Catch Toronto rising star Swing and Gypsy jazz vocalist Denielle and get ready to dance when the Denielle Bassels Quintet takes to the stage at The Baldachin Ballroom at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 18.
Toronto-based singer-songwriter Denielle Bassels was working in Switzerland where she began singing and entertaining in bars to earn extra money and extend her stay. Audiences were so taken with the tall, beautiful brunette from Canada that they asked her to come back again and again! Upon returning home, she hired a vocal coach and started formal music training at Humber College in Toronto. Her life-long penchant for performing has lead to several acting roles and modeling jobs but her true passion has always been music. It shows in the songs: her sound has a classic jazz feel mixed with a unique soulfulness that catches the listener’s attention right from the start and keeps them wanting more. Denielle’s pleasingly smooth voice has been described by former Canadian Idol judge and music producer Farley Flex as “unique and fresh!” Denielle Bassels has performed all over Europe in places such as the Cuilly and Lausanne jazz festivals in Switzerland and Le Caveau des Oubliettes in Paris. In November 2013, Denielle released her first EP Gypsy Summer with her original song “Cool Cool Water” winning Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and getting regular play on Jazz FM 91.1 and CBC Radio. With a grant from the Canada Council of the Arts, Denielle is writing a full length album due out in December 2014. Denielle can be seen performing at numerous locations in Toronto including Gate 403, Revival, The Rivoli, Lula Lounge and Hugh’s Room. For more information and music samples: www.deniellebassels.bandzoogle.com
Toronto-based acoustic guitarist, composer and educator Andy Mac has performed with various artists across Canada as well as in New York City, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Sweden. Andy has been playing gypsy jazz since he first discovered the music on a 2009 trip to eastern France. Since then he has studied the style extensively under Denis Chang and Serge Krief among others. His 2011 release “Fresh” features his guitar playing and compositions. His trio Les Petits Nouveaux plays original arrangements of songs within the Django tradition and released a self-titled album in 2013. Andy is a full time member of the Denielle Bassels Quartet and is featured on her 2014 album as a guitarist and composer. As an educator, Andy has given workshops and lectures on the subject of gypsy jazz at Ryerson University, Humber College, McGill University and at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts for the Django in June festival. In 2013, Andy was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study with Montreal guru Denis Chang. In four months of one-on-one with Chang, Andy transcribed many of his ideas into a comprehensive set of gypsy jazz instructional notes on topics ranging from picking technique and comping to vibrato, bends and tremolo.
Drummer Joe Ryan began his music career in Hartford, Connecticut, a hotbed of musical talent between New York City and Boston. Originally from Toronto, where he now makes his home, he began playing the drums in his Connecticut elementary school joining his first jazz band at age ten. Three years later, he began playing with local musicians in clubs, restaurants, and cafés earning a reputation for being a gifted and quick-learning young drummer. “That kid NEVER misses a beat!”, exclaimed Joe’s first long-term music teacher, bassist Jim Martocchio, who began conducting and instructing him in seventh grade. Currently a student at Humber College’s prestigious music program, Joe is constantly finding new work with bands in Toronto and maintains a regular working and recording schedule with ensembles across southern Ontario. He works with the Denielle Bassels Quintet, the Jason White Trio (the featured act at one of the best jazz clubs in the country, the KW Jazz Room), and has played with Patricia O’Callaghan, Glenn Buhr, Sundar Viswanathan, Andrew Downing and the Pendrecki String Quartet. His various ensembles have shared bills with trumpet player Larry Larson and drummer Archie Alleyne and he has participated in several jazz festivals and programs like the Waterloo Jazz Festival, the NUMUS Jazz Summit, and the Litchfield Jazz Festival (in Connecticut). The performance of music in literally any style or setting is Joe Ryan’s current objective and goal for the future, and he is well on his way to achieving it with his increased exposure at prominent venues, his ability to cross genres effortlessly, his ear for all improvisation alongside his attention to serious grooves, and his open attitude toward new projects and adventurous sounds and experiences.
Why would one of Ottawa’s hippest and most happening musicians move to Toronto to become just another bass player? This was what went through Scott Hunter‘s mind when considering a move to Canada’s most exciting music city. But the 24 year old is quickly making a name for himself in the jazz scene as one of Toronto’s strongest and most competent bass players. “Scott has a great time feel and a lot of exciting ideas”, says bassist Neil Swainson. Growing up in Ottawa, Scott began music at the age of three and immediately showed a strong ear for melody. He played bass in a series of pop bands throughout his teens until deciding to move to Vancouver to check out the western Canadian jazz scene. But it wasn’t long before Scott moved to Toronto to attend the prestigious music school at Humber College. There he picked up the upright bass and within a year established himself as a jazz player to be reckoned with on the upright. “How fast Scott was able to learn upright bass is extremely impressive”, says bassist Jon Maharaj. Scott is currently collaborating with some of Toronto’s heaviest jazz players like Chelsea McBride (Socialist Night Club, Cityscape), Denielle Bassels (Denielle Bassels Trio), Mark Hundevad (Controlled Demolition) and Kevin Stolz (DMDP), and has been performing regularly around the city’s biggest jazz venues.
Playing the clarinet and tenor saxophone in the band, Jacob Gorzhaltsan is an emerging musician in Toronto. Born in Jerusalem, he has studied and performed music from a young age under the tutelage of such esteemed teachers as Peter Stoll, Mark Promane and Pat LaBarbera. He is currently enrolled in the Humber College music degree program in Toronto. Primarily a clarinet and tenor saxophone player, Jacob also doubles on other woodwind instruments as well as playing piano. He has been a sideman as well as leader of numerous ensembles, having performed in many highly esteemed venues and musical festivals across Canada and the United States. Jacob had the distinct pleasure of performing with such artists as Jack Dejohnette, Jackie Richardson, Doc Severinsen, Bill Dobbins, Peter Appleyard, Ted Quinlan, Don Francks, Laura Hubert and Ori Dagan and can currently be heard as a member of the Denielle Bassels Quintet.