James McGowan & Jesse Stewart

James McGowan and Jesse Stewart black and white

Thank you Evelyn Voigt for donating the Piano Tuning for this concert!

Friday, March 11, 2016
7:30 PM – $20

  PayPal $21 includes $1 credit card fee. Your receipt is your ticket plus we will have a record of your purchase at the front desk.
It this option does not work for you just give us a call 613-729-0693 or drop in during Alcorn Music Studios open hours (click link) to buy a ticket.
Tickets available at the door on concert night unless the concert is listed as sold out. Call and check! 613-729-0693

James McGowan and Jesse Stewart improvise music from many streams.  “McGowan and Stewart, both professors of music at Carleton University, have played together at the university a number of times, but Friday’s show will be their first more public performance. As before, the music they’ll play will be created completely in the moment – nothing written in advance”.  March 2016 Alayne McGregor

James McGowan is a professor of music at Carleton University where he teaches music theory and composition. He is a passionate educator and has been recognized with four university-wide awards for his teaching. He is currently on sabbatical, using his time for creative work in performance, recording, and composition projects, as well as research and writing in the field of jazz theory. An active pianist, he is equally at home in many genres of music. Finding the hybrid space between classical and contemporary improvisation, James has given performances in Canada, the United States, and Sweden, and has performed with ensembles including the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, Etobicoke School of the Arts Orchestra, and James Madison University Jazz Ensemble. He has led jazz combos in Rochester NY, Toronto, and Ottawa and specializes in cross-genre improvisation in spiritual contexts such as jazz vesper services. He specializes in improvised musics, and performs with musicians including Peter Woods, Ian Tamblyn, Wayne Eagles, Michael C. Hanna, and the HML trio. James has also worked with a variety of choirs (including Carleton University Choir, Laurentian University Choir, McMaster Vocal Ensemble) as conductor, pianist, and/or composer-arranger, and has assisted in their recording projects. James also plays organ and directs the eclectic music program at Trinity United Church in Ottawa.

As an award-winning composer and arranger (electro-acoustic music, vocal and choral music), James has composed in most genres including five choral cantatas, orchestral music, chamber music, songs (singer-songwriter and art songs), and compositions for jazz ensembles. This Spring he will have two new choral arrangements premiered by the Atlantic Voices Choir of Ottawa, a set of new jazz fusion pieces performed with the HML trio, the premiere of a dramatic song cycle with vocalist and hip hop artist Thandie Dice, and continued development of a collection of spiritual songs and choral pieces in progressive theology.

Jesse Stewart is an award-winning composer, percussionist, visual artist, sound artist, instrument builder, researcher, writer, and educator dedicated to reimagining the spaces between artistic and academic disciplines.

His music has been documented on over twenty recordings including Stretch Orchestra’s self-titled debut album which was honoured with the 2012 “Instrumental Album of the Year” JUNO award. He has performed and/or recorded with musical luminaries from around the world including Jacques Israelievitch (former concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony), William Parker (acclaimed New York City jazz bassist, described as “the most important leader of the current avant-garde scene in jazz” by the Boston Globe), Pauline Oliveros (called the “godmother of American experimentalist music” by New Yorker magazine), Evan Parker (one of the founders of European free improvisation), Hamid Drake (master drummer and percussionist), Roswell Rudd (legendary jazz trombonist), Jane Bunnett (multiple Juno winner and Grammy nominee), Ernst Reijseger (Dutch cello virtuoso), Pandit Anindo Chatterjee (one of the world’s foremost tabla virtuosos), Dong-Won Kim (master Korean percussionist and member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble), and many others. He performs regularly with Stretch Orchestra (with Kevin Breit, Matt Brubeck), the Sonoluminescence Trio (with David Mott and William Parker), the Stream Quartet (with David Mott, Peter Lutek, and Justin Gray), and in various groups under his own leadership.

His music has been featured at festivals throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has been widely commissioned as a composer and sound artist. In 2010, he was commissioned by the National Capital Commission in Ottawa to create an extended composition to be performed at the Winterlude Festival on musical instruments that he designed and built out of ice. Other organizations that have commissioned him include the Guelph Jazz Festival, Ensemble Supermusique, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Electric Fields Festival, the City of Toronto, the Chinese Canadian Heritage Centre, Propeller Dance, Ottawa Dance Directive, and the Ottawa Art Gallery. He endorses Headhunters brand drumsticks and brushes. In addition to drum set, he performs on a wide variety of percussion instruments including many of his own design that he has built out of such unconventional materials as stone, glass, ice, canoe paddles, and cardboard.

In 1993, Jesse was named “Outstanding Young Canadian Jazz Musician” by both the International Association of Jazz Educators and Jazz Report magazine. He has been described as “one of the finest young drummers and percussionists on the scene today” (Frank Rubolino, One Final Note Summer/Fall 2002) and “one of the most innovative musicians in Canada” (OttawaJazzScene, 2015).

His work has been heralded by critics and journalists around the globe who have described it as “truly exciting” (Musicworks 76), “exceptional” (Cadence Oct. 2002), “phenomenal” (Cadence Nov. 1999), “ingenious” (Exclaim! June 2006), and “brilliant” (Truths for Serious Drummers, 2012). “Stewart quietly opens the door for us to a limitless world of delicate sonic beauty” writes Randy Raine-Reusch in Musicworks 97. “Highly recommended ear-cleansing” states a review in Italy’s Touching Extremes (2007).

“Jesse Stewart is an eloquent and poetically powerful percussionist, composer, improviser and teacher—a man of ideas and inventions,” writes jazz legend William Parker. “Jesse is an incredibly innovative artist. He’s a performance artist, he’s a jazz drummer, he’s an incredible creative force” states Roman Borys, cellist with the internationally acclaimed Gryphon Trio and Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.

He is a professor of music in Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture, and is a cross-listed faculty member with the Institute of African Studies and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture”

In 2014, Jesse was named to the Order of Ottawa, a civic award that “honours residents who have excelled in their field and who have made outstanding contributions to life in our communities.”

See www.jessestewart.ca