'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)
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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.