Updating big band jazz for the 21st century
Darcy James Argue and his big band the Secret Society make some of the most daringly ambitious music in contemporary jazz and they have the Grammy Award nominations and critical acclaim to prove it.
An out-of-this-world composition
Composer Sophie Kastner, MMus’22, recently took part in a unique collaboration with NASA, creating a vivid piece of music about the Milky Way based on data about the galaxy that has been gleaned by the Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.
From DJing at Gerts to touring with Radiohead
Before he became a pioneer of turntable music and a contributor to Hollywood soundtracks, Kid Koala (aka Eric San, BEd’96) performed at student dorm parties while pursuing an education degree at McGill.
A father and son in tune with the music business
Some of the best music released in Canada, albums that have contended for Junos and the Polaris Prize, come from a pair of Montreal-based record labels. Meet Jim West, BA’79, the president of Justin Time Records, and his son Justin West, BCom’04, the president of Secret City Records.
We say a little prayer of thanks
Tributes continue to pour in for masterful pop composer Burt Bacharach, AMus’48, DMus’72, who passed away on February 8. Bacharach’s music spanned decades and included a long list of smash hits, including “I Say a Little Prayer” and “The Look of Love”.
A voice for her home, a voice for her people
Élisabeth St-Gelais, BMus’21, has recently been receiving a lot of attention, winning McGill’s Wirth Vocal Prize and a grand prize at the Canadian Music Competition. The young Innu soprano from Saguenay says her Indigenous heritage supplies the foundation for her art.
Montreal’s impresario of POP
One of the hallmarks of Montreal is its vibrant indie music scene and Daniel Seligman, BA’00, has been one of its key promoters. The longtime creative director of POP Montreal shares his thoughts on the state of music in Montreal – and what it's like to hang out with Patti Smith.
Sharing music beyond the concert halls
Françoise Henri, MMus’98, is the general and artistic director of the Société pour les arts en milieux de santé, a network of musicians who have performed thousands of live concerts for hospital patients throughout Quebec. COVID-19 made that mission much more complicated.
Fighting on the cultural front
Mark Marczyk, BA’02, is an award-winning Ukrainian-Canadian musician with two bands, Balaklava Blues and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. As a musician and as an activist, he is focusing all his energy on supporting the people of Ukraine in their fight against Russia.