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Michael Occhipinti - JPop.com
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Michael Occhipinti

Michael Occhipinti

Michael Occhipinti


A 2008 Juno (Canada's Grammy) nominee for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year (for Michael Occhipinti and Creation Dream "Chasing After Light") and a recipient of six previous Juno Award nominations (including a Juno win with his big band NOJO), guitarist/composer Michael Occhipinti’s modern and eclectic approach to jazz and creative music of all kinds has earned him a broad array of listeners and the respect of critics and musicians alike. He Read more on Last.fm
A 2008 Juno (Canada's Grammy) nominee for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year (for Michael Occhipinti and Creation Dream "Chasing After Light") and a recipient of six previous Juno Award nominations (including a Juno win with his big band NOJO), guitarist/composer Michael Occhipinti’s modern and eclectic approach to jazz and creative music of all kinds has earned him a broad array of listeners and the respect of critics and musicians alike. He continues to enjoy especially great praise for his recording Creation Dream - The Songs of Bruce Cockburn (True North/Universal/Rounder). Michael received international acclaim for his ambitious arrangements of music by one of Canada's best-loved songwriters, presenting the songs in a fresh and creative setting. Performers on the CD include renowned clarinetist Don Byron, and Michael’s quintet featuring trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, violinist Hugh Marsh, drummer Barry Romberg, bassist Andrew Downing.

The disc also featured a guest appearance by Bruce Cockburn himself on guitar. Michael’s newest CD "Chasing After Light" (found at last.fm under Michael Occhipinti and Creation Dream) features the same stellar quintet of musicians heard on Creation Dream, plus Michael’s brother Roberto as a guest on bass. As critics have noted, the new recording showcases Michael’s melodic and memorable original compositions and a broad palette of guitar sounds. "Canadian guitarist Michael Occhipinti provides a catalogue of guitar sounds in the course of this album...there are heavily electronic ones and acoustic ones, clean ones and in-your-face distorted ones, all appropriate to the demands of a particular tune." John Shand - Sydney Morning Herald "Well-conceived, performed and produced, Chasing After Light promises to be one of the most memorable jazz recordings of the year." Lesley Mitchell-Clarke Whole Note “Anyone who has seen me play live or heard my work with NOJO knows that I love to experiment with different guitar sounds and effects. There are a lot of different influences and moods on this recording, and I wanted to draw on the many guitar sounds I use to compliment that variety.” Much of the new disc features music that was worked out by Michael’s quintet over the course of three tours of Canada and a trip to India, and while Michael alternates between electric and acoustic guitars and a diversity of tonal colours, the writing and the strong personalities of the musicians on the disc give the record a cohesive sound. “Much of my reputation has been built on my work with NOJO, where we freely incorporate different styles and approaches, but that band has always had its own sound because of the character of the writing and arranging. I’ve tried to do the same with this recording, referencing folk, world music, and blues, but with an adventurous and modern jazz focus.” Formed in 1994 with pianist/composer Paul Neufeld, NOJO boldly draws on an array of influences, including African music, early blues, modern concert music, funk, reggae, and a century of jazz, yet the group’s recordings reveal an original and distinct sound.

The Los Angeles Times calls NOJO “one of the most imaginative large ensembles on the current jazz scene,” and the band’s music has intrigued its many guest soloists including sax great Joe Lovano, trombonist Ray Anderson, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, and most notably clarinetist Don Byron and saxophone giant Sam Rivers, both of whom have recorded and toured with the ensemble. NOJO and Don Byron have performed at the Umbria Jazz Winter Festival in Orvieto, Italy, at the Stranger Than Paranoia Festival in the Netherlands, and at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, and NOJO toured Canada with Sam Rivers in 2003. Michael Occhipinti has been profiled on Bravo!'s Arts and Minds, CBC television's On The Arts, CBC radio's This Morning and JazzBeat and TV Ontario's Studio 2. Michael's talents as a guitarist and composer extend well outside of the jazz world. Michael has just completed a concert with the esteemed Gryphon Trio, for which he wrote and arranged some new music for string trio and guitar, and in May 2006 he will perform with the National Ballet of Canada, performing Gavin Bryars' After The Requiem.

His newest undertaking is The Sicilian Jazz Project, for which Michael is taking Sicilian folk music, often from field recordings done by musicologist Alan Lomax in the 1950’s, and arranging it for his new sextet. This group will be releasing its debut in June 2008. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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