Past Ensembles

Ken Aldcroft Group

The Ken Aldcroft Group features Evan Shaw on alto sax, Wes Neal on bass and Joe Sorbara on drums. This group's repertoire is original compositions that are based on blending compositions and improvisations; blurring the line between composition and improvisation and getting away from the concept of individual soloists and rhythm section. They draw inspiration from various styles of music ranging from modern classical/new music to ethnic melodies, which has led them to develop their own unique and personnel sound.

The Ken Aldcroft Group released their Ontario Arts Council supported debut double CD "Kirby Sideroad" in the fall of 2004 with performances in Halifax, Antigonish, Fredericton, Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo. Performance highlights include the 2004 Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, a 2003 Central Canadian tour performing in the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Ottawa and at Montreal's L'Off Jazz Festival, performed at the 2003 McMichael Art Gallery's concert series, the 2003 Jazz at Oscar's series at the University of Toronto's Hart House, 2002 Junction Arts Festival in Toronto, were a featured group for the Guelph Jazz Societies "Four Friday's" 2002 concert series and perform regularly at various Toronto live music venue's and series such as Graffiti's, the Rex Jazz and Blues Club, The Leftover Daylight Series and the Strange Folk series at Holy Joe's

Ken Aldcroft Trio +1

The Ken Aldcroft Trio +1 has been performing original jazz and improvised music throughout Canada since 1999. Along with performing original music from their second CD release "From Our Time", this ensemble has interpreted the music of Duke Ellington with their first CD release "His Mistress Never Sleeps..." as well as interpreting the seminal Miles Davis album "TUTU". The Trio + 1 includes some of Toronto's top creative musicians in the jazz and improvised music scene; Evan Shaw- alto sax, Scott Thomson- trombone, Ken Aldcroft- guitar/effects, Joe Sorbara- drums. Performance highlights include Canadian tours in 2004 and 2002, the 2002 Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, the 2000 Nanaimo Art Gallery "Jazz at the gallery" concert series and the 2000 Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Ken Aldcroft Quartet

With their roots in jazz and improvised music this quartet draws from various styles and genres of music to create its unique approach to music making and is influenced by the work of jazz artists Bill Frisell, Jimmy Guiffre and John Zorn. This quartet brings together the top creative and open-minded musicians from the Toronto jazz and improvised/new music scenes including Ken Aldcroft- guitar, Kevin Turcotte- trumpet, Ronda Rindone- clarinet and Scott Suttie- bass trombone.

This Quartets highly successful debut performance, Nov. 14/99 at the Havana Gallery, included original music scored to the Buster Keaton film "The General" spawned their second concert, performing a new jazz score to Buster Keaton's "Our Hospitality" at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre June 18/00. Other performance highlights include the 2004 Distillery Jazz Festival, performing opening night for the 2002 Guelph Jazz Festival and performing at the 2000 Vancouver International Comedy Festival.

Ken Aldcroft Trio

Since the inception of the Ken Aldcroft Trio in the fall of 1997 and their debut album, the Ken Aldcroft Trio "Featuring...", This unique trio is billed as one of the most inspired and original groups on the Canadian scene. Influenced by John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Paul Motian and Dave Douglas this trio reflects the traditions of jazz and improvised music. Their compositional approach to improvising, group cohesiveness, interaction and innovative polished sound will always leave audiences wanting more.

Performance highlights include The Rex Jazz Club in Toronto, Queen's University in Kingston, the 1998/99 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, 1999 Vancouver Kiss Project, 1999 Nanaimo Art Gallery Jazz at the Gallery series, the 1999 Vancouver Park Board Concerts in the Park series and in June 1999 they released their second album, "Big Picture", a 1998 Canada Council sponsored Western Canadian tour and performed in the 1998 Maple Ridge Jazz Festival.

Ear Contact

In 1981 George McFetridge and guitarist Peter Leitch recorded a piano/guitar duet album in Toronto for Jazz House Records titled "Sometime In Another Life". In the winter of 1998 this original music format was re-explored with Ear Contact: the George McFetridge/Ken Aldcroft duo. Free elements and the influence of scale forms from the French Composer Olivier Messiaen has allowed Ear Contact to develop it's own unique sound. Performance highlights include a fall 2001 Alberta tour performing at GMCC and Zenari's in Edmonton and at the Art Gallery of Calgary. We released our debut CD "January Sun" at the 2000 Anti-Matter Jazz Festival in Vancouver as well as performing at the 2000 Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Edmonton born pianist George McFetridge has been on the Canadian Jazz scene since performing after-hours at the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton in 1963. After graduating Berklee College in 1974, with a Bachelor of music in composition and arranging, George did a four month stint with the Buddy Rich big band where he recorded "Stick It" (RCA). George spent the next twenty years between Toronto and Edmonton where he had the opportunity to perform with world renowned jazz artists Woody Shaw, Benny Golsen and Lee Konitz just to name a few. George has recorded as a leader and co-leader with Pat Labarbera, Alvinn Pall and Peter Leitch. Since relocating to Vancouver in 1992 George has focused on composing for the various groups he performs with including the Eastwind Quintet, Eastwind w/strings, Kaze and Strange Weather.