Tidal Currents: East Meets West releases February 2nd, 2024 on Chronograph Records.
WJO musician Monica Jones sits down with Composers: Jill Townsend and Christine Jensen to discuss the album and creative aspects of composing a big band suite "together but separately." A special thanks to the composers for taking the time to discuss the upcoming album release.
'Elvis & The Grinch: Madcap Holiday Hijinks Combined with Classic Christmas Crooning Send Audiences Reeling and Rocking this December!
Both the matinee and the evening performances of Elvis & The Grinch had audiences dancing a hole in their Blue Suede Shoes and rolling in the aisles at The Grinch's anti-Christmas antics.
The program kicked off with Dave 'Icelandic Elvis' Greene and the WJO performing some of 'The King's' greatest hits including Suspicious Minds, See See Rider, and, of course, that holiday favourite, Blue Christmas. Dave's powerful voice and enthusiastic performance, combined with sizzling solos and the raw energy of the big band, made it so the audience couldn't help falling in love with this veteran Manitoban Elvis Tribute Artist.
Not to mention a white, hot rendition of Santa Baby by local vocalist Helen White.
In the second half of the concert, Helen and the big band gracefully whisked us to Whoville where a certain green grouch began to unravel his plans for the most celebrated holiday heist of all time! Quinn 'The Grinch' Greene, with the help of Helen's wonderful comedic timing and truly one-of-a-kind voice, spun Dr. Suess' beloved tale of the Grinch's journey from despising everything jolly to becoming a hero for all Who's everywhere.
Along with some audacious audience interaction and literally stealing presents, lights, the tree, and a certain roast beast, Quinn, Helen, Dave, and the illustrious WJO brought this Christmas classic to swinging, singing, and carol-ing life in a holiday program unlike any other!'
'Music of Our Time is a sweeping, emotional success of sound, fury, heart and soul!
The WJO's presentation of this concert by diverse, contemporary artists and composers and their Manitoba-made musical pieces was powerful and beautiful in turn. The WJO's long held belief in creating stage space for emerging artists and their newest works was represented in full force with this culturally resonant experience that left the audience in tears and lifted their spirits.
The evening began with a piece from Brazilian composer Marco Castillo that carried the audience away with the pounding pulse of the Amazon rainforest. Next, Cree artist Andrew Balfour's 'Wenen' brought the heartbeat of these ancient lands called Turtle Island and the clash between Indigenous peoples and newcomers to the fore.
Ukrainian artist Tetyana Haraschuk presented two pieces that spoke to the tragedy of war in her homeland. Her personal passion for those affected by this trying time, and the harrowing yet gorgeous works she presented, left the audience with much to consider about life in a war-torn Ukraine and the resilience of its people.
The evening closed with Sean Irvine's epic, challenging, and compelling opus 'The Lonely Men's Suite'. This triumphant debut of Sean's quintet of pieces telling the story of several gay men in his life, in sometimes painful and poignant detail, was heartbreaking at times, and eye opening at others. The messages of love, empathy and hope underpinning this intimate showcase of Sean's talent certainly left its mark on the crowd.
Exciticing, profound and an experience those there won't soon forget, Music of Our Time marks yet another brilliant concert for the WJO this 2023/24 season!'
~written by Quinn Greene
music clip from Sean Irvine's Lonely Men's Suite (prologue)
Were you at the Concert? We'd love to hear what you thought, comment below.
Thank-you Global News for having Sean Irvine out to talk about this Thursday's performance. Video Source
Part 1- WJO Interview with Sean Irvine
Part 2 - WJO Interview with Sean Irvine
Thursday, Nov 30, 2023
West End Culturel Centre (WECC)
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra
The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra (WJO) is Canada’s first community-based, non-profit professional jazz orchestra. Founded in 1997 (registered charity in 2000), the WJO has matured to become an important part of Winnipeg’s cultural landscape, reflected in the ongoing support the organization receives from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Winnipeg Foundation, and other sponsors. The mandate of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra is to be an instrumental force in the promotion and development of big band jazz in Manitoba and beyond, through performance, composition, recording and education.