Samuel Blais

Samuel BlaiseSplit Cycle

Thursday May 16, 2013
8:00 PM$15
cash at the door or for advanced purchase call 613-729-0693 (MC or Visa)

Samuel Blais – saxophone
Aki Ishiguro – guitar
Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic – bass
Samuel writes: “The collective group Split Cycle will be doing a record launch tour in New York in April 2013, bringing us to such venues as the Iridium Jazz Club, Cornelia Street Cafe, Sycamore and many more.  Following that NYC tour, we will be touring in Canada, bringing us to perform in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, St-Basil, etc.  The group will be playing 11 nights over 14 days during the month of May, stay tuned for the details.”

Split Cycle: One Band, Two Cities, Three Continents – “Modern jazz fans have a concert to look forward to this week with the return of Montreal saxophonist and composer Samuel Blais to Ottawa.”  read full article at

Samuel Blais studied at the Montreal Conservatory of Music, McGill University (B Mus), and the Manhattan School of Music in New York (Masters degree in Jazz Performance). The three years he spent in New York allowed him to perfect his art and to perform with worldwide renown musicians such as Greg Osby, Jim Black, Larry Grenadier, Nate Smith, Donny McCaslin, and Jamie Baum. Blais has performed extensively in the USA and Canada, as well as in France, Belgium, Mexico and Hong Kong.

After producing his first record in 2008, Where to Go (FND080), he launched a new record in September 2010 called New Angle (FND104). Ten of the 11 numbers are original compositions. showing Blais’ evolution both as an instrumentalist and as a composer, confirming him as one of the important figure of the Quebec jazz scene.

CD cover

“ Samuel was a student of mine…Needless to say he was one of the best students over the decade I have taught the class.”   -David Liebman
“ This disc is impressive throughout” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downton Music Gallery, New York.
“ …a servi de théâtre à la maturation d’un artiste de haut niveau(Samuel Blais). L’évolution du musicien continue, littéralement, d’impressionner. Il y a sa maîtrise de l’instrument, certes, mais aussi la dynamique d’ensemble, rehaussée par les contributions inspirées de ses complices issus de la crème de la nouvelle garde montréalaise et new-yorkaise” ? Frédéric Cardin, Radio-Canada/Espace Musique

Musicians bio :

Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic is a New York-based acoustic bass player and composer who skillfully brings his background in the fine and performance arts to his projects. He is one of the primary forces behind Bomb X, Haleoscene, the 4 Runners and the Vienna Suite.
When seeing those bands perform, the audience is treated to a life-changing experience. As one of the most creative and talented musician/composers in the new music scene, he has challenged both musicians and listeners to face the music within themselves and the world around them. He has inspired his colleagues to chart new territory within their own playing and writing while exposing the audiences to some of the most talented and exciting performers from all over the world.

Originally from Normandy, France, Nicolas has been living in Brooklyn since 1998 and performing in New York, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Montreal, Austria and France. He studied solfegio, classical, contemporary and jazz music for the acoustic bass at the Caen Conservatory in France. In 1999, he attended the New School in Manhattan; however, he is mostly self-taught.

Nicolas has played and/or recorded with numerous people including: Archie Shepp, Odean Pope, Avery Sharpe, Steve Pott, Michael Attias, Wolfgang Schiftner, Tyshaw Sorey, Herbert Pirker, Ari Hoenig, Loren Stillman, Matt Wilson, David Bryant, Jacob Sacks, Gerald Cleaver, Robin Verheyen, Danny Fisher, Take Toriyama, Ziv Ravitz, Art Hirahara, Christoph Auer, Matt Applebaum, Kris Davis, Jeff Davis, Georg Vogel, Gunter Gruner, Daniel Carter, Peter Van Huffel, Ras Moshe, Salim Washington, Akira Ishiguro, Nick Anderson, Chris Ward,
Joe Albano, William Tatge, Ben Syversen…

Akira Ishiguro was born in Fukushima, Japan. He considered Japan his home until he moved to the United States at the age of ten. While attending school in the States, Ishiguro began lessons in guitar, trumpet, and piano. All throughout high school, it was clear his principle instrument was the guitar. In 2002, Ishiguro was accepted to Berklee College of Music with a scholarship. He graduated with a dual major degree in Performance and Jazz Composition.

Ishiguro relocated to New York City upon graduation and have been actively entrenched in their jazz scene. He has a monthly residency at the world famous 55 bar in Manhattan. He has played with Nate Smith, Ari Hoenig, Mark Guiliana, Maria Schneider, Jason Lindner, Henry Hey, Will Vinson, John Zorn, George Garzone, Christian McBride, Joe Martin, and many more. Outside of the United States, Ishiguro has been on tour in Japan, Portugal, Costa Rica, and Canada.

In 2009, he was selected to compete in the world renowned Gibson guitar competition as a part of Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Ishiguro placed second overall as well as the “Public’s choice” award.

His quartet “Rhetoric” released their debut record in 2008. Look for a Quintet recording in early 2012.

Samuel Blais :

Recently awarded with the “Jazz Revelation for 2011-2012 by Radio-Canada” Samuel Blais has won several classical music competitions starting around age 16. He studied at the Montreal Conservatory of Music for 3 years after which he moved on to Jazz at McGill University where he completed a bachelors degree in Jazz Performance which led him to continue his musical education at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York, obtaining a Masters degree in Jazz Performance. The 3 years he spent in New York allowed him to perfect his art and to perform with worldwide renown musicians such as Greg Osby, David Liebman, Jim Black, Larry Grenadier, Nate Smith, Donny McCaslin, Jamie Baum, Ari Hoenig, Terri Lyne Carrington etc. Samuel Blais performed extensivly in the USA and Canada, as well as in France, Belgium, Mexico and Hong Kong.

During his studies, Samuel had the opportunity to study with David Liebman, Dick Oatts, Greg Osby, Rémi Bolduc, Steve Slagle, Frank Lozano, Jan Jarczyk and many more. He was awarded scholarships from Manhattan School of Music, McGill University, Canada Council for the Arts, Quebec Council for the Arts, MusicAction as well as from the « L.A. Friends of Jazz » while on tour with the McGill Jazz Orchestra I.