- Karen Oxorn – Vocals
- Howard Baer – Bass
- San Murata – Violin
- Michael Monis – Guitar
Vocals & Violins has come together specifically for Merrickville’s Jazz Fest 2018. All four members are stellar, in-demand performers in their own right.
Karen Oxorn’s voice has been described as having “real feeling”, “a subtle swing” and “deep (and) rich,” (jazz historian Ron Sweetman) and “warm and swinging straightforward, skilled with ballads as well as upbeat songs.” (Jacques Emond, founding artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Festival). She sings regularly at local jazz venues, including the National Arts Centre, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival and GigSpace.
Howard Baer’s accomplishments include a 38-year career as composer-arranger-producer, creating music for IMAX, CBC-TV, and educational programs for kids, and having over 7000 of his arrangements recorded with several JUNO nominations. This keyboardist, trumpet player and conductor, now enjoys playing various styles as an upright bassist and focuses on performing various jazz configurations and coordinating music presentations and special events.
The much-appreciated San Murata has been nominated by the National Jazz Awards as “Best Violinist of the Year” four times. He has played at Toronto’s top venues, as well as the Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival and the All Canadian Jazz Festival (Port Hope) and has performed four tours of Japan. His approach to jazz emphasizes pure melody and romantic lyricism, evoking an atmosphere of a Paris salon or a Manhattan tearoom.
Comfortable in any musical style, and active in the Toronto music scene for well over thirty years, Michael Monis has toured extensively and worked both in studio and on stage with countless jazz greats from Moe Koffman to Jane Bunnett.
The Vocals & Violin repertoire will feature a mix of jazz standards by some of the group’s favourite performers and songwriters presented in a variety of styles and combinations of players.