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Festival Report

TD Toronto JazzFest 2013: Marianne Trudel – Trifolia

Marianne Trudel and her trio Trifolia, made up of contra bassist Étienne Lafrance, and percussionist Patrick Graham performed the intimate Jazz Bistro as part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival…



“Play Loud”

Festival Report by Paul J. Youngman – Jazz Bistro – June 27, 2013

Marianne Trudel and her trio Trifolia, made up of contra bassist Étienne Lafrance, and percussionist Patrick Graham performed the intimate Jazz Bistro as part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

The audience had come to hear jazz and the attention level was at a state of high alert. The trio acknowledged the heightened state of awareness and reciprocated with high energy play and emotion that seemed to glow in the effervescence of Toronto’s newest shinning star, the Jazz Bistro.

Most Toronto jazz enthusiasts are no doubt aware of the newest Jazz club in the city – Jazz Bistro located at  251 Victoria St. Toronto – the same historic location as the old stellar jazz club Top O the Senator (1989 – 2005). The Jazz Bistro was not a turn key operation, extensive renovation and a challenging, artistic and fully functional architectural design concept make this one of the best jazz clubs I’ve visited.

The Jazz Bistro hosted exceptional jazz throughout the jazz festival; they featured some of the greatest jazz vocalists, Molly Johnson, Ranee Lee, Carmen Souza and Roberta Gambarini. They had a solo piano series with the fantastic Bill Charlap and the equally talented Geoffrey Keezer. Modern jazz was well represented in the likes of Allan Jones and his Canadian All Star Sextet and the aforementioned Trifolia.

Marianne Trudel is a fine pianist, an excellent composer and a huge talent. The music performed consisted of music composed for this trio specifically, this was a group effort, Trudel may be the leader but of equal importance are the contribution and the artistry that Lafrance and Graham add to the project. The depth of composition, layers of texture that involved the complex rhythms and other world sounds, as varied in influence as the scope of the world. Jazz meets classical, meets Middle Eastern on a happy rendezvous with modern contemporary music. So many layers and textures of sounds combined to exquisitely serenade the audience.

On the song “Steppes” Trudel played accordion and sang or chanted instrumentally. Before she began the song she explained how she came to find her accordion and proceeded to tell a touching tale of her last visit with her ailing Grandfather, the benefactor of the instrument. As she explains to her Grandfather that she must leave him to play a gig, her Grandfather responds “Play Loud”. For sure Trudel is more than capable of playing loud, her forte is playing dynamically.  Opening with Trudel’s minimalist piano voicing and Lafrance on arco bass, the song cries with emotion, the percussion crashes the senses with cymbal shattering and the song passionately progresses to the entrance of accordion and elegant chanting in harmony with the crying of the arco bass lines. Graham adds sensitivity with intriguing percussion of all manner and design. Lafrance alternates between arco and pizzicato bass playing as the song evolves and grows to dissolve into a pleasant peaceful state of satisfaction as the rooms patrons let out a collective sigh of pleasure.

Trudel and company played three sets of beautiful music, sounds that were soothing, musicanship that had no limits and compositions that all had as their central theme an outpouring of the love of life and nature as transposed through music. They played most if not all of their CD project, Le Refuge, Trifolia (2013). For me this was the perfect concert, held in the perfect venue.

*Photo of Marianne Trudel Trio by Paul J. Youngman

An independent journalist, based in Toronto, Canada. A professional musician and a fan of music, dance and the arts. I have written short stories, lyrics, poetry and reviews. I have been published in numerous online webzines. I’ve taught drumming and played in bands; I have felt the passion to create. I enjoy expressing that passion, the artistic experience, in words, reporting on the shows and musical experiences that I have witnessed.


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