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This article was published 9/3/2015 (1943 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
MENTION to Curtis Nowosad that he seems to be keeping busy, and he tells you, "Busy is all I know!"
On top of his master's degree studies and performing in New York, Nowosad returns home to Winnipeg this month for the Canadian launch of his sophomore CD, Dialectics, and to give master classes at the University of Manitoba, along with some private lessons.
A U.S. launch of the album in New York City is in the works and the drummer is eyeing a summer Canadian jazz festival tour. He performed on the main stage at last year's Winnipeg International Jazz Festival with the same band heard on Dialectics -- Jimmy Greene (saxophones), Derrick Gardner (trumpet), Steve Kirby (bass), and Will Bonness (piano) -- which was recorded during the festival following their show.
The primarily self-produced disc is being released March 17 on the Cellar Life label, headed by Vancouver saxophonist and former jazz club operator Cory Weeds. The deal gives Dialectics distribution in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Japan.
"It also aligns me with some really great artists that have recorded for his label over the years," the drummer adds in an email exchange from New York.
The trip home will be a busy three days for Nowosad. The album release show is Friday, March 20 at the West End Cultural Centre. Tickets are $20 at the WECC and Ticketmaster. He will perform with Gardner, Kirby, Bonness and alto saxophonist Jon Gordon.
Nowosad will hold a drum master class from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on March 19, and a music business master class on March 20 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., both at the U of M faculty of music. He is setting up private lessons through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nine-tune Dialectics -- six of which are Nowosad compositions-- is a gem. The drummer continues to get better and the band is composed of top-notch musicians.
Nowosad remarks on the complete artistry of the band: "It is always such a pleasure to get to play with these fantastic musicians, and I'm so glad it worked out to bring Jimmy back to put on a well-attended concert for a good cause (the Ana Grace Foundation, in honour of his daughter, who was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in 2012) and hear his distinct voice once again. I really wrote this music with these musicians in mind and they played it beautifully on tour and in the studio. I'm very happy with the finished product."
The album, which has a classic Blue Note records cover, follows a theme, Nowosad says.
"In general, there is a strong theme surrounding language and the pursuit of truth: Dialectics (reasoned discourse with the goal of finding the truth of a matter); Empirically Speaking (discussing empirical evidence); Reconciliation (written following an argument and subsequent reconciliatory discussion with a close friend); Gleaning & Dreaming (the process of jazz musicians and other creative people to glean information and dream about how to use it to express one's self); A Casual Test (checking one's self to make sure one is on track); and even Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil falls into the general idea."
Nowosad has been honing his composing skills by imposing composition challenges on himself to see what he comes up with.
"One such challenge was to write 24 blues (songs), one in every key, which produced A Casual Test," he says.
At the Manhattan School of Music, Nowosad plays in the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, directed by Bobby Sanabria and the Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, which recently performed a world première of Chuck Owen's River Runs. He has been studying arranging with Grammy winning pianist/composer Jim McNeely and teaching private lessons at a public school in Harlem.
"Outside of school, I've been most notably playing with (trumpeter) Philip Harper's band and doing various other gigs and sessions with a lot of great artists at venues such as Fat Cat, Smoke, Zinc Bar and others," he adds.
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Guitarist Mike Rud and singer Sienna Dahlen are returning to the scene of their 2014 Juno Award win for vocal jazz album of the year by presenting music from Notes on Montreal with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on March 22 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 at winnipegjazzorchestra.com.
Rud's music explores the rich cultural history of Montreal.
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