As Rebekah Wolkstein says: “It’s addictive to perform tango. It’s vibrant music and it’s relatable for audiences. They love it. They want to dance and they understand it on a visceral level. It encompasses every human emotion often several times in one piece alone!”
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Buckle up for a musical JoyRide with thrilling highs, spontaneous departures and unexpected turns! JoyRide is the brainchild of Colin Maier and Charles Cozens. They have performed as a duo across Canada and the United States since 2017 having played full recitals, university programs/masterclasses/seminars, fundraisers and children/seniors’ outreach. With Colin on oboe, musical saw, vocals, guitar and the kitchen sink, and with Charles on accordion and piano, this incredibly versatile duo pushes the musical outer limits with fresh sounds, original compositions and arrangements. Their music encompasses many styles from ragtime to tango and klezmer to classical, and their multi-instrumental abilities push conventional boundaries.
Canada’s premiere violin and piano ensemble, Duo Concertante, are partners in music and in life. Known for the passion and brilliance of their performances, critics have praised Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves’ “artistry, poetry, and impeccable technique” (La Scena Musicale) and “deeply integrated performances that flow naturally as if the music were being created on the spot” (Gramophone). The Duo’s busy touring schedule across North America, Europe, and China, has led to performances at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, the National Arts Centre, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.
Of the 20 CD recordings of his compositions to date, a number have won prizes including the JUNO Award for Best Composition for his Violin Concerto. In his formative years, MacDonald completed intensive guitar studies with Alexandre Lagoya, Michael Lorimer, and Manuel Lopez-Ramos. He has premiered a number of works especially written for him, including the concerto Nocturno by Canadian composer Glenn Buhr, and in 1979 was a finalist in the CBC National Performers’ Competition. In 1980 he presented the Canadian premiere of Richard Rodney Bennett’s Guitar Concerto and in 1982 made his first Carnegie Hall appearance at the ISCM festival in New York. He has performed many of his own compositions, including solos, chamber works and song cycles and has been recorded and broadcast on both the CBC and Société-Radio Canada. Besides the concertos mentioned above, he has also been the soloist in a number of other concertos, including those by Villa-Lobos and Rodrigo, and recently starred in the premiere of his latest concerto, Electric Pleasures.
“Truly virtuosic and intense” describes Zac Pulak and Edana Higham’s SHHH!! Ensemble. Their mission is to perform, inspire and foster new works for percussion and piano, appearing in halls across Canada in concerts, collaborations and interactive presentations. Their Toronto debut was featured on CBC Radio 2’s “In Concert”, and they have been named co-Artistic Directors of the Ottawa New Music Creators for 2021-2023. Their debut recording Meanwhile, on the Analekta label, will be released in 2022.