Happy to be featured in the Spring/Summer issue of Humber NEXT magazine! Great to be part of such an innovative institution.
Here are few notable happenings for April and May 2016:
- I’m performing April 16th with Ernesto Cervini’s excellent sextet Turboprop at the Pilot Tavern in Toronto. The music is diverse and challenging, and the band is truly stellar. It’s an honour to play with these fine musicians.
- I’m taking the stage with the new Brian Dickinson big band at the Jazz Room (Kitchener-Waterloo) on Saturday, April 23. The following week, I will be serving as conductor for the band in studio. Really looking forward to that!
- In May, I head to Ottawa to adjudicate MusicFest Canada, Canada’s national band festival. I always enjoy this opportunity to hear this country’s up-and-coming talent.
- On April 15th, if you happen to be in Reykjavik, Iceland, be sure to check out this year’s Tectonics Festival. I was one of the transcribers responsible for some of the sheet music in a concert featuring Roscoe Mitchell and the Iceland Symphony orchestra. Transcribing this material was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had in a while, and I look forward to hearing this music in person.
- My newest album, Momentum, is on the way. Final release date imminent. Stay tuned!
Hi, friends: This season I’ve been preparing for the release of my forthcoming album, “Momentum”, guest lecturing in the United States, and performing with a variety of groups in Toronto including a special concert with the Order of Canada big band at Koerner Hall. I’m also thrilled to be back at the Old Mill Inn this November, with a special trio concert on November 27. Click to view the event on Facebook:
Shirantha Beddage Trio at the Home Smith Bar (Old Mill Inn)
21 Old Mill Rd., Toronto, Ontario
Friday, November 27, 2015, 7:30-10:30pm
$20 minimum food / drink purchase
Shirantha Beddage – piano and saxophone
Mike Downes – bass
Mark Kelso – drums
The Shirantha Beddage Trio returns to the Home Smith Bar (Old Mill Inn) on Friday, November 27! This concert will feature new music from Shirantha’s forthcoming album, “Momentum”, in addition to originals from Shirantha’s celebrated albums “Identity” and “Roots and Branches”.
In July, Toronto plays host to the Pan-Am Games. I’m very excited to be playing at a number of events during the Games, including two special events with Danilo Perez. See the Events page for more details.
Panamania Big Band with Danilo Perez, John Patittucci, Brian Blade, Jane Bunnett and Miguel Zenon (part of PANAMANIA Festival)
July 21, 6pm, Nathan Phillips Square
July 22, 8pm, Koerner Hall
Gary Morgan and Panamericana (part of PANAMANIA Festival)
July 25, 1pm, Distillery District
Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop
July 25, 3:30pm, The Pilot Tavern
Bruce Cassidy’s Hotfoot Orchestra
July 25, 9:45pm, The Rex Hotel
It’s my great pleasure to announce the arrival of the Bari Sax T-Shirt! This garment has been lovingly designed by Janine Stoll, with a little help from yours truly. If you’ll permit me to boast, I think this represents a huge step forward in the world of bari sax fashion. This shirt will be soon available for purchase at select performances and on shiranthabeddage.com.
This week is proving to be a busy one! In addition to recording more tracks for my new album, I’m heading to KAMA restaurant in Downtown Toronto on May 7th to play as a guest artist with the Canadian Jazz Quartet. Next week, I’m adjudicating at MusicFest Canada at the University of Toronto. Then on May 15-16, I’m at the Rex for the return of Alex Dean’s Travelling Wall-Barries.
New show and album news! My quartet is heading back to The Jazz Room on April 4th. We’ll be premiering a number of new compositions as a preview of my forthcoming album (to be completed this summer). This show will feature Robi Botos on piano (fresh from his own album release the previous weekend!), Mike Downes on bass, and Mark Kelso on drums and percussion. Check out the Facebook event page for more info on this upcoming show.
Surprise!!! It’s my pleasure to announce the release of “The Pretty One” and “Coolin’ Out”, two singles composed and featured in the FX TV series “Fargo”. Written and recorded in the span of 48 hours, these songs are featured in episodes 102 and 104 respectively as background music for Lou’s cafe. The cast of the show includes Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine and Oliver Platt. Click the links below to download!
Shirantha Beddage – baritone saxophone
Brian O’Kane – flugelhorn
Brian Dickinson – piano
Mike Downes – bass
Ernesto Cervini – drums
Recording, mixing and mastering: Andy Pryde
Recorded on February 6, 2014 at Humber College, Toronto, Canada
From the CDBaby website:
Shirantha Beddage wears many hats, and he wears them well. The JUNO-nominated Toronto saxophonist and educator can now add one more feather to his cap: composer for television. “When I got the call to provide some original music for Fargo,” Beddage writes, “I was thrilled.” The Coen brothers movie is one of my favourite all-time films… It was an honour to be considered for this exciting new show.”
He quickly realized that time was of the essence. “The producers needed the music within about two days, so I had to move quickly. I needed to book the musicians, the studio, write the tunes… It was a bit of a whirlwind. They wanted a Gerry Mulligan ‘West Coast’ vibe, so I quickly hired Brian O’Kane, Brian Dickinson, Mike Downes, and Ernesto Cervini to play the parts.” Within the span of 48 hours, Beddage had written three original compositions. The group recorded these original tunes in the Humber College auditorium with the help of Humber’s resident sound technician Andy Pryde. “’Coolin’ Out’ and ‘The Pretty One’ were eventually selected for the show. My composition ‘The Pretty One’ was written about a half-hour before the recording session, and as it turned out that’s the first one the producers picked! Go figure.”
Having written a host of original compositions for his own group, Beddage is an experienced composer. “Composition is a labour of love for me. At times it can be very challenging, as my ideas don’t flow quickly onto paper. Writing in this situation was quite different, as I didn’t have the time to let my perfectionist tendencies get in the way… probably a good thing!” Beddage has written original compositions exclusively for this group for the past 10 years, and has recorded two albums as leader: “Roots and Branches” (2007) and the Juno-nominated “Identity” (2012). Compositions from this recording garnered him the Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2013. As a performer, he’s quickly becoming known as a powerful and compelling voice on the baritone saxophone. In addition to leading his own groups, he performs regularly with ensembles led by Toronto heavyweights Mike Downes, Nancy Walker and Bruce Cassidy. He also teaches full-time at Humber College in Toronto, where he is the Director of Theory and Harmony in the Humber Music department.
I was recently featured as an interview guest on The Jazz Session, a fantastic jazz interview podcast from the U.S. I spoke at length with host Jason Crane about many issues such as jazz education and the baritone saxophone. Check it out!
I’m thrilled to report the Shirantha Beddage Quartet will be giving a FREE concert this week in Toronto! Join us Wednesday November 20th @ 5:30pm at the Canadian Opera Company as we perform songs from “Identity”, and some other surprises. View the Events page for more details.