The universe works in mysterious ways. Upon my return from NYC (and mere hours after I made a big note of Ethan Iverson's advice to check out Scott Joplin), I got an e-mail from trumpeter and artistic community organizer Ellwood Epps. Epps has been the catalyst of two galvanizing movements in Montreal's musique actuelle scene: the Mardi Spaghetti series at Le Cagibi, and his loft space, L'Envers. L'Envers, over the years, has hosted some of the best improvising talent at the local and international levels, and though they've had ups and downs over the years, they have continued to support the local scene and bring in artists that would not otherwise be booked in Montreal. Since they gave the bigger back room of 185 Van Horne over to La Plante, L'Envers has also been a prime rehearsal space: I have rehearsed there with ALICUANTA and with Matana Roberts' Coin Coin.
In these summer months, post-FIMAV, L'Envers has fallen on hard times. The lack of shows and rehearsal bookings has led to financial difficulty, and if they don't raise $1600 by August 24 they'll be forced to shut their doors - a move that would irrevocably damage Montreal's independent arts community. The rent party is happening August 24, and in keeping with the "rent party" tradition, Ellwood asked me to play some stride piano. Stride piano is really not my forte, so I will loosen the definition of it, and play some early swing and Great American Songbook tunes, and work out my left hand. Also on the bill:
- Belly Dance with Claire Litton
- Improvised music with Jack Wright
- Burlesque Performance with Miss Josephine, backed up by Live Band!
- Contemporary Music with the Bozzini String Quartet
- Short film by Karl Lemieux
- Synth Pop with Brusque Twins