François Bourassa—now with ten albums of original music under his belt—has become an ambassador for Canada’s thriving jazz community at an international level. A paragon of both consistency and evolution, he continues to seek out new challenges for himself, his colleagues, and his growing community of listeners. On April 16, 2021, Bourassa released his first solo piano album L’Impact du silence and is releasing “Swirl”, a new live album with his Quartet on July 7th, 2023.
Bourassa’s talent was initially recognized by the Festival international de jazz de Montréal in 1985, kickstarting his trio’s recording and performing career throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1996, Bourassa’s trio joined forces with saxophonist and flutist André Leroux. Bourassa’s eponymous quartet has been a staple of Montreal’s artistic landscape for 25 years. The band features founding bassist Guy Boisvert, longtime saxophonist André Leroux, and Guillaume Pilote as the most recent addition.
Their 2001 Live album recorded at Toronto’s Top O’ the Senator received a Juno award. In 2007, he received the Oscar Peterson Award from the Montreal International Jazz Festival for his contribution to the development of Canadian jazz. In celebration of his compositional output, Bourassa was also the recipient of SOCAN’s Hagood Hardy Award in 2011.
Number 9 (2017) was heralded as one of the best Canadian jazz albums of 2017 (Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen) and praised by Bley herself and Steve Swallow as a “wondrous piece of work.” Over the past decades, the quartet has garnered multiple Félix and Opus awards for their recordings and live performances, respectively.
For more than 30 years, Bourassa, in parallel with its activities related to the Quartet, has continued to multiply artistic projects and collaborations (Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay, Myra Melford, Rémi Bolduc, Yannick Rieu, Michel Donato, Yves Leveillée, Marie-Josée Simard, Jeanne Rochette and more) orchestral commissions, chamber music works, ballet scores, among others. Several of his projects have been in nomination or winners of Prix Opus and Félix. In 2022, he presents a new project: Duo Confluence with Philippe Côté, album to come in 2023.
- 2022 Juno Award
- 2005 Félix Award
- 2007 Oscar Peterson Prize of the Montréal International Jazz Festival
- 2011 SOCAN Hagood Hardy Award
- Between 2002 and 2022 - Won 10 Opus Award
- Plus more nominations and numerous citations in other projects
- Live by AAJ Staff
- Indefinite Time by Mark F. Turner
- L'Impact du Silence by Dan McClenaghan
October 12, 2017
Francois Bourassa Quartet Releases "Number 9" on Effendi Records
April 16, 2010
Francois Bourassa Quartet Tours the States June 14-16
October 12, 2005
Award-Winning Canadian Pianist/Composer François Bourassa At The Jazz...
December 26, 2004
Award-Winning Francois Bourassa Ensemble Announces NYC Showcase January...
''His solo piano music is right on the line between composed and improvised; certain things must happen, yet there’s also room to experiment. Is Maurice Ravel dreaming of Paul Bley — or is it the other way around? '' - Ethan Iverson
‘’Artfully restrained, thoughtful and sensitive…a virtuoso with an ethereal approach to his material… richly configured’’ – New York City Jazz Record
“I am compelled to write to let you know that both of us were moved by the music you and the quartet made. … Congratulations on a wondrous piece of work. … And, we should add, it’s thoroughly refreshing to hear music that forces players to stretch to the limit.” -Steve Swallow & Carla Bley
Francois Bourassa Quartet - International Jazz FestivalDiese Onze
Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson
L'Impact du Silence