Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Guided tour, PARDES exhibition 7:30 PM | Klezmology concert 8 PM

Koffler Gallery | Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street

Klezmology is a trio dedicated to exploring the interface between klezmer music and free improvisation. Following an informal guided tour of the PARDES exhibition at the Koffler Gallery, clarinetist Jonno Lightstone, baritone saxophonist David Mott and drummer/percussionist Nick Fraser will perform a short concert – a contemporary, cross-cultural blend of klezmer, experimental jazz and blues.

“When I was approached by the Koffler Gallery to do a performance with Klezmology in conjunction with the PARDES exhibit, it seemed like one of those serendipitous moments. The central concern of PARDES — the intersection of the metaphysical with contemporary secular life — is an issue that lies at the very core of klezmer music. For although klezmer music has always had a secular rather than liturgical function, nevertheless there are musical elements that reference or reflect the sacred.” (Jonno Lightstone, clarinetist, Klezmology)

Multi-instrumentalist Jonno Lightstone (clarinet, saxophone and flute) is an experienced performer in a variety of musical styles, including klezmer, jazz, reggae, ska, salsa, flamenco, and classical music. Klezmer music remains his primary focus and he is regarded as one of Toronto’s leading klezmer clarinetists. Lightstone’s interest in a variety of musical genres has led to the formation of a series of bands whose repertoire is rooted in klezmer traditions but whose performance styles often borrow from contemporary genres. These include The Culture Vultures, Hu Tsa Tsa, Matzo Ball Gumbo, and the Yiddish Swingtet. A recent collaboration with baritone saxophonist David Mott has resulted in the formation of Klezmology, a project whose mandate is to explore the intersection of traditional klezmer music with free improvisation. He has performed with musicians from across the musical spectrum including Brian Katz, David Mott, Matt Brubeck, Artie Roth, George Koller, Zalman Mlotek, Tony Quarrington, Jordan Klapman, Rona Goldensher, Eric Stein, Mitch Smolkin, Teresa Tova, and Sharon and Bram. He has performed at the Ashkenaz Festival of New Yiddish Culture, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Roy Thompson Hall, Ford Centre For the Arts, The Art Gallery of Ontario and numerous clubs and restaurants in Toronto. Lightstone produced and played on a number of CDs including, Hu Tsa Tsa’s Well Tempered Klezmorim, The Hot Latkes Klezmer Band’s Eine Kleine Klezmer Muzik, Matzo Ball Gumbo’s Peyes Up Front, and The Yiddish Swingtet’s Shul Days. A much sought after teacher, he instructs privately at Royal St. George College and has taught klezmer workshops at CAMMAC and at Klezkanada. He has coached award-winning ensembles and is the musical director of Klezkonnection, Canada’s largest community klezmer orchestra.

David Mott is a baritone saxophonist and composer.  He is well known as a solo virtuoso and he has developed many extended techniques for the baritone.  A graduate of Berklee College of Music and the Yale University School of Music, he has performed with many notable musicians and ensembles including Gil Evans, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Dresser, Roswell Rudd, Jane Ira Bloom, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano, John LaPorta, Roddy Ellias, Mark Helias, Stevie Wonder, Ray Anderson, David Lopato, Anthony Davis, Kenny Wheeler, Pat LaBarbera, Leo Wadada Smith, Robert Dick, Ernst Reijseger, Chelsea Bridge, John Geggie, I Musici de Montreal, Marilyn Lerner, Evan Parker, William Parker, Jerry Granelli, Michael Vlatkovich, Matt Brubeck, Kirk MacDonald, Jesse Stewart, Carlo Actis Dato, Christian Koegel, Hamiod Drake, the Mike Cado Tentet, and the International Baritone Conspiracy.  His compositions include 27 commissions out of 125 works and his music has represented Canada at the International Rostrum of Composers and received a CBC nomination for a Prix Italia.  He has performed on CBC’s Jazz Beat and his music frequently appeared on CBC’s Two New Hours.  His recording, The Standard Line received a Juno nomination and he was the conductor of NOJO when it won a Juno in the Best Contemporary Jazz category.  Jazz Report Magazine named him Jazz Baritone Saxophonist of the Year in 1995.  He is a founding member of Klezmology, the improvising saxophone quartet 40 fingers and Erosonic, a duo with concert accordionist Joseph Petric.  His quintet, the DMQ, has toured Canada performing at jazz festivals.  David Mott founded the York Jazz Orchestra at York University and many of his former students are notable musicians in Canada and the United States.  He taught contemporary and jazz composition at York Univ. until Jan. 1, 2013.

Nick Fraser (drums) has been an active and engaging presence in the Toronto new jazz and improvised music community since he moved there from Ottawa in 1995. A Juno Award winner, his recorded works include Owls in Daylight (1997), Nick Fraser and Justin Haynes are faking it (2004) and Towns and Villages (2013). Nick has performed with a veritable “who’s who” of Canadian jazz and improvised music and is a member of Drumheller, The Lina Allemano Four, Ugly Beauties and Peripheral Vision. He has collaborated with many international luminaries, including Anthony Braxton, Tony Malaby, William Parker, Marilyn Crispell, David Binney, and Donny McCaslin.

Image at top: Jonno Lightstone