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    Nick Maclean

    This week for "Where Are They Now," we feature Nick Maclean, 

    1) When did you participate in the Jazzology program?
    I was in the program in 2014 during the 1st year of my Masters in Jazz Performance degree at
    the University of Toronto.


    2) Describe your experience with the Jazzology program. What was you favourite aspect?
    I enjoyed the program a lot. Sitting down with Heather Bambrick to talk about music for an hour or so
    was a great deal of fun but also gave me a great deal of insight into the making of a radio interview as
    well as how to present oneself in an interview – an important skill for a musician.


    3) Would you recommend this experience to other young musicians? Why?
    I would definitely recommend this for other young musicians. This program forces you to figure out
    how to contextualize and talk about your music – a necessary skill for musicians and often one that
    isn't given enough thought. It's done in a very supportive and low-pressure way and it gives you a great
    snapshot into the inner workings of radio broadcasting.


    4) How has this experience helped in your personal and professional development?
    This experience has helped me to focus the direction of my projects. To be able to talk about one's
    music one must be able to define what one's music is all about. A clear and meaningful definition of a
    musical project's purpose can be difficult to pin down, but once you have it your group suddenly has a
    clear purpose. A well defined purpose or direction is important to give a band's sound focus and
    cohesion.


    5) This program is made possible by our generous donor.... thank them in person, what would you say?
    Apart from the obvious 'thank you very much', people like these donors are important. The music
    industry is in a very precarious state – at every level. With the decline of album sales, music venues
    closing left and right, and the steady devaluation of recorded and live music it's hard out here and
    there is the ever-present temptation to jealously guard whatever small piece of the pie one has
    managed to carve off. But I don't think that's the way to go because if we all link arms and support
    each other we'll all be stronger for it. These donors are contributing to that community-building ideal
    and I think it's a beautiful thing.


    6) Why is music education important?
    When asked this question there are many people who will say things like 'music education makes you
    smarter' or whatever. Whether or not that's true, I hate arguments like that because they gloss over the
    most important one - music education is important because music is important! Music is everywhere in
    our society – shows, movies/television, restaurants, gyms, etc. It permeates just about everything in
    some shape or form and we use it to express our individuality, to convey emotion and to tell stories.
    Music is a language that can communicate things our spoken language cannot. Without some sort of
    music education you can't take part in that abstract conversation with any sort of depth.


    7) Since participating in the program, what have you been doing?
    In the last year my electric jazz-funk group SNAGGLE released our 2nd album THE LONG SLOG. We
    released it on the Toronto-based jazz record label BROWNTASAURAS RECORDS and the record was
    produced by the label's CEO and internationally acclaimed jazz-trumpet player BROWNMAN ALI.
    We've been very lucky and the album has been charting around the world and we've been getting a
    number of incredible reviews. We were also overjoyed and humbled to discover that the album was a
    recipient of a Gold-standard GLOBAL MUSIC AWARD in three different categories in December 2016.
    So things have been good, we've since also released our christmas single CHRISTMAS TUNE and are
    currently planning a Euro tour for the summer of 2018. The group has some Southern Ontario dates
    coming up this August, so make sure to keep an eye out for that!


    Back in March Snaggle also held an event I've been wanting to do for awhile – a SNARKY PUPPY
    tribute show! It was a ton of fun, the band really dug into the material and a number of us were playing
    double duties – I myself was trying to play keyboard parts that usually would be played by 2 or 3 guys!
    We plan on bringing it back sometime in the fall, so keep an eye out for that as well!

    My NYC-style jazz quartet the NICK MACLEAN QUARTET has also been having a good year. We've
    got our debut album in the works at the moment. This group is the antithesis to Snaggle, more hardswinging
    and taking a lot of influences from Herbie Hancock's 1960's quartet with Freddie Hubbard.
    We finished tracking at Canterbury studios in May, at the moment we're just finishing up edits and are
    about to head into mixing. I'm very excited for this album, the band has spent the better part of a year
    getting inside each other's heads and we've got a real chemistry that makes playing in that group so
    much fun. We're planning for an October release and we've already started booking release dates
    across Ontario, so watch out for when that drops!


    Apart from that my very good friend and colleague BROWNMAN ALI brought me on board his record
    label BROWNTASAURAS RECORDS as a 'label manager' so I've been helping to continue the
    development of the label's infrastructure as well as supporting a number of the artists that are on the
    label. In May BROWNTASAURAS had it's first 'label night' where it presented three of it's electric-jazz
    artists: BROWNMAN ELECTRYC TRIO, SNAGGLE, and MODUS FACTOR. It was a great night of
    music and we're really looking forward to the next one – we're going to be aiming to bring out the
    label's big band, Chelsea McBride's SOCIALIST NIGHT SCHOOL who released an incredible album
    called TWILIGHT FALL on the label just last January.


    8) What are your plans for the future?
    The NICK MACLEAN QUARTET is going to be releasing our debut album in October of this year, so
    we'll be doing a Southern Ontario release tour and we'll be starting to look towards booking national
    and international festival dates.

    SNAGGLE is currently building a 2018 Euro-tour (we've already got a few dates confirmed in
    Germany!) so I'm very much looking forward to that.

    Apart from that the next big project that I'm looking towards is a solo-piano album. Because of our
    musical history, friendship, and the enormous respect I have for his deep musical knowledge and
    ability I've asked Brownman Ali to produce the record and I'm very much looking forward to working
    with him in such a personal setting. So the next little while is going to be focused on composition for
    solo piano – I've got a few pieces finished but not enough for a full length album yet.

    So the future is looking bright, lots of irons in the fire, lots to do!


    9) How can people learn more about you and your activities?
    The best way for people to keep up with what I'm doing is to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. It's a
    small newsletter I send out once a month with information about upcoming gigs, any interesting news
    with any of my groups and occasionally free give aways. The link to subscribe is here:
    http://eepurl.com/XVCO5

    For anything Snaggle related the best place to go is www.snagglemusic.com or Snaggle's facebook
    page www.facebook.com/snagglemusic

    For updates on the Nick Maclean Quartet, my solo piano stuff or anything else, the best place to go is
    my website www.nicholasmaclean.com


    Nick Maclean Bio
    NICK MACLEAN is "one of the most gifted young Toronto pianists to come along in the last
    few years " (Adrean Farrugia, Juno winning jazz pianist) and has quickly become one of the most in
    demand 20-something piano players in that city's bustling jazz scene. Nick received his Bachelors of
    Music from Humber College in 2013, having studied with David Restivo, Bernie Senensky and Nancy
    Walker. He then went on to do a Masters in Jazz Performance at the University of Toronto researching
    synthesizer pedagogy while studying under David Occhipinti, Andrew Downing, Chris Donnelly and
    David Braid. Braid in particular had an enormous influence on how Maclean approaches playing and
    composing especially as it relates to solo piano performance. Additional musical influences include the
    likes of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Brad Meldau, Weather Report, Snarky Puppy, Kneebody,
    Hiromi Uehara, Art Tatum, Miles Davis, Avishai Cohen (bass), Vijay Iyer, and Michel Camilo.


    Maclean's debut ensemble SNAGGLE, a groove-based all-original eclectic electric-jazz
    project, sports a 6-man lineup, compositional odysseys and is often compared by media to Snarky
    Puppy. The band has an EP and two full length albums under it's belt the last of which, THE LONG
    SLOG, was released in 2016 on the award winning record label BROWNTASAURAS records and
    received much praise from luminous figures in the national and international jazz community:

    "…young pianist Nick Maclean's 6-man electric-jazz group SNAGGLE is most impressive!
    The music on Long Slog is very, very challenging, yet groovy, soulful & exploratory at the
    same time… Extremely well performed, written and executed… Reminds me of a band I used
    to play in!"
    - Randy Brecker, multi-Grammy winning trumpet legend


    "Maclean and the members of Snaggle, with the help of Brownman, have crafted a very
    personal and compelling musical statement, bursting with wide-ranging influences tied together
    by a sense of unified purpose, chock-full of hidden treasures and layers to be uncovered through
    repeated listening. So settle in, close your eyes, and let the voyage unfold."
    - David Restivo, Canadian jazz piano giant

    The NICK MACLEAN QUARTET is his straight-ahead hard-swinging quartet featuring
    internationally acclaimed BROWNMAN ALI on trumpet as well as some of the cities most in demand
    20-somethings: JESSE DIETSCHI on bass and TYLER GOERTZEN on drums. The Nick Maclean
    Quartet features compositions from all band members done with a modern twist on the exploratory
    spirit of Herbie Hancock's primordial 1960's quartet. The quartet has been performing steadily since
    it's inception in June of 2015 including three performances at the 2016 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The
    group recorded their debut album in May 2017 and is poised to release the album in October of the
    same year..

    Maclean's SOLO PIANO PROJECT is two years into it's development and is a deep
    examination of the possibilities and capabilities of the piano. This is one of Nick's most exploratory
    avenues both as a composer and a performer as it is a medium which offers him complete
    compositional control. Nick's work draws from a wide range of influences and constantly shifts
    textures and colours throughout his pieces. Maclean is preparing for a solo album which will be
    recorded in 2018. The future is bright for this young visionary as he continues his upward ascent in jazz
    art forms of all shapes and sizes.



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