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Matt Brubeck and David Braid Unveil Their First Jazz Piano and Cello Duo Recording


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This summer, American cellist/composer Matt Brubeck and Canadian pianist/composer David Braid launched their first jazz piano and cello duo recording. Brubeck and Braid's music blurs the distinctions between jazz, classical and new music. Twotet/Deuxtet explores how all these music genres interconnect with each other.The duo format provides a unique opportunity to showcase the intimate interplay of these two like- minded musicians who can easily segue between genres with fluid versatility.

About the compositions on Twotet/Deuxtet:

  • Huevos Verdes y Jamon (Brubeck): Inspired by the Latin-music- filledstreets of San Francisco, “Huevos Verdes y Jamon" features Brubeck's cello as a percussion instrument: different parts of it are struck to create the Gaugaunco rhythm found in Afro-Cuban music.

  • Wash Away (Braid): A meeting of two influential musicians who lived roughly 100 years apart, “Wash Away" reminisces about the lyricism and harmonic subtlety of Chopin while driven by an earthy and soulful feeling inspired by Ray Charles.

  • The Return of Doctor Spookulus (Brubeck): Skeletons dance and skulk to a 14-beat tune.

  • Mnemosyne's March (Braid): Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory and mother of the muses."Mnemosyne's March" is about music and memory.

  • Improvisation 17.04.2006 (Brubeck and Braid):The process of spontaneous composition unfolding.

  • Sniffin' Around (Brubeck): Both instruments play the melody as equally important contrapuntal lines, with a bit of funky shuffle thrown in for fun.

  • It's Not What It Was (Brubeck): A simple melody negotiates some unusual harmonic twists and turns, and reflects a mood of contemplating and coming to terms with loss.

  • Spirit Dance (Braid): “Spirit Dance" contains references to vastly different folk music found in various corners of the world - from the British Isles and China to Greece and Hungary.The musical mosaic is organized in such a way that each contrasting musical reference complements another. Inadvertently, this eclectic mix is an indirect reference to Braid's home city of Toronto, Canada, where many cultures co-exist in close proximity and in relative peace.

David Braid, Piano
Touted as one of Canada's most gifted young jazz pianists and composers, David Braid is a Juno Award winner, National Jazz Award recipient, and has performed extensively across Canada, Europe, Australia, Korea, Japan, China and other parts of Asia.

Braid graduated from the University of Toronto in 1998 and was nominated for the Canadian Governor General's Academic Medal.In 2001, the Canada Council for the Arts (JazzID program) selected and showcased Braid as one of five important young composers and jazz musicians in Canada.

Braid made a relatively late entry into music and an even later foray into jazz.After several years of dedicated study, he quickly earned respect from music critics for the quality of his contributions as a composer and performer to a wide range of projects including The David Braid Sextet, Nimmons'n'Braid, Brubeck Braid and Davidson/ Murley/Braid Quintet (DMBQ).He is also a regular member of 12 other jazz ensembles including John MacLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra, Mike Murley Septet, Metalwood, William Carn Quintet, Kelly Jefferson Quartet, Artie Roth Quintet, William Sperandei ensemble, and Nehring, Koller & Braid.

Braid was the recipient of the 2007 'SOCAN Composer of the Year,' which recognized his writing for the David Braid Sextet, the principal vehicle for Braid's compositional work since 2000.One notable work was a commission from the Global Knowledge Foundation to compose and perform a piece to honour Dr. Stephen Hawking during his Toronto in 1998.

Thirty-two-year-old Braid has written over sixty works and unveiled his first orchestral piece with the Winnipeg Symphony in 2005, which blended jazz form, symphonic composition and improvisation.Braid's open-mindedness in exploring different music style has allowed him to venture outside jazz circles, as recent engagements with symphony orchestras performing George Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue" has confirmed Braid as an artist of surprising versatility.He is continuing to explore this blended form through a commission to compose and record an album with the renowned classical quintet, The Canadian Brass.

Aside from performing and composing, Braid has been a faculty member at the University of Toronto since 2003.

Matt Brubeck, Cello
Matt Brubeck is a composer/performer specializing in improvisation on the cello. Raised on jazz and classically trained at Yale, Matt is at ease in multiple genres and has taken his cello improvisational skills into diverse musical territories.

Presently living near Toronto, Matt enjoys performing with a wide range of creative musicians, including Natalie MacMaster, David Mott, Andrew Downing and David Buchbinder, to name a few. Matt's current projects include Brubeck Braid, a duo with pianist David Braid; Ugly Beauties, a trio with pianist Marilyn Lerner and drummer Nick Fraser; and Tallboys, a trio with multi-instrumentalist Kevin Breit and percussionist Jesse Stewart. The summer of 2006 saw Matt performing at the Sonic Courage Festival in Halifax, playing with various artists at the Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax jazz festivals, and on tour with Sheryl Crow.Brubeck Braid and Tallboys will be making appearances at various Canadian Jazz Festivals in the summer of 2007.

During his many years in San Francisco, Matt performed with numerous jazz and improv artists including Scott Amendola, John Schott, Lee Alexander and Pamela Z.Matt also founded Oranj Symphonette, which recorded two CD's for Rykodisc and went on to play many of the major jazz festivals, including Toronto, Montreal, New York, San Francisco and Monterey. In the pop / rock world, his eclectic adventures include touring with the Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow and the Indigo Girls, as well as performing and / or recording with Tom Waits, Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman and others.

Matt worked for several years as composer and cellist / bassist with the San Francisco based Club Foot Orchestra, contributing to critically acclaimed scores for film and television. He has also written string arrangements for acts as diverse as the Turtle Island String Quartet and Sheryl Crow.In 2005 Matt and PamelaZ co-composed Wunderkabinet, an experimental multi-media opera, scored for voice, cello, electronics and video.Wunderkabinet premiered at The LAB Gallery in San Francisco in September of 2005, was performed again in October 2006 at CalArts Redcat Theatre in Los Angeles, and received its Canadian premiere in April, 2007 at the Open Ears Festival in Kitchener, Ontario.

Matt is on the faculty of the Music Department at York University in Toronto, where he leads ensembles and teaches private lessons in improvisation. He is also a guest instructor for Shauna Rolston's cello master class at the University of Toronto.(And, yes, he is the tallest son of Dave.)

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