Peter Liu and the Pollcats are featured in this jazz service with the theme of resilience, with a unique selection and arrangement of songs to highlight this special program. With our modern life of increasing complexity, stress, speed, and exposure to trauma, we need more adaptive strategies, supports, and resiliency to cope with these changes. The mindful process of jazz and poetic wisdom contained in these standards are integrated in this program.
Peter Liu – With his smooth lyrical voice, dynamic phrasing, and charisma, Peter Liu is one of Ottawa’s leading jazz vocalists, who has developed his own unique and captivating vocal style, always with a caring, playful and uplifting spirit. He is one Ottawa’s leading jazz vocalists with a steadily rising profile, and performing regularly at public and private events across the National Capital Region and beyond. Peter has worked with some of the leading jazz musicians in Canada, and has released two full-length albums to date, “Count On Lindy” (2017) and “Bamboo Groove” (2014).
Scott Poll – recognized in Ottawa and beyond for his dazzling sound as a jazz clarinet virtuoso in the tradition of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. He is known for his pure vibrant sound, technical brilliance, and lyrical solos. He studied music performance at Wilfrid Laurier University, has led many jazz ensembles, and has performed as special guest and soloist for a wide variety of jazz combos, big bands, jazz orchestras, and wind ensembles. He has recorded three albums to date as bandleader, and he has been featured on 6 other recording projects.
Yves Laroche – Jazz pianist and educator Yves Laroche is a mainstay of the Ottawa jazz community. He is widely known for his sensitive, tasteful, and creative accompaniment, as well as humour. Yves Laroche has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Music, teaching music improvisation and arrangement, and directing the Jazz Ensemble. He has also worked as music director and instructor at the Bells Corners Academy of Music in Ottawa.
Alex Mastronardi – an in-demand bassist and also works as a producer, composer, and sound engineer. A highly versatile player in jazz and many other genres, he is equally comfortable with both upright and electric bass. He has performed and recorded with many groups and in many settings, always with solid rhythm, intensity, and harmonic complexity. A relatively young musician, Alex performs with a mature sound and sensibility, combined with vigour and positive energy.
Carl Desjardins – Recently moving to Ottawa from Quebec City, Carl Desjardins has more than 15 years of experience as a jazz drummer. With a diverse musical background, he has had hundreds of public appearances and has participated in twelve recording projects. His playing style reflects his focus on listening and the spirit of dynamics. Carl brings his manifold skills and perspectives to the ensemble, enhancing and heightening the creative power of the groups he plays with.