“Extraordinary musical forces” -The Whole Note
For the Eric St-Laurent Trio, music is a conversation; a raucous dialogue between the artists and their audience built on infectious beats and ever-expanding influences. Playing original compositions by jazz and blues guitarist Eric St-Laurent, the trio utilizes eclectic elements such as Afro-Cuban rhythms, rock guitar, cinematic soundscapes and blues phrasing to unleash a subversive and distinctive new sound.
The trio formed in 2008 when Montreal-born St-Laurent, having just returned from 10 years in Berlin performing and recording with some of Europe’s biggest names, set out to assemble a new band to perform the music he’d been writing. He immediately recognized incomparable talent in percussionist Michael DeQuevedo and bassist Jordan O’Connor.
DeQuevedo, a fearless percussionist and studio ace of South American and African rhythms, generates tremendous excitement with his fiery soloing and intuitive interplay. O’Connor, a former heavy metal bassist currently immersed in the classical repertoire, showcases incredible bass technique with extensive use of the bowed bass, an element borrowed from the classical music world. All of this combines with St-Laurent’s playful and ingenuitive jazz and blues guitar vocabulary to produce an outstanding catalogue of work and a truly great live show.
The band’s sound is a product of their three uniquely distinctive personalities and cultural backgrounds. The stories of their past are told by jazz guitar riffs set to reggae beats, traditional Turkish melodies set to disco, African songs combined with Chicago blues solos or Balkan folk songs with heavy metal bass sounds. The music reflects the iconic Canadian experience of cultural groups meeting and interacting, setting to song the free exchange of new ideas and mish-mash of cultures Canada itself is celebrated for.
Touring is an important opportunity to grow the conversation. The band’s 2010 album “Epoch” immediately went on rotation at Jazz FM (Toronto) and made it to number 5 on the Canadian College Radio Charts, with little else than St-Laurent stuffing envelopes one by one in his kitchen. The music creates the buzz, and this tour will see the band performing all new tunes from their hotly anticipated second album in distinctive venues across Canada. Eager to perform for a country that has seen the emergence of artists as unique and as different from each other as Oscar Peterson, Rush, Glenn Gould or Nickelback, the Eric St-Laurent Trio promises a reinvention of performance, inviting audiences in every city to help shape the music. It’s the conversation that makes jazz – and the Eric St-Laurent Trio – so exciting.
INDIVIDUAL ARTIST B I O G R A P H Y
Winner of the SOCAN award for Best Original Composition at the Montréal Jazz Festival and The Best Band Award at the Vienne (France) Jazz Festival, St-Laurent has been featured on over 50 recordings, produced multiple albums, composed scores for short films and theatre, and toured extensively in Europe and Canada. Born and raised in Montreal, St-Laurent studied improvisation in New York before moving to Berlin where he toured with both the big and small names of the German and Scandinavian music scenes. Since returning to Toronto, Canada, St-Laurent has recorded and toured with Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Slide Hampton, Luc de la Rochelière, Dave Liebman, Till Brönner, Sylvie Paquette, Richard Underhill, David Binney, Jojo Mayer, Carlos Del Junco, Bernard Primeau and represented Canada at the International Jazz Guitar Summit in Nice (MIDEM).
Michel DeQuevedo has been playing drums and percussion since he was a small child. Born in Mexico and now a resident of Toronto, Michel has toured in Italy, Chile, Mexico, Cuba, throughout United States and across Canada with celebrated artists such as Grammy award winner Julieta Venega, Random Order, Zoe Bentley, and many more.
Bassist/Composer and co-founder of The Breath.com, Jordan O’Connor grew up in Ottawa, Canada. For the past 13 years, he has been living and performing in Toronto with such musicians as Don Ross and Louis Simão. Classically trained with a background in heavy metal, Jordan has been composing for a variety of ensembles as well as for film. Most recently, he wrote the score for the upcoming feature “Ya, Whatever Girl” created by Writer/Director Carolyn Hurren.