improvisation in religious contexts and its application to the study of religion in academic research. Committed to her local jazz community she volunteers as Secretary of the Board for Buckingjam Music Foundation, as well as maintaining a blog under MOTHER/MUSIC/HOOD. Through this platform, she shares her personal experiences of motherhood, striving to construct a supportive community for fellow creatives navigating the complexities of balancing artistic pursuits with motherhood. She hopes that her vulnerability will help to empower women to realize their own second acts in the realm of creativity.


    Instagram: @aimeejobenoitmusic

    Facebook: AimeeJoBenoitMusic


    About Horns of Hope:

    When the world stopped, our family’s identity was stripped away overnight, we were no longer who we thought we were. We embarked on a journey of wearing different skins, playing different roles, feeling generally out of place. These skins led me down a path I never thought possible, surrounded by warm hands, life and death.

    What began as a project with a vastly different direction, Horns of Hope was born out of a need for a simple, uncomplicated gathering of friends that materialised in eight beautiful, heartbreaking, and hopeful songs.  There was a sense of urgency in comparison to BORJONER which took nearly a decade to complete. Horns of Hope happened in a period of months – imagined in coffee shops and texts between myself and Carsten, it came to life in what seemed like only a few conversations.

    The title “Horns of Hope” was brought on when I was contemplating the philosophical phrase, “the horns of the dilemma”, which is the choice between two things, and neither of them are desirable.  The pandemic felt this way to me, for I could choose myself and my own freedoms or rights, or I could choose the rights and freedoms of others, keeping myself secluded and masked.  This made me hopeless for a time. However, Hope exists in duality, for we cannot be hopeful without the existence of struggle, pain, and loss. We must accept the duality of our existence, be present in it when possible, and listen for the signs. To be in society, we must see the dualities of light and dark, hope and fear.

    Why these songs?  It’s both uncomfortable and important for me to say that I had specific moments, people, and experiences attached to each song on this album.  It’s incredibly private and utterly public.  I will most likely never mention to those people that it’s about them, but they might infer it.

    Aimee-Jo Benoit

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.

For more info:

Audrey Ochoa Returns with The Head of a Mouse

Audrey Ochoa’s best album yet features inspired and personal compositions performed by an all-star lineup with seamless live-off-the-floor execution.

“My father used to tell me ‘…it’s better to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a lion.’

I didn’t write [these tunes] with any specific musicians in mind – unlike previous albums – so when it came time to start planning the recording, I realized I was going to need different rhythm sections, strings, additional horns and a bass trombone – 12 musicians spread across 13 tracks. I tried to highlight everyone – they’re all musicians I admire so much, it wasn’t hard to find places for them to shine.

All the songs are personal – they’re about family, grief, relationships – I wrote them in late 2020/2021, when live performance was restricted, so composition was all I had as an outlet. I guess I was writing my own comfort music, borrowing from artists like Donny Hathaway and Daniel Caesar – and trying to include styles that I grew up playing, like Ska and Salsa. I even threw in a trombone chorale, a shout-out to my years playing in trombone quartets and choirs – I even sing on one of the tracks.

This is without a doubt my favourite album. We recorded all the tracks in four days, and had it mixed the following week. It was recorded live off the floor – did two to three takes of each tune. I had the artwork finished before we even started recording. Everything about this album came together very easily – it wasn’t a stressful endeavour.” – Audrey Ochoa

Hutchinson Andrew Trio Releases The Senator: A Tribute To Tommy Banks

The multiple-award-winning Hutchinson Andrew Trio (HAT) is a vital and distinctively western force on the Canadian and international jazz scene. Winners of the prestigious TD Grand Jazz Award at the 34th Annual Montreal International Jazz Festival and a four-time Western Canadian Music Awards nominee, HAT brings a unique perspective to their music inspired by the vast prairie landscapes and majestic Rocky Mountains that surround them. Downbeat Magazine made the group an Editor’s Pick and called them “a terrific listen, with great musicianship throughout.”

The Senator pays tribute to the the Honourable Tommy Banks (1936-2018), a jazz legend who was both a world- class musician and a champion of the performing arts in his community. Banks – a pianist, conductor, arranger, composer, TV personality, actor, producer and politician – had an unparalleled, multi-faceted career spanning more than 60 years in virtually every aspect of the entertainment industry in Canada. A professional jazz pianist at age 14, he went on to lead his own bands, conduct symphony orchestras around the world, direct musical ceremonies at international events, host his own long-running television show, and act in film and television. He also served nearly 12 years in the Canadian Senate.

Supported by the CKUA radio foundation, this album is a tribute to Banks’s legacy as an artist, but also to the important marks The Senator left on Alberta and Canada as a community leader, politician, and champion of the performing arts.

Chris Andrew’s “Home” reaches 1 Million streams on Spotify!

Listen now on Spotify

Home is the latest release for Edmonton based pianist, Chris Andrew. The title of the album speaks clearly to the inspiration for the compositions Chris crafted for this thoughtful exploration into his world. Spending time back and forth between his home base in Edmonton, Alberta and the University of Auckland in New Zealand where he was finishing his master’s degree in early 2020, Chris began to discover was most important to him in both his life and his art; family and community. As Chris comments, “Having a safe place surrounded by my family and my community has brought me a much-needed sense of security and stable foundation which allows me to do what I am doing as an artist. This has never become more clear than over the past few years with the challenges all of us have been facing in the world.”

Bringing together influences ranging traditional to contemporary and inspired by some of his heroes including pianists Joey Calderazzo to Aaron Parks, Chris has created what he hopes is a clear statement to the people in his life that have given him the security and support that they are part of this musical journey.

Recorded in Auckland, New Zealand in February of 2020 as the world was beginning to change more than anyone knew at the time, Chris employed some of the great talents of the University of Auckland’s jazz faculty. The record features 7 original contemporary jazz compositions in a trio and quartet setting with Chris Andrew (piano), Ron Samsom (drums), Olivier Holland (bass) and Roger Manins (saxophones).



Redline Trio releases sophomore album “Underdog” on Chronograph Records

Redline Trio’s cohesiveness and musicianship is immediately evident on your first listening. Their musical concept is unabashedly straight ahead with repertoire that favours the traditional head-solos-head format. Each musician has contributed their own compositions to this recording, and the album is filled with fresh new sounds. Redline Trio is composed of Calgarians Jeff Sulima on drums, Steve Shepard on bass, and Mark DeJong on tenor saxophone. On this date, they’re joined by Vancouver’s titanic talent Brad Turner on trumpet and New York’s Steve Hudson on piano.

They have also burnished their group’s sound in a way that’s not very common anymore: for the past six years, they’ve been playing together every week at a Calgary venue called Betty Lou’s Library. With several Western Canadian tours with Turner and with Hudson under their belts they headed into the award-winning OCL Studios in Chestermere, Alberta.

A note on the recording itself: The session was tracked by Josh Rob Gwilliam at OCL and then mixed and mastered by the group’s trumpeter Brad Turner, who is himself a highly gifted recording engineer and record producer. The sound quality of this final product is beautiful: each instrument’s tone is clear and warm, the balance between the instruments is perfect, and the musicians all sound as though they’re playing in the same room together. If, like me, you treat yourself to listening to this album with headphones on, you will appreciate the recording quality even more.

Keith O’Rourke’s “Imperfect Perfectionist” Now Available

As with many artists, the pandemic shutdowns of 2020 became a time of soul searching for saxophonist and composer Keith O’Rourke. His sophomore album the ‘Imperfect Perfectionist’ is a direct result of this unexpected and prolonged period of self-reflection, practice and composition.

Keith began shaping the concept of a smaller ensemble as he realized that featuring a larger group with reopening of the arts industry might not be the most responsible way to re-enter live performance. Keith started writing for a chordless trio, putting aside some of the other projects he had on the go with this in mind. Keith immediately understood that this trio project was at once both exhilarating and a daunting challenge. On one hand, there was the freedom offered by the space that is left behind with less musicians interacting. On the other, every musician in this reduced setting needs to be active and interactive to effectively fill the space.

Keith approached the creation of this ensemble with an acute need to create a full sound with minimal instrumentation. Sanah Kadoura was his first choice for the drum chair as she is known for her fearless playing and endless creativity and chops. Double-bassist Kodi Hutchinson was a natural choice with his wealth of trio experience and his ability to take calculated risks to augment the sound of the band making three sound like more.

For the music itself, Keith has penned several fresh compositions and arranged a variety of standards that shine with this new trio.

Always the perfectionist, Keith strives in his own imperfect way to take us a journey through his life through music.