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unQuartet focuses on free improvisation, inspiring a new string quartet experience. They have collaborated with dancers, aerial artists, poets and painters to create beauty in interdisciplinary spontaneous creation. They draw the listener deeper into the music experience by performing original work never to be experienced again.
With violinist Meghan Cheng, violist Nelson Moneo and cellist Cheryl O connecting through the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity residencies, each of the members of unQuartet has traditional classical training with expansion into contemporary, jazz, improvisation and electronic music. Though originally a true string quartet of two violinists, a violist and a cellist, the sudden loss of their viola player encouraged them to reform and tighten the group to become an improvising trio, thus becoming even more an unQuartet.
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Jazz at the Gallery
An Evening with Robi Botos and Tim Ries
ROBI BOTOS has been hailed as one of the most diverse multi-instrumentalists of this generation. From the hard-bop style of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, to the swing of Oscar Peterson and the heartfelt melodic expression of Mulgrew Miller and Cedar Walton, Robi has managed to master the technique of his idols, all while showcasing his musical expressions in a voice that is purely his own. While Robi is known for being a strong player in the traditional jazz and funk fields, he always incorporates an element of the music he grew up listening to into his playing. Says organist, trumpeter and pianist Joey Defrancesco: “Robi is one of the most swingin’, soulful, funky, world class players I’ve ever heard, and he has a technique like you can’t believe. Definitely one of my very favorite players!!!”
Born of Romani descent in Hungary, Robi taught himself first to play drums as a young child, and got his first taste of being a professional musician working throughout Budapest. When he turned 20, Robi decided to move his wife and children to Canada to further pursue the career he was born for. Now 20 years later, Robi has solidified himself as one of the most sought-after pianists in the country, and holds 2 JUNO Awards, as well as countless global prizes including the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) Award, and 2 nominations in the Canadian Screen Awards.
In 2018, Robi released a brand-new record that pays homage to his Hungarian upbringing, the early days of his career, and the music that he has dedicated his life to. “OLD SOUL” sees Robi not only venturing into a number of different genres (jazz, funk, soul, gospel and more!), but he also plays on a number of different instruments including the Harpejji. Robi is joined by some familiar faces such as longtime collaborators Mike Downeson bass and Larnell Lewison drums, as well as Seamus Blake on saxophone. Also joining them for the first time is Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), Ingrid Jensen, and Lionel Loueke). Robi’s ability as a composer is (once again) highlighted on this record with a majority of the tracks being his original material. “Old Soul” pays tribute to his homeland as he takes you down memory lane with visions of his childhood neighbourhood and through some of his favourite spots in his hometown. This record makes you feel like you have a personal connection with one of the most diverse and eclectic artists of our time. Robi is the 2019 JUNO Award-winner for Jazz Album of the Year: Solo for OLD SOUL.
Saxophonist, composer, arranger, producer and educator Tim Ries received degrees from both The University of North Texas (BM) and The University of Michigan (MM). He has had a unique and varied career, which began in 1983 with the great Maynard Ferguson. Tim moved to New York City in 1985 and since that time his performing and recording credits include a who’s who of jazz, rock, pop and world music icons: The Rolling Stones from 1999 to the present, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen, Michael Jackson, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Rod Stewart, Lyle Lovette, and jazz greats Red Garland, Donald Byrd, Hank Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Phil Woods, Tom Harrell, Chico Hamilton, Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Tony Bennett, Louie Bellson, Dave Liebman, Al Foster, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Bela Szakcsi Lakatos and Maria Schneider.
Tim was a member of the Prism Saxophone Quartet from 1993-2003. He has released 9 CDs as a leader. His last two discs, Tim Ries Quintet and Tim Ries Quintet Vol II, are live perfomances at Smalls Jazz Club. In 2005 and 2008 respectively, he released The Rolling Stones Project (Concord) and Stones World (Sunnyside), both are his versions of Stones classics arranged in jazz and world music genres. Both CDs have drawn rave reviews across the globe. Some of the guest artists featured on these discs include: all four Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, Milton Nascimento, Sara Baras, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Lisa Fischer, Bernard Fowler, Larry Goldings, Franck Amsallem, Eddie Palmieri, Brian Blade and Ana Moura. His latest colaborations are performing with the great flamenco dancer Sara Baras and with The East Gipsy Band from Budapest. Tim has taught saxophone and composition at The New School, Rutgers University, The City University of New York and The University of Toronto.
Music and Poetry
Dina Duisen, piano
Rob Heaps, actor
Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm
$25; $10 Students (Cash only at the door)
Purchase tickets in advance on Eventbrite.
Sonata in F sharp minor, K.25
Sonata in G major, K.201
Paired with Basil Bunting
Prelude in C sharp minor, Op.3 No.2
Prelude in G sharp minor, Op.32 No.12
Paired with Alexander Pushkin and Ivan Bunin (in Russian)
Mazurka in A minor, Op.17 No.4
Mazurka in B flat major, Op.7 No.1
Paired with Victor Hugo (in French)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Appassionata, Op.53 Third movement
Paired with Lord Byron
Dina Duisen was born into a family of musicians in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She studied there and in the USA before completing a Master of Arts Degree in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
She is a major prize winner at many piano competitions, including the 29th International Piano Competition in Senigallia, Italy, the Shabyt International Competition, the National Competition of Kazakhstan and the International Musician of 21st Century Competition. Dina has also participated in a number of music festivals in Europe, the USA and Asia, including IMS Masterclasses and Open Chamber Music Prussia Cove, the Rome Music Festival and the Oxford International Piano Festival. Twice, Dina was one of eight pianists selected to participate in Sergei Babayan’s International Piano Academy at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Dina gave the Asian premiere of ‘Mazurkas’ by British composer Thomas Adès. She has been the resident class pianist at IMS Prussia Cove and Casalmaggiore International Music Festival. Last year, Dina joined Sinfonia Cymru for Twisted Rhythms: Mark Anthony Turnage Birthday Concert at the Vibrato Festival. She was invited to join the Mercury Quartet for a concert at the George Enescu Festival. Dina has performed at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, at Milton Court as well as the 20th Anniversary Concert of the Oxford Festival. In October, 2018 she made her debut at Cadogan Hall in a dramatised Concert ‘Byron: Angel and Outcast’ at Cadogan Hall with actors Simon Russell Beale and Rob Heaps.
Dina has released her solo album, ‘Mazurkas from Chopin to Adès’ which was recorded at Kings Place with the Grammy Award-winning producer Andrew Keener.
Rob Heaps read Russian and French at Cambridge before training as an actor at Russian State Institure of Performing Arts in St Petersburg and LAMDA. He has performed at leading theatres across the country, including The National Theatre, Harold Pinter theatre, Theatre Royal Bath, Chichester Festival Theatre, and in various productions for BBC and ITV including And Then There Were None and Home Fires. He is best known for his roles as Ezra Bloom in the US TV show, Imposters.
Theatre: While the Sun Shines(Theatre Royal Bath), Another Place(Plymouth Theatre Royal), Pioneer(Curious Directive/Norwich Theatre), King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre/BAM), Pride and Prejudice (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), South Downs/The Browning Version (Harold Pinter Theatre), Missing (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Changeling(Southwark Playhouse), The Browning Version (Chichester Minerva Theatre), Wittgenstein (Riverside Studios), Ivan the Terrible (London Symphony Orchestra), Unrestless (Old Vic Tunnels), Dexterity (Theatre 503), Much Ado About Nothing (Neuss Globe Theatre), The Notebook of Trigorin (Finborough), Warm (Vinterlys Festival at Nordland Theatre), Eider Latimer is in Love (Arcola Theatre), Shoot/Get Pleasure/Repeat: The Odyssey(National Theatre), Dracula (Black and White Rainbow), Mozart & Salieri (Brickhouse Theatre).
TV & Film: Dare Me, Imposters (2 series), Death in Paradise, Home Fires. And Then There Were None, Doctors, Gothic - A Dark and Stormy Night, Life in Squares, What Remains, Law & Order UK, Bright Star.