Avant/Free/Improv/Experimental

Gord Grdina Trio

The Gord Grdina Trio is based out of Vancouver, BC and has been a working touring ensemble since 2005. The Trio consists of Gord Grdina (guitar, oud), Kenton Loewen (drums) and Tommy Babin (bass). They have collaborated with many of the world’s top improviser’s such as Fredrik Ljungkvist, Eric Boeren, Wilbert De Joode, Michael Moore, Jerry Granelli, Michael Blake, Jeb Bishop, Kent Kessler, Mark Helias, Ingebrigt Haker- Flaten and Fred Longberg-Holm. They have toured throughout North America and Europe regularly since 2005.

AIMToronto Orchestra

The AIMToronto Orchestra is a seventeen-piece ensemble formed in 2007 for a celebrated collaboration with Anthony Braxton at the Guelph Jazz Festival that resulted in Creative Orchestra (Guelph) 2007 on Spool Records. Since then, the Orchestra, under the artistic direction of Kyle Brenders and administrative direction of Scott Thomson, has been dedicated to the development and performance of repertoire composed by Orchestra members.

Evan Shaw / Nicole Rampersaud / Jean Martin / Wes Neal / Tomasz Krakowiak

The third new release, Halcyon Science 130410 (Barnyard 323), features the electroacoustic improvisation quintet of Evan Shaw (alto saxophone), Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet), Jean Martin (drums and laptop), Wes Neal (double bass), and Tomasz Krakowiak (percussion). This studio recording is made up of intelligent and inspired compositions by Shaw and Rampersaud, and deft ensemble improvisations that draw on the lateral influence of science fiction as readily as they do that of their most obvious (but far from sole) musical forbear, jazz.

Jean Martin

Jean Martin (drums & electronics) is the founder and the driving force behind Barnyard Records, which he operates as a collective in partnership with the artists who record for Barnyard. He has contributed to the production of Barnyard’s catalogue as a multi-instrumentalist performer, composer, recording engineer, mixing engineer, designer, photographer, and administrator. Jean is a widely acclaimed drummer who was nominated for a National Jazz Award and who won the Freddie Stone Award in 2004.

Evan Parker / Wes Neal / Joe Sorbara

British saxophonist Evan Parker is simply one of the world’s premier musical improvisers. During his February, 2009 visit to Toronto, as a guest of the AIMToronto (Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto) Interface Series, Parker’s exceptional trio - with Toronto’s Wes Neal (double bass) and Joe Sorbara (drums) - was recorded by Barnyard’s Jean Martin.

Return to Forever IV

What does it take to create an epic, unprecedented musical event? Return to Forever IV, the latest installment of the definitive jazz/rock/fusion ensemble, has the answer. Bring together a union of jazz/rock’s founding fathers: from RTF, core members Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White; from Mahavishnu Orchestra, virtuoso electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. Then add fiery-fingered guitarist Frank Gambale. Toss in a torrent of RTF’s classic songbook, highlights from each member’s solo career, new heavyweight material and turn them loose.

NKLS Quartet

NKLS4tet is a collaboration dedicated to creating music that is strange, lyrical and inclusive. Rooted in the language of the early jazz avant-garde, they combine equal amounts of improvisation and composition with a quirky pop sensibility. The NKLS4tet (Karen Ng, alto sax; Nicolas Bulligan, trumpet; Scott McCannell, bass; and Lowell Whitty, drums) is an eclectic group of creative characters whose music is sometimes catchy, sometimes chaotic.

Octopus

Octopus is an eight-limbed percussionist that is the sum of Germaine Liu and Mark Zurawinski. They frequently lend their combined powers to Toronto-based groups rEDwIREaRCHaNGEL and Rob’s Collision, but have also collaborated with many from the city’s league of creative improvisers including Scott Thomson, Nicole Rampersaud, Joe Sorbara, Paul Newman, Holger Schoorl, Ken Aldcroft, Nilan Pererra, Andy Yue, Aaron Lumley, Michael Owen-Liston, Colin Anthony, MiMo, Rob Clutton, Allison Cameron, and many others.

the Swyves

Founded in the summer of 2008, The Swyves are one of the strongest avant-garde jazz trios on the Toronto improvised music scene. Led by multi-instrumentalist woodwind player Jay Hay, the group includes bassist Aaron Lumley and drummer Dan Gaucher, with frequent collaborations with multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Stachan. Focusing primarily on the compositions of Jay Hay, the trio weaves it's way through textural improvisations, free-bop swing tunes, and all-out high energy blow-outs.

Kyle Brenders Quartet

The Kyle Brenders Quartet is one of Toronto’s newest groups exploring the spaces between jazz and improvised music. Brenders, a former student of Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier, has brought together some of the most talented young players that are currently working in the Toronto scene. Along with Kyle, Mark Segger on drums, Steve Ward on trombone and Tomas Bouda on bass tap into their own creative instrumental vocabulary to communicate through Brenders’ distinctive compositional output.

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