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New release!

Now available

« SWIRL », the highly anticipated new album by the François Bourassa Quartet was released on July 7, 2023. The album was launched as part of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

The Quartet, composed of François Bourassa on piano and compositions, André Leroux on saxophones and flute, Guy Boisvert on double bass and Guillaume Pilote on drums, has been a cornerstone of Montreal’s artistic landscape for over 25 years. Their deep musical camaraderie and exceptional talent make them a pinnacle of artistic expression.

Experience the live-recorded energy and spontaneity as they perform six original compositions, showcasing their versatility and passion for jazz. Listen Here

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Biography

François Bourassa—now with ten albums of original music under his belt—has become an ambassador for Canada’s thriving jazz community at an international level. A paragon of both consistency and evolution, he continues to seek out new challenges for himself, his colleagues, and his growing community of listeners. On April 16, 2021, Bourassa finally released his first solo piano album L’Impact du silence, recorded at La Buissonne in the southeast of France. On July 7, 2023, he will release « Swirl », a new live album by the François Bourassa Quartet recorded in 2022 at Studio Piccolo in Montreal (QC)

Bourassa’s talent was initially recognized by the Festival international de jazz de Montréal in 1985, kickstarting his trio’s recording and performing career throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1996, Bourassa’s trio joined forces with André Leroux, a saxophonist and flutist who is equally at home with a contemporary saxophone quartet as with a jazz orchestra as the featured soloist. Bourassa’s eponymous quartet has been a staple of Montreal’s artistic landscape for 25 years. The band features founding bassist Guy Boisvert, longtime saxophonist André Leroux, and Guillaume Pilote as the most recent addition in Bourassa’s mentorship of young drummers. Their 2001 Live album recorded at Toronto’s Top O’ the Senator received a Juno award. In celebration of his compositional output, Bourassa was also the recipient of SOCAN’s Hagood Hardy Award in 2011. Number 9 (2017) chronicles his discography while also providing a subtle namecheck to the Beatles’ psychedelic oeuvre “Revolution #9” and The White Album. One highlight of the album, “Carla und Karlheinz” salutes two more of Bourassa’s guiding influences: Carla Bley (to whom he paid tribute at the Festival international de jazz de Montréal with the Orchestre national de Jazz) and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Number 9 was heralded as one of the best Canadian jazz albums of 2017 (Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen) and praised by Bley herself and Steve Swallow as a “wondrous piece of work.” Over the past decades, the quartet has garnered multiple Félix and Opus awards for their recordings and live performances, respectively.

Alongside his quartet, Bourassa’s artistic projects included a trio with multi‑instrumentalist Jean Derome and percussionist Pierre Tanguay, both pillars of Quebec’s improvised music community; a collaboration with the prolific Myra Melford, artistic residencies in New York and Paris; and a growing list of orchestral commissions, chamber music works, and ballet scores. Other active collaborations include En Trois Couleurs with fellow pianist/composer Yves Léveillé and percussionist Marie‑Josée Simard for whom he also composed musical works for vibraphone, marimba, and symphony orchestra; the award-winning Re: Bill Evans with legendary bassist Michel Donato, saxophonist Frank Lozano, and Tanguay; various formations with tenor saxophonist Yannick Rieu, and a tribute to Dave Brubeck led by renowned saxophonist and educator Rémi Bolduc.

Born in Montreal in 1959, Bourassa was initially captivated by the electric guitar and the blues rock of Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix. Keyboard‑centric progressive rock was the catalyst to return to the piano at the age of 17. Through the gateway of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, Bourassa worked his way backwards through the jazz tradition. After completing a degree in composition at McGill University, Bourassa pursued a master’s at the New England Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Fred Hersch and George Russell, among other professors. Bourassa has also spent years as a teacher and clinician (McGill, UQAM, University of Montreal).

 

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Calendar

10 Avr 2024
8:30pm
Avec / with Jean Derome
Casa Obscura Montréal, Québec CA.
14 Avr 2024
11:00am
François Bourassa (trio)
Gesù Montréal, CA. – LA MESSE JAZZ – Gratuit
17 Avr 2024
8:00pm
Jazzlab Orchestra
Gesù Montréal, CA.
30 Avr 2024
7:00pm
François Bourassa
Cabaret Lion D’or Montreal, CA. – Journée internationale du Jazz – 25e anniversaire Effendi
30 Mar 2024
7:00pm
Avec / with Jean-Pierre Zanella
Diese Onze Montreal, Québec CA.
23 Mar 2024
7:00pm
Joe Sullivan Quartet
Diese Onze Montreal, Québec CA.
22 Mar 2024
7:00pm
Avec Donato, Lozano, Tanguay – Re: Bill Evans
Upstairs Jazz Montréal, CA. – 2 SHOWS: 7PM ($25+TX) & 9:30PM ($25+TX)
17 Nov 2023
8:00pm
François Bourassa et Remi Bolduc
Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne Terrebonne, Québec CA.
05 Oct 2023
7:00pm
CONFLUENCE AVEC PHILIPPE CÔTÉ + FRANÇOIS BOURASSA QUARTET
Le Ministère Montreal, Quebec CA.
07 Sep 2023
5:00pm
François Bourassa Quartet
Arquemuse, école de musique Québec, QC CA.
10 Août 2023
12:00pm
Avec / With Samuel Blais
Les Midis Aramusique Repentigny, CA.
04 Août 2023Michel Donato et ses amis Québécois
TBA Mont-Tremblant, CA. – Info à venir
09 Juil 2023François Bourassa Solo
Gesù Montréal, CA. – Messe Jazz / Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
07 Juil 2023
9:30pm
François Bourassa Quartet
Diese Onze Montreal, Québec CA. – Festival International de Jazz De Montréal // Lancement de l’album SWIRL
29 Juin 2023François Bourassa Solo
Trafalgar Square London, UK. – info à venir
14 Juin 2023
6:00pm
Michel Donato et ses amis Québécois
Diese Onze Montreal, Québec CA.

View past concerts.

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Recognition

2022 / Winner of an Opus Award 2021-22 – Album of the year – Jazz for the solo album L’Impact du Silence

2021 / Nomination at the Gala ADISQ 2021 – Album of the Year – Jazz for the solo album L’Impact du Silence

2018 / Nomination at Opus Awards 2017-18 – Concert of the year – Jazz

2018 / Nomination at Opus Awards 2017-18 – Album of the Year – Jazz

2018 / Nomination at the Gala ADISQ 2018 – Album of the Year – Jazz

2016 / Winner of an Opus Award – Album of the year – Jazz with the formation En Trois Couleurs

2015 / Recipient of a CALQ grant – six-month residency at the studio du Québec in Paris (Jan-June)

2014 / Winner of an Opus Award – Concert of the year – Jazz with the formation En Trois Couleurs

2013 / Winner of an Opus Award – Concert of the year – world music with the formation Cordâme

2012 / Winner of an Opus Award – Album of the year – Jazz for the album Autour de Bill Evans with Michel Donato, Frank Lozano et Pierre Tanguay

2012 / 2 nominations at ADISQ: Album of the year – Jazz Creation : Idiosyncrasie (François Bourassa Quartet) & Album of the year – Jazz interpretation  for Autour de Bill Evans: Donato Bourassa Lozano Tanguay

2011 / Winner of SOCAN’s Hagood Hardy Award ; (instrumental music);

2011 /  JUNO nomination for the album Idiosyncrasie (François Bourassa Quartet)

2010 /André-Gagnon Award from the SPACQ Foundation, category instrumental music composer of the year

2008-09 / OPUS Award (CQM) Album of the Year -Jazz for Rasstones ;   JUNO and FELIX Nominations for Rasstones

2007 / Recipient of Oscar Peterson Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival; Recipient of a CALQ grant – research and creation component: development of orchestration skills and creation of a concerto for vibraphone, marimba and symphony orchestra

2005 / Recipient of a CALQ grant –six-month residency at the Quebec studio in New York

2005 / Winner of the FELIX award –  album of the year – Jazz  for Indefinite Time

2004 / Winner of three OPUS Awards

2003 / Spectacle de l’année jazz et musiques du monde   2003 /album jazz de l’année– Nomination au prix JUNO pour Indefinite Time; Outstanding Contribution  to Jazz Education à la conférence  de l’International Association of Jazz Educators, Toronto

2002 / Prix JUNO (Contemporary jazz recording) et Prix OPUS (disque jazz de l’année) pour Live

2000 / Outstanding Contribution  to Jazz Education à la conférence de l’International Association of Jazz Educators, New Orleans, États-Unis

1999 / Nomination au prix JUNO (Best composer), et nomination au prix FELIX (meilleur artiste jazz)

1995-2000 / Récipiendaire de bourses du CALQ pour l’écriture musicale

1994 / Porte-parole du Concours de jazz Du Maurier Ltée pour le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

1988 / Messe Jazz commandée en 1988 par les Pères Dominicains et présentée depuis, tous les ans, dans le cadre du Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

1987 / Academic Honours et Distinction in Performance. Parmi les quatre premiers finissants au New England Conservatory, Boston, États-Unis

1986 / Mise en nomination du microsillon Reflet 1 pour l’obtention d’un Félix au Gala de l’ADISQ; Reflet 1 premier album du Trio François Bourassa, microsillon enregistré et lancé par la Société Radio-Canada

1985-87 / Bourses d’Études du New England Conservatory, Boston, MA; Prix du concours Bose du Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

1983 / Quatre pièces de musique contemporaine  pour violon et piano interprétées par A. Bronstein et A. Lanza et diffusées à Radio Canada; trois pièces jouées aux Concerts McGill par le Contemporary  Music Ensemble; musique pour trio jazz, quatuor à cordes et voix; Bon printemps oeuvre pour orchestre à cordes, commandée par l’Ensemble Amati; Ballet et Pas-de-Deux commandés par les Ballets jazz de Montréal; Notes, deux pièces de musique électronique, dix pièces de musique classique

1982-présent / Bourses du Conseil des Arts du Canada, projets variés

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Promo

Downloads

Download a presskit

Download the discography

Download the tech rider

Download the poster (18 x 24 PDF)

Program text

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François Bourassa is one of the leading artists on the Canadian jazz scene. An Oscar Peterson Award winner at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (2007), he has also won recognition from the public here and abroad, thanks to creative, inspired and sensitive compositions. Funky or contemplative, François Bourassa’s music is also that of its excellent musicians and longtime friends, for whom his music is “tailored”. The complicity between them on stage gives a unique concert atmosphere.  » What amazes (me) is how well the musicians understand the language of their leader » (Le Soleil). Virtuosity, synergy, audacity, but also humour and love of music – a jazz meeting not to be missed!

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Composer/pianist François Bourassa, 2007 Oscar Peterson Prize recipient (Montréal International Jazz Festival) leads one of Canada’s most successful  jazz ensembles with André Leroux (sax), Guy Boisvert (bass), and Philippe Melanson (drums). The quartet’s recording, Idiosyncrasie (Effendi) – the latest in a catalogue of critically-acclaimed CDs – has received a JUNO Award nomination (Canada) for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year.  Rasstones, released in 2007, won the OPUS (Québec) award.  A previous recording, Live at the Top of the Senator, won Canada’s highest recording honour, the JUNO, and his Indefinite Time garnered him a FÉLIX, Quebec’s equivalent to the Grammy. Numerous tours have taken him all over  the world, from festivals and concerts in Europe, to the US and Canada, Russia, India, China, Korea, Japan and Mexico, where he has performed in such prestigious events as the North Sea, Cork, and Paris Jazz Festivals; Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City; and twice at the International Association of Jazz Educators’ conference (in New Orleans and Toronto). Francçois Bourassa has appeared onstage with many of the greats of jazz, including Wayne Shorter, Dave Brubeck and Dizzy Gillespie. « A pianist and composer of high stature in his native Montréal, Mr. Bourassa favors avant-gardism of a liquid and often lyrical sort. » – Nate Chinen, New York Times

Photos

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Photos : ©2019-2020 Mathieu Rivard