Subversive, distinctive, the Eric St-Laurent Trio unleashes its exhilarating show at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.
The band features guitarist St-Laurent’s playful jazz and blues idiom, percussionist Michael DeQuevedo’s South American and African rhythms, and bassist Jordan O’Connor’s eclectic classical training and heavy metal experience.
This wildly creative mix is responsible for their unique sound, blending jazz guitar riffs and reggae beats, traditional Turkish melodies and disco, African songs with Chicago blues solos, or Balkan folk songs with heavy metal bass. All this translates into an electrifying musical conversation; a truly great live show that Jazz FM 91’s Jaymz Bee says would “have to be seen to be believed.”
Each performance is an original, creative experience.
“We do these shows in a very spontaneous way. There is often no set list at all and the repertoire changes night after night, as does the interpretation of each song,” said St-Laurent.
Their repertoire features original compositions by St-Laurent including tunes from their newly released CD, Dale, Spanish slang for “move it!” as well as selections from the standards.
“The guys and I are familiar with a large number of standards. We go in and out of some of these songs with as little premeditation as possible,” said St-Laurent.
Winner of the SOCAN award for Best Original Composition at the Montreal Jazz Festival and The Best Band Award at the Vienne (France) Jazz Festival, St-Laurent has been featured on more than 50 recordings, produced multiple albums, composed scores for short films and theatre, and toured extensively in Europe and Canada.
St-Laurent’s style and influences are as varied as his band.
“My musical style is a mix of jazz, blues, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Big influences were Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Paco de Lucia, Wayne Krantz, and Igor Stravinsky,” said St-Laurent.
The trio formed in 2008, when Montreal-born St-Laurent returned to Canada after spending 10 years in Berlin touring with musicians from the German and Scandinavian music scene.
Epoch, the band’s 2010 CD, immediately went on rotation at Jazz FM Toronto and made it to number five on the Canadian College Radio Charts. Their 2011 CD, Ruby, also met with critical success.
2012 was a significant year for the trio, as they embarked for the first time on an international tour with stops across Canada, Germany, and Holland.
St-Laurent is pleased to be touring again.
“I always look forward to tours because it’s the best opportunity to connect with audiences and play music every night. Come and listen to the music,” said St-Laurent.
Born in Mexico, and living in Toronto, DeQuevedo has been playing drums and percussion since he was a child. Known for his fiery solos, DeQuevedo has toured extensively with celebrated artists like Grammy winner Julieta Venegas, Random Order, and Zoe Bentley.
Cofounder of the multimedia production company The Breath, O’Connor has been living in Toronto, performing with musicians such as Don Ross and Louis Simao. Also a composer, O’Connor recently wrote the score for Carolyn Hurren’s film Yeah, Whatever’ Girl.
The Eric St-Laurent Trio takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club, 3000-31st St. (upstairs from Nolan’s Pharmasave) Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. and tickets are available in advance at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup or at www.vernonjazzclub.ca.