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Rhymes and more
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 9:52 AM
 
Music to kick off the new year
 
The music of Richard Gillis

The CD Rhymes was recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland on June 6 to 9, 2010 by Icelandic guitarist Björn Thoroddsen, Egill Ólafsson and the Reykjavik Big Band, and U of M’s Icelandic-Canadian trumpeter Richard Gillis.

The seeds of the recording were sown ten years earlier, in April, 2000, when Gillis met Thoroddsen on one of Thoroddsen’s North American tours. The two began playing together immediately and have been involved in many musical projects since, including radio and television broadcasts, recordings, jazz festival performances and tours. One of the many memorable performances was a gig in Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City in 2006.

In 2008 Thoroddsen asked Gillis to arrange some of his music for a concert with the Reykjavik Big Band. That concert took place in October of the following year, and was later named one of the three most interesting jazz concerts in Iceland in 2009 by the Icelandic daily newspaper.

The pieces chosen for that concert became the repertoire for the new CD. Rhymes and Sleep My Baby are two of the many Icelandic folk songs the two have been performing in the jazz/folk ensemble Guitar Islancio; From Heaven to Earth and Gloria are taken from a Luther recording they released in 2005; and Kir, Blue Lagoon, Mr. G, Voluspa, and Enguera are just a few of the original songs by Thoroddsen.

To date Thoroddsen and Richard Gillis have recorded six CDs together. They are planning a tour of Iceland and of Canada.

***
Rhymes (2010) by Richard Gillis, with Bjorn Thoroddsen and the Reykjavik Big Band. Filled with Icelandic folk tunes and contemporary compositions, this CD earned a four star review in the November 27, 2010 edition of The Winnipeg Free Press.

Professor Richard Gillis is the artistic director of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, director of the High School Honour Jazz Bands, a member of Metalmorphosis Brass Quintet and an extra with the Winnipeg Symphony. Orchestra.
 
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Mariianne Mays Wiebe
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