Harley Card's Sunset Ensemble

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri Feb 23 3:17pm

As I mentioned in my post last week, in addition to the eight shows we've announced for this year's Festival, we have four outstanding TD Discovery Series Special Projects presentations coming up - and the first is next week!

We're excited to kick off the 2018 Special Projects with Harley Card's Sunset Ensemble, next Thursday, March 1 at Lula Lounge. The Sunset Ensemble represents a departure of sorts for Harley: he's expanded his regular quintet into an eight piece chamber jazz ensemble, and will premiere music written specifically for the expanded format. Joining his usual quintet of guitar (Harley), sax (Perry White, here subbing for David French), piano (Matt Newton), bass (Dan Fortin) and drums (Lorenzo Castelli, subbing for Ethan Ardelli) will be Alexander Brown on trumpet, Karl Silveira on trombone and Ted Crosby on clarinet and flute.

Harley is one of Toronto's most versatile guitarists. Hobson's Choice, the band he co-led with Michael Davidson, Felicity Williams and Rebecca Hennessy, performed stunningly beautiful chamber music; Harley's usual quintet, which prominently features his own compositions, swings hard while exploring more intricate melodies and harmonies; he was also a regular member of Idioteque, one of Canada's top Radiohead tribute bands. Regardless of setting, his approach to his instrument is creative and melodic; I especially enjoy hearing him play acoustic guitar in decidedly non-acoustic settings - a unique colour which demonstrates his interest in seeking out new sounds.

Harley has said he sees the Sunset Ensemble "as a means of opening up our instrumental palette to find greater depths in textural expression and pursue an exciting new range of stylistic possibilities." The name for the ensemble was inspired by the Tom Thompson painting "1915 Sunset Clouds". Tom Thompson sought to expand his artistic palette while representing a specific region of the country; with the Sunset Ensemble, Harley is seeking to do the same on an aural level - and he'll do so with his own original compositions and with compositions and arrangements by band members Matt Newton, Dan Fortin, Ted Crosby and usual bandmate David French.

Lula Lounge should be a great setting for what is sure to be a night of outstanding music. Doors open at 6 pm, show at 7 pm; dinner reservations guarantee seating. Full concert and ticket information is available on our website.

I hope to see you next week at Lula Lounge - and mark your calendars now for the next three Special Projects - details here.