What our artist’s have been up to…

Hello! Our artists have been up to some amazing things this year from recording new albums to playing some incredible shows! We thought we’d fill you on what one of our artists has been up to since her big release with Bent River Records back in 2017.

Mallory Chipman has had a world of success since her release of Rags and Feathers: A tribute to Leonard Cohen. It was celebrated with a western Canadian tour and had amazing media and audience response. Arranger and composer, Mallory is working on her new album Aquarian set to release this year!

MALLORY CHIPMAN — Rags and Feathers

“Chipman’s voice is as far removed from Cohen’s flat baritone as you can imagine, in the register and the way her nimble vocal cords dance out of the ether to explore a dynamic range in ways he didn’t or couldn’t. Her scat vocabulary nails it, and the audio keeps things warm and intimate as Chris Andrew’s keyboards, Brett Hansen’s guitar, Murray Wood’s bass and Jamie Cooper’s cleverly choppy drums set up exquisite backdrops, adding exotic seasoning from Cameron O’Neill’s percussion.” —The Edmonton Journal

We sat down and asked her a few questions on what she’s been up to since the release of Rags and Feathers and got the inside scoop on what to expect from her this year:

1. What have you been up to since your release of Rags and Feathers? What’s an event, show, or experience that you’ve been most excited about?

Since Rags and Feathers: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen came out about a year and a half ago now (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long!), I’ve been keeping busy with a variety of shows, collaborations, and other creative works. What I’ve been most excited about; however, has been the songwriting I’ve been doing. With Rags and Feathers being a tribute album, I mainly was working on arranging for that record, with only a small focus on original material, but after the release of that album I promised myself that I would get back into writing more original music. One of the highlights of this past year was when I went out to Moose Farm Studios, a recording studio in rural Alberta, for a songwriting retreat. I hardly spoke to a single person while I was out there, and truly just set aside quality time for me and the piano. It was an extremely rewarding experience, and I came out with a handful of brand new tunes of which I’m very proud!

2. Where can we see you live in 2019?

One upcoming show I’m particularly looking forward to is a feature with the Cosmopolitan Jazz Orchestra on March 16 at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre. I’ll be performing some original compositions of mine with the big band, and that doesn’t happen too often! https://www.cosmopolitanmusic.org/event/jazz-orchestra-concert-with-guest-mallory-chipman/

Additionally, on the following night, March 17, I’ll be performing with Jens Lindemann at the Yardbird Suite for A Tribute to Nat King Cole, which will be a really special concert. Tickets will be on sale soon through Tix on the Square.

3. What are you looking forward to this year?

This year I’m really looking forward to a variety of musical endeavours, but I’m over-the-moon excited about my upcoming trip to New Orleans! I should clarify – this is not a work trip, which, honestly, is kind of nice for a change. This summer, my husband, Brett, and I are travelling to NOLA to get some much needed R & R and listen to a variety of music in the birthplace of jazz, and I can’t wait!

4. Any new projects or events in the works?

2019 is turning out to be a year overflowing with fun musical projects. Two friends and peers of mine are releasing albums this year that I was so fortunate to be a part of: Concealment, the debut album from Edmonton jazz pianist Stephanie Urquhart, and Bloodless Arches by Ways in Waves, the art-rock brainchild of composer, producer, and guitarist, Brian Raine. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to see both of those records being released into the world this year! Additionally, I am working on my own album, projected to be released within the next year or so. This album, titled AQUARIAN, will feature the tunes that I wrote at Moose Farm Studios as well as a couple of others that I’m really excited about. It fuses rock, prog, folk, and jazz influences for a sound I truly believe will reflect my musical soul more authentically than any record I’ve done yet.

Check out Mallory Chipman’s Album “Rags and Feathers: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen” here!

SAVE THE DATE!

You won’t want to miss the Bent River Records 2019 Artist Spotlight on Monday, April 8th at the Triffo Theater in Allard Hall!

Last year’s spotlight was filled with incredible music from BRR Artists Chandelle Rimmer and Tom Van Seters, Joshua Rager Nonet, and Mallory Chipman. We cannot wait to show you what our Artists have been up to this year!

This year’s showcase will feature three of Bent River Records’ artists. Obsessions Octet, led by Juno nominated Kent Sangster, will be jazzing up the stage with their spin on classical and tango music. Montreal based Trumpeter, Kevin Dean, will be gracing the stage with The Big City Wranglers, playing selections from his upcoming release. And last but not least, Nature Of will be releasing and playing selections from their brand new album!  

This is a night you will not want to miss!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the event last year and made the night such a huge success! We hope to see you again at this year’s Spotlight!

Here is a flashback to the 2018 Artist Spotlight:

Mallory Chipman
Joshua Rager Nonet
Chandelle Rimmer and Tom Van Seters

Spotlight on RJ LeBlanc

Great news! Bent River Records artist Rémi-Jean LeBlanc will be in town this Friday, January 18th playing with JUNO Award nominee and Canadian Jazz Vocalist Carol Welsman at Festival in Sherwood Park.

Rémi-Jean LeBlanc has been based in Montreal since 2002 and for the last 10 years has been in the forefront of the Montreal jazz scene. LeBlanc has played and toured with a variety of fixtures from Quebec, including Steve Amirault, Elizabeth Shepherd, Jean-Pierre Zanella, Yannick Rieu, Jean-Michel Pilc, Marianne Trudel, Rafael Zaldivar, and l’Orchestre national de jazz, to name a few.

Rémi-Jean LeBlanc released an Album in 2018 with Bent River Records titled Déductions which was a project that brought together 4 musicians from completely different backgrounds. With Cuban pianist, Rafael Zaldivar, Montreal Rock drummer, Samuel Joly and New York jazz guitarist, Nir Felder, the album Déductions has a driving fresh rock edge that exhales maturity and sensitivity.  

We took the time to ask him a couple questions about his music career to date:

1. What was your biggest inspiration for Déductions?

The biggest influences were the rock albums that I listened to in the last few years. There’s no one influence really. One of them is actually the album of the guitarist who plays on it, Nir Felder, the album is called Golden Age. Rock got mixed up with some Kendrick Lamar and Miles’s sixties quintet and Gretchen Parlato a ton of other stuff and that’s what came out.

2. Who Inspired you to become a musician?

I was pretty passionate about music from the time I started playing bass at age 11. One person who particularly helped me out and pushed me into jazz and consequently to become a musician is a trumpet player from Moncton, NB named Roland Bourgeois.

3. What is your process when writing and performing?

Writing and performing are two very different things. The writing process is best described as a bunch of ideas that are reworked for years and eventually pieced together to make songs. Essentially, performing is sort of a meditation for me, I try to detach myself from the technical stuff, listen to the music and try let myself be taken by the current.

4. What are you most proud of within your music career?

I’m proud that I work and play exclusively with people and projects that I like and believe in and I can make a living doing this! I’m a very privileged person.

Catch Rémi-Jean LeBlanc backing Carol Welsman on Friday, January 18th at Festival Place in Sherwood Park.

Showtime is 7:30 pm and you can purchase your tickets here: https://festivalplace.ab.ca/festival/request_seats

Brand new year, Brand new faces…

Hello friends! We would like to introduce to you a new member of the Bent River Records team.

Emilie Dufour is our new practicum student for the winter term and will be working with us on this year’s spotlight showcase and various other tasks over the next few months.  

“ I am super excited to be a part of the team this semester. As a 4th-year music student, I am very passionate about the development of artists and their music and I am excited to see first hand how this works within MacEwan’s label. ”

–Emilie Dufour

Emilie has been in the music program at MacEwan for five years. She has completed a music diploma in General Music and is now in the final semester of her performance degree. Emilie has been teaching music to young kids and stage coaching beginner artists for the past 4 years. She also performs locally under the name EMARRA and has just released her third single, “Artificial”. You can find her music on all digital platforms.

Feel free to add her on Facebook and Instagram.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the BRR team right here on our blog!