"The Ostara Project... one of the biggest Canadian jazz releases this year."
~ Rhythm Changes
The Jazz Festival season in Canada is a highly anticipated time for jazz enthusiasts, providing an excellent platform to promote jazz music and culture across the country. This year, the spotlight is on The Ostara Project, featuring some of Canada's finest jazz musicians. With their exceptional talent and innovative performances, they are set to captivate audiences at various summer festivals, showcasing the richness and history of jazz.
Symbolizing new beginnings and the rejuvenation of nature, The Ostara Project draws inspiration from the Germanic goddess associated with the spring equinox. Led by Jodi Proznick and Amanda Tosoff of Music Arts Collective, this collaboration showcases the strength and creativity of Canadian women in jazz. The project's membership is dynamic, comprising top-tier musicians, composers, and bandleaders who reflect the diverse musical landscape of Canada.
Debut Album and Accomplishments
The self-titled debut album of Ostara, released in 2022 by Cellar Live, received critical acclaim and was nominated for a JUNO award. Featuring seven outstanding musicians, including Rachel Therrien on trumpet, Allison Au on alto sax, Joanna Majoko on vocals, Jocelyn Gould on guitar, Sanah Kadoura on drums, and Tosoff and Proznick on piano and bass respectively, the album showcases their exceptional talents. You can purchase the album in both physical and digital formats.
Future Endeavours and Festival Tour
In the Fall of 2022, they performed sold out shows in Western Canada and embarked on a creative residency in Whitehorse, Yukon. The residency aimed to explore the musical heritage and identity of each member as Canadian settlers and citizens, while also composing for their second album due to be recorded in the fall of 2023. Additionally, the project is thrilled to announce their participation in the Canadian Festival Tour, taking place throughout the summer of 2023.
The Canadian Festival Tour: Summer 2023
The Canadian Festival Tour promises an exhilarating experience for jazz enthusiasts, featuring performances in major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Saskatoon and many others. Each concert will be held in unique venues, presenting a diverse range of jazz styles, including bebop, swing, chamber jazz, Latin jazz, Hindustani infused jazz and free jazz. What sets these festivals apart is their commitment to affordability, ensuring that people of all ages and backgrounds can attend. The festivals also provide a platform for emerging young musicians, with Shruti Ramani (vocalist) and Valerie Lacombe (drummer) joining the tour.
Unforgettable Performances and Notable Guests
With its stellar lineup of world-class musicians, the Ostara Project's festival performances are an absolute must-see. Whether you are a seasoned jazz fan or new to the genre, their captivating performances are sure to leave a lasting impression. Joining the band for the tour are esteemed artists Laila Biali, Jodi Proznick, Amanda Tosoff, Allison Au, Rachel Therrien, and the special guest for Edmonton and Saskatoon, Marianne Trudel. This band promises an extraordinary fusion of talent and music.
Embracing Jazz's Joy and Celebrating Diversity
The Ostara Project stands as a testament to perseverance, community, and a profound love for music, addressing the underrepresentation of women in the jazz industry. Like new growth rising from darkness, their music carries a message of hope and resilience. Raul Da Gama of That Canadian Mag describes their performances as an interplay of effortless perfection, weaving intricate musical complexities. With a rich tonal palette and an abundance of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic treasures, their music is a true feast for the senses.
Catch The Ostara Project at the following venues during their summer festival tour in 2023: