Catch the energetic and irrepressible Norman Marshall Villeneuve when he and his band Norman Marshall Villeneuve’s Jazz Message perform at the Merrickville United Church at 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 19.
Félix Award winner Norman Marshall Villeneuve is a Canadian jazz legend. With a career spanning over six decades, he has mentored and is father figure to four generations of Canadian jazz musicians. Born in Montreal in 1938, Norm grew up in the St. Henri district, home to Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones. Norm began his musical career at age 12 as a tap dancer and by age 14 was a professional drummer, performing at various fairs and venues around ontreal. When he became of age Norm worked the famed Montreal clubs including Rockhead’s Paradise, Cafe La Bohéme and the Black Bottom. He toured North and South America with Oliver Jones and has performed with a legion of jazz greats including Duke Ellington, Oliver Jones, Junior Mance, Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, Curtis Fuller, Anita O’Day, Blossom Dearie, Ranee Lee, Julius Watkins, Ray Draper, Frank Motley, Nelson Symonds, Reg Schwager, Dave Young and Jackie Richardson. In 2012 Norm established the Norman Marshall Villeneuve Percussion Award given annually to a second year percussion student at Humber College. Norm currently resides in Montreal and continues to be an active and beloved leader on the Canadian jazz scene. For more information and music samples: www.nmvjazz.ca.
Eric Lagacé grew up in a musical household with an organist father and a harpsichordist mother. His daily bread, from his most tender age, was mainly the music of J.S. Bach that he heard performed at home. After having unsuccessful results as a guitar, violin, oboe and tuba player, he finally picked up the double bass as a teenager and turned towards the music of his time namely jazz. Not neglecting classical music studies, Eric started playing professionally at the age of 19 and quickly became in demand in the Montreal area in both jazz ensembles and classical orchestras. He remains one of the most versatile and most appreciated bass player in Canada.He has accompanied most of the great Canadian jazz figures notably Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Rob McConnell and Vic Vogel as well as many American artists such as Slide Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Phil Woods, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Chris Potter. He also performed memorable studio sessions and TV shows with the great French composer/pianist Michel Legrand. He also teaches music theory and double bass at Concordia University.
Félix Stüssi grew up in Switzerland and has lived in Montreal since 1998. Self-taught on jazz piano, he later studied with some important international artists including Irène Schweizer, Markus Bischof, Christoph Baumann, Vince Benedetti, Art Lande and Fred Hersch. In 1996 he won two prizes, best band and best soloist, at the Zollikon Jazz Festival in Switzerland. A year later, he graduated from the University of Zürich with a masters in ethnomusicology. In 2005, he toured with his Canadian quintet, Félix Stüssi & Give Me Five, won the prestigious Grand Prix de Jazz GM at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2007. Currently, Félix also plays with a very dynamic trio, Les Malcommodes, which he formed with Daniel Lessard on bass and Pierre Tanguay on drums. The trio’s first recording was released in 2012. For more information and music samples: www.felixstussi.com
A native of Montreal, alto/baritone saxophonist and composer Dave Turner has been a mainstay of the city’s jazz scene since the mid 1970s. During this time he has performed extensively with his own groups around the Montreal area and has been a featured performer at every major jazz festival in Canada and at prominent clubs on the international scene. In addition to other collaborations, Dave is a featured soloist and lead alto with the Vic Vogel Big Band since 1979, and was honoured as “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” by Jazz Report magazine. A prolific recording artist, he has released a total of ten critically acclaimed albums under his own name and received a Juno nomination for his 1987 recording Café Alto. He has been on the faculty of Concordia University since 1982. For more information and music samples: www.daveturner.ca