The musical universe of Montreal Canadian guitarist Oli Astral (Olivier Grenier-Bédard) is a fusion between the sound of modern jazz guitar, digital music technology, and visual projection. At age 32, Oli Astral embarked on the adventure of From the Astral (2022), his first album as a leader. Some elements like computers on stage, virtual instruments, MIDI controllers, digital audio processing techniques, and Frederic’s Modular Synthesizers serve the imagination of the group. The musical values thought, are still deeply rooted in the tradition of Jazz. Things like improvisation, group interaction, and risk-taking are very important in the creative process of the trio.
During his academic career, the guitarist has surrounded himself on a number of occasions with internationally renowned mentors such as John Abercrombie, Jonathan Kreisberg, and Mike Moreno. He distinguished himself during his time at the University of Montreal by winning the International Montreal Jazz Festival scholarship in Jazz Guitar in 2012 as well as in 2013.
On the Montreal jazz scene, Oli Astral has a double identity, that of his real name : Olivier Grenier-Bédard. The latter is an active member of the Montreal group LEAF, whose eponymous debut album was released in 2017. Olivier Grenier-Bédard has accumulated several prizes and distinctions such as the public prize of the La Musique Change des Vies Competition (2015) organized by the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Audience Award (2019) at the Rimouski International Jazz Festival, as part of the LOJIQ Grand Prix with LEAF.
Audience Award at the Rimouski International Jazz Festival, as part of the LOJIQ Grand Prix with the group LEAF (2019)
Public prize of the La Musique Change des Vies Competition organized by the Montreal International Jazz Festival (2015)
Montreal International Jazz Festival scholarship in Jazz Guitar(2012 as well as in 2013).
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About my previous album with the group LEAF:
"There is an appealing moodiness to this alt-contemporary jazz album"
Bird is the Worm
"There is something of Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock in this music, which is vintage and contemporary at the same time." Frédéric Cardin, journalist at Radio-Canada, Montreal, Canada