• Limetorrents Browse
  • Now Playing:

    Interview: Mike Downes talks 'Root Structure'

    Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore speaks with Juno Award winning bassist Mike Downes about his life in jazz and his new album "Root Structure".



    WHO: Mike Downes


    WHAT: New album "Root Structure"


    WHERE: Music stores and iTunes


    Album Release concerts at The Rex Hotel and Jazz Bar Thursday September 28, Friday September 29


    WHEN: Album available September 29th 

     

    WEBSITE: www.mikedownes.com


    AUDIO:


    VIDEO


    ABOUT:  


    ROOT STRUCTURE:

    Root Structure is the much-anticipated new album from bassist Mike Downes and his quartet. Featuring four of Canada’s top jazz musicians – Mike Downes (JUNO award winner 2014), Robi Botos (JUNO award winner 2016), Ted Quinlan (JUNO nomination 2003) and Larnell Lewis (Grammy award winner with Snarky Puppy 2017), “Root Structure” explores lyrical compositions with a deep underlying structural integrity.

    "In music and life, I’ve always been interested in what lies beneath the surface: the underlying structures that hold everything together, the strength that resides deep down. The music in this recording was composed and performed in this spirit."
     Mike Downes

    The Mike Downes Quartet has been performing in various incarnations since the mid-90s. The original quartet toured Canada extensively and released their first album Forces in 1995 to great acclaim. In 2013, Downes released a new trio/quartet album, Ripple Effect which won a JUNO Award in 2014.


    Root Structure will be released worldwide on the Addo Records label on Friday, September 29, 2017.




    MIKE DOWNES:


    "As gifted a composer as he is a bassist." - Chris Kosky, International Society of Bassists


    "Mike’s time playing is delightfully inventive...his lines are clear, hip, and agile. His technique and intonation are extraordinary." Kim Richmond, Jazz Player Magazine


    "Emotionally direct, profoundly lyrical bass work." - Stuart Broomer, The Whole Note


    JUNO award winner Mike Downes has been a prominent Canadian bassist, composer, arranger and educator since the early 1980s.


        His musicality, emotional depth and melodic approach to the bass have thrilled audiences in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Iceland, the United States and Canada. In addition to leading his own groups, Mike has performed with virtually all of Canada's top jazz musicians, including Molly Johnson, Oliver Jones, PJ Perry, Lorne Lofsky, Don Thompson, Kirk MacDonald, Robi Botos and Pat LaBarbera. He has performed with visiting jazz artists such as Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Dave Liebman and many others.


         Mike began playing bass at the age of eight, encouraged by his bass-playing father. He also studied trombone and piano and was quickly recognized as a upcoming talent. He began performing as a teenager in Winnipeg, Canada, playing in diverse settings from rock bands to big bands and from corporate functions to television and radio shows. After being named “Jazz Musician of the Year” in Silver Heights Collegiate, a high school reputed for its music program, he was offered a full scholarship to study bass and trombone at St. F. X. University in Nova Scotia. After two years at St. F.X. he completed a Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University in Montreal. He was already balancing a professional career with his studies. After graduating he was awarded a Canada Council Grant to study with bassists Dave Holland and John Clayton. Mike moved to Toronto in 1990, and later completed a Masters degree in Music Composition at York University.


         Mike’s extensive discography highlights his work as a bassist, composer and arranger. His recording Ripple Effect won a 2014 JUNO award for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year. Other JUNO award-winning or nominated recordings include Molly Johnson’s Lucky, Another Day and Messin’ Around, Shirantha Beddage’s Identity and Momentum, Lorne Lofsky’s Bill Please, Jens Lindemann and Tommy Banks Legacy Live, and Ranee Lee’s Dark Divas and Maple Groove.


         In 1994 Mike formed the Mike Downes Quartet, featuring saxophonist Phil Dwyer, pianist Dave Restivo and drummer Ted Warren. That group performed regularly in Toronto and recorded Forces in 1995. As part of a cross-Canada tour the band recorded for two days in CBC studios in Winnipeg. That recording was later released as Then. In 2004 Mike’s trio recordedThe Winds of Change, chosen as one of the year’s top CDs by JazzFM91. Ripple Effect on Addo Records was released in 2013 featuring masterful pianist Robi Botos and Ethan Ardelli on drums. Following that Mike ventured into large-ensemble writing and released In the Current (Addo Records) featuring an 11-piece chamber jazz group made up of some of Canada's finest musicians. Mike’s most recent recording is Root Structure, featuring his present quartet with Robi Botos (JUNO Award winner 2016), Ted Quinlan (JUNO nomination 2003) and Larnell Lewis (Grammy award winner with Snarky Puppy 2017).


         Helping to mentor and inspire young musicians is an important component of Mike’s career. He has been the Bass Department Head at prestigious Humber College in Toronto since 2000. He has also been featured as a Yamaha artist/clinician throughout Canada, at the Paekche Institute in Seoul, South Korea and the infamous Conservatoire de Paris. Mike is the author of The Jazz Bass Line Book published by Advance Music of Germany. The book is receiving world-wide acclaim as one of the most informative books available on the subject. He is also co-author of Jazz and Contemporary Music Theory.





    Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore is heard at 8:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays during the Jazz FM91 Arts Report. And don’t miss his arts and culture interview and entertainment magazine program, Arts Toronto, Sundays between 8-9 a.m.


    To get in touch with Mark it’s mwigmore@jazz.fm

    Sorry, you need to register and log in to post a comment.



    THANK YOU FOR HELPING US RAISE MORE THAN $325K IN OUR FINAL ON-AIR CAMPAIGN FOR 2017.  MORE THAN 1,300 OF YOU MADE A DECISION TO CONTRIBUTE OVER THE PAST NINE DAYS. WE WOULDN’T EXIST WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT.



    THANK YOU FOR PLAYING A PIVOTAL ROLE IN OUR SUCCESS. 







    New York Festivals Awards

    The Jazz Messenger

    Sign up to receive our weekly e-newsletter, The Jazz Messenger.


    JazzFM91 HD

    Jazz Calendar Login

    Forgot your password? Forgot your username?