Roddy Ellias Concert Series

Thank you to our series sponsor District Realty!

District Realty

John Fowler photo

“Many thanks to the GigSpace for presenting this series.  I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I think the audiences have as well.  And many thanks to District Realty for sponsoring the series and allowing us to present these concerts with such great musicians.”  – Roddy Ellias

This eight concert series features varied musical performances ranging from jazz to contemporary. Roddy Ellias has invited artists from Montreal, Ottawa and New York City to join him in concert.  Each performance is specially designed for the intimate atmosphere and professionally designed listening room qualities of the GigSpace.  With just 47 seats GigSpace concerts are intimate, up close and personal.

“Guitarist, composer, performer, improviser — Roddy Ellias draws from so many musical influences his work defies labels. As each piece unfolds it tells its own unique story — eclectic, intense, rhythmic, powerful, and ultimately human.”

Tickets: $20 for sale at the door.  Advance Tickets  are available at Alcorn Music Studios, 953 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa, Monday thru Thursday from 3 to 9 pm, payment by cash, cheque, credit or debit.  Or call 613-729-0693  payment by credit.  Please note: select concerts have two seatings.  General seating.

guitar percussion and voiceAPRIL 20, 2013
Guitar, Percussion and Voice – 7:30 PM 
For the last concert of the series, I’m very much looking forward to playing with two master improvisors – Toronto’s Christine Duncan (voice) and our own Jesse Stewart (percussion). There will be a few written songs in the program for this but mostly we will improvise as a group, from scratch – that is, with no pre-conceived idea of what we will play and until we begin and the music starts to unfold. I can’t wait. this is so much fun with such great musicians!

Expecting the unexpected at Saturday’s GigSpace concert of improvising composers – Three of Canada’s most creative composers and improvising musicians will perform together for the first time at GigSpace on Saturday.  “Discovery. That’s what’s great about music, especially improvising. That way we’re really going to have to listen to each other and it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be very fresh,” said Ottawa guitarist, improviser, composer, and recently-awarded Ottawa Jazz Hero, Roddy Ellias. He’ll be joined by fellow Ottawan Jesse Stewart on percussion and Toronto vocalist Christine Duncan.  April 2013 Read full article:

Previous Concerts:


SEPT 29, 2012
with Adrian Vedady – double bass , John Fraboni – drums.
8 PM




OCT 20, 2012
with Petr Cancura – saxophone
8 PM

Petr Cancura Multi-instrumentalist Petr Cancura is sought-after for his original voice and unique blend of musical influences, whether on saxophones or mandolin. With 30 released albums under his belt, he has recorded and performed with Grammy-nominated Danilo Perez, Grammy-nominated Julian Lage, Bob Moses, Joe Morris, Kathleen Edwards, Kenny Wollesen, Joe Maneri, Cecil McBee and the Juno award-winning Mighty Popo among others.

with Vic Juris – guitar
two seatings: 7:00 PM OR 9:00 PM

Unfortunately Vic Juris had to cancel our concerts this weekend due to the aftermath and situation he and his area is in as a result of Hurricane Sandy. New Jersey, as you probably know was hit hard and the area Vic is in still has no electricity and gasoline is being rationed and difficult to obtain.

DEC 1, 2012
two seatings: 7:00 PM OR 9:00 PM
Tickets: $20 – advanced purchase recommended! Call 613-729-0693 to order by credit card or purchase at the Leading Note on 370 Elgin,  or Alcorn Music Studios (953 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa, Monday thru Thursday from 3 to 9 pm)

Featuring guitarist Roddy Ellias, bassist John Geggie and The Chamber Players of Canada.

An evening of superb strings in a chamber music setting.

JAN 19, 2013 
with Gene Bertoncini – guitar
two seatings: 7:00 PM OR 9:00 PM
Gene Bertoncini is one of the pre-eminent jazz guitarists active today.  His fluid technique and lyricism have won him international praise and accolades as the “Segovia of jazz”.  An eloquent and versatile improviser, Mr. Bertoncini has been heard with an extraordinary range of jazz greats, including performances and recordings with Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws and Paul Desmond among others, as well as such distinguished singers as Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Nancy Wilson, Vic Damone and Edye Gorme.

“One of the joys of hearing two master guitarists play together is their unpredictability. They have the whole ocean of jazz and jazz standards to splash around in, and they needn’t just grab from the shallows, or keep to the pre-planned course. Guitarists Roddy Ellias (Ottawa) and Gene Bertoncini (NYC) played two back-to-back concerts mid-January in the intimate confines of GigSpace.  The 7 p.m. show was not only sold out but oversold; we heard the last few minutes, which were very quiet and intense”. for full article

FEB 23, 2013 
RODDY ELLIAS ENSEMBLE – two seatings: 7:00 PM OR 9:00 PM
Yadong Guam (pipa), Guy Pelletier (flutes), John Geggie (bass)
I’ve been wanting to do a project with Yadong for years now and finally I think this is the perfect setting, both in terms of venue and ensemble players. The pipa is a Chinese lute and Yadong is a master of it. She not only plays traditional Chinese music but for years has transcended the boundaries of her instrument and it’s traditional roots. Together with my long-time good friends and musical colleagues, John Geggie on bass and Montreal’s Guy Pelletier (a phenomenal musician and improvisor), on various flutes, we will perform original works that I suppose could be categorized as ‘chamber jazz’, although I’m not sure – let’s just call it music! We will be recording both at the concert and the next day as well.

“Roddy Ellias Ensemble plays an intimate concert of intricate music – Opposite Diana Krall on Saturday night was a much more intimate concert at the small venue inside Alcorn Studios: the GigSpace. It was a quiet concert of intricately-arranged pieces of music, music that ensemble leader and composer Roddy Ellias described as “chamber jazz”. for full article.

MAR 23, 2013 
This is the culmination of several years of plugging away at original solo pieces as well as a few arrangements (with a bit of a twist) of standards and pop and folk music. I like the challenge and the freedom of playing solo as well as the opportunity to really explore sound, mood and the use of space.

About Roddy

Guitarist:  One of Canada’s most respected guitarists, Roddy is equally at home with contemporary new music, jazz, or classical repertoire. His dynamism as an artist and his consistent pursuit of harmonic and melodic adventure have made him a consummate musician. Known for his energetic performances and his thoughtful renditions of both new and existing works, he continues to surprise and delight his audiences. Last year he set the stage on fire in a series of duets with other guitarists, including Vic Juris, Gene Bertoncini, Lorne Lofsky, and David Occhipinti, showcasing his versatility and his generosity as a performer.

Composer:  Roddy’s eclectic tastes in music and his wildly varied musical influences are reflected in the scope of his compositions. Roddy has written some of the most complex work ever created for guitar: his sonata “Emptying” remains one of the most beautiful and technically taxing pieces to enter the solo guitar repertoire. But he has also written for voice, marimba, clarinet, flute, harp, string quartet, kanun, oud, and the French horn. Whale Spirit Rising for string orchestra and baritone saxophone, recorded by I Musici and David Mott on the Chandos label, is a mystical and stirring rendition of whale song, featuring both notated score and space for improvisation. When the American virtuoso violinist Anne Akiko Meyers heard one of his pieces she was so moved she commissioned him to write “Acts of Light” for violin and piano, which she performed at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. Both his jazz and new music compositions are heard on radio around the world. Current projects include the recording of a new song cycle with soprano Donna Brown, a CD of original compositions with flautist Guy Pelletier for the True North record label, and a new solo guitar album in the works.

Performer: It is impossible to listen to Roddy Ellias perform and sit still. Reviewers have described Roddy as “genius (Bud Freeman), “positively brilliant” (Bill McBirnie) and “exquisite …the kind of subtlety you don’t often hear…anywhere.”(Mark Miller). Whichever way you describe it, Roddy is a compelling performer, whether on solo guitar, grooving with the band, or collaborating with other performers in a two-way musical conversation. He has been an active performer since 1969, touring both Canada and the United States as well as Europe and Mexico. Roddy has shared the stage with artists as wide ranging as Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Tom Harrel, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Nat Adderley, Slide Hampton, Cleo Laine, Pepper Adams, Lew Tabakin, Michel Donato, Mel Torme, Bud Freeman, PJ Perry, Rob McConnell, the Montreal Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Michel Legrand.

Improviser:  As an improviser, Roddy is one hot player, known for taking the music to unexpected places. The American guitarist and writer Matthew Warnock describes him this way: “as close to being a Zen master on the guitar as he can be.” Soulful, melodic, and compositional solos are his trademark, as well as a generous and sometimes mischievous spirit that brings out the best in the musicians he performs with.