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Behold Three Dimensions of Drummer Mark Guiliana From the 2018 Montreal Jazz Festival

Valerie Gay Bessette
Mark Guiliana at the Montreal International Jazz Festival

This past summer the Montreal Jazz Festival featured drummer Mark Guiliana in its Invitation series, presenting three different projects over three nights at the Church of the Gesù. 

Guiliana likes to fluctuate between the acoustic and the electric. While his acoustic quartet racked up accolades after the release of Jersey last year, the Garden State drummer made new plans to capture the latest installment of his Beat Music project, which originated in his basement. Both projects came alive to enthusiastic crowds in Québec. 

On this installment of The Checkout from The Montreal Jazz Festival, we’ll hear excerpts from those sets, and the premiere of a new electric jazz trio featuring Guiliana, John Medeski and Billy Martin (from Medeski, Martin & Wood). The only other time these three musicians have played together was for a single rehearsal in a barn in upstate New York. What you'll hear is a hypnotic one-hour jam session, with no beginnings and no endings, and each artist bringing original ideas to the improvisation. Guiliana narrates us through this rare musical meeting.

Credit Valerie Gay Bessette
Medeski, Martin, and Guiliana at the 2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival

We’ll also hear Guiliana alongside Gretchen Parlato, his sensational singing partner, and also his spouse.  Surprisingly, it was the first time Parlato has performed with Guiliana’s quartet, even though she helped shape some of material on Jersey, including the opening track, “Inter-Are.” That song appears in our show, along with two premieres: “GP,” a dedication to Parlato, and “What Does A Lion Say,” a beautiful waltz lullaby composed by bassist Chris Morrissey.

Mark Guliana presents yet another new project next week at Jazz Standard: a band he calls Space Heroes, featuring Morrissey with saxophonists Jason Rigby and Mike Lewis.

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For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.