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Petr Cancura

Born in Eastern Europe, brought up in the wilderness of the Great White North, and later thrust into the urban Jungle of New York City, it is no surprise that Petr Cancura’s musical pallet is as wide as it is. A saxophonist with a vast knowledge of Jazz, Balkan, African and American folk traditions, Petr performs on banjo and mandolin as well as on the medium format black & white camera… all of which influences each other into a Roots Song & Improvising music machine with a visual sensibility. Petr, now based in Ottawa, Canada, is the Program Director of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, two-time Artist-In- Residence of Carleton University, and was the Musical Director of the National Arts Center’s Crossroads Series, reimagining the songs of current Canadian Songwriters for an all-star jazz cast. Cancura’s aesthetic blends roots music and jazz to create the authentic, raw sound heard on his records released via his independent label Roots2Boot Recordings. Petr’s Down Home was nominated for a 2015 JUNO nomination for best Instrumental Album and awarded the Independent Music Award for Best Instrumental Album of the Year. Released in 2020, his album Another Way Home is a unique portrait of instrumental music: songs written as though for a singer/songwriter, but the saxophone is the voice and the band takes a jazz approach. His latest record, Don’t Let It Stop! Live at On the One Music, is a set of nine powerful songs performed by a remarkable trio featuring Charlie Hunter on the Big6 and Geoff Clapp on drums. This exciting live record is out November 20th, 2020. Petr has performed and recorded with Danilo Perez, Bob Moses, Charlie Hunter, Joe Morris, Richie Barshay, The Ghost Train Orchestra, Kathleen Edwards, The Mighty Popo, Matt Wilson, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen. Other credits include performances with Julian Lage, Aretha Franklin, Jamie Cullum and many, many more.


Album Review

Songs of Tales: Life is a Gong Show

Read "Life is a Gong Show" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The collaborative Canadian quartet Song of Tales brings a unique mix of free improvisation and rock accessibility to its debut Life Is A Gong Show. Members of the ensemble have their individual styles yet they share a similar creative vision. All four are accomplished multiinstrumentalists as well as genre benders who draw from a wide range of influences in their work. All these attributes make this release intriguing. The energetic “Non-Fiction" is an otherworldly tune with folkish overtones. ...

Album Review

Jacek Kochan & musiConspiracy: Occupational Hazard

Read "Occupational Hazard" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Polish-born and current Canadian Jacek Kochan's 22nd release as a leader, Occupational Hazard, exists at the crossroads of straight ahead and electric jazz. A drummer, composer and arranger, Kochan has played with a variety of musicians over the course of his long career. On Occupational Hazard he leverages this broad experience to bring together an unusual mix of instrumental and vocal talent, establishing an intriguing blend likely to appeal most to fans of accessible tunes dominated by guitar ...

Album Review

Petr Cancura: Down Home

Read "Down Home" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Once jazz migrated from New Orleans and the Deep South to Chicago and New York, a favorite put-down for those making music that wasn't urban, cool or modern was to call the musicians “country." It was as if all things of jazz consequence outside of urban centers was required to be imported from said cities.Of late, jazz artist have latched onto the 'slow food,' buy-local movement, taking ingredients found in the country to build upon this thing called ...

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Jazz Bands Led by Rob Mosher, Petr Cancura Play Brooklyn Benefit March 12

Jazz Bands Led by Rob Mosher, Petr Cancura Play Brooklyn Benefit March 12

Source: Peter McDowell Arts Consulting

Rob Mosher's critically acclaimed and quirky 10 piece jazz/classical band Storytime and Petr Cancura's buzz-worthy new musical project Down Home will be featured at a benefit for New York City based charity Rational Animal on Friday, March 12th at 8pm in the Great Room at South Oxford Space,138 South Oxford Street(Between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street)in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. Tickets are $12 in advance (visit rationalanimal.eventbrite.com to purchase) and $15 at the door. Each ticketholder will receive ...



Petr Cancura's New Album - "PeopleMusic"

Petr Cancura's  New Album - "PeopleMusic"

Source: All About Jazz

Recorded in Brooklyn, NY, the new record celebrates the sounds of Brazil, Africa, the Balkans and Americana. All for the fun, sadness and hope of life through music.

The album PeopleMusic is a collection of fables told with the help of masterful music makers. With a soft spot for music that makes people cry, dance and sing, we recorded this album to tell our own stories. The music is inspired by rhythms and melodies of the Balkans, Brazil, Africa and ...

"The saxophonist takes jazz back to a rural place... It's as if the windows have been thrown open to allow a deep breath of music to flow through the jazz house." Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

“The opening was folksy, with the mandolin of Petr Cancura (he also plays rugged postbop tenor sax) announcing a prancing theme that transformed into a dark sax riff over a bumpy groove… the departures from conventional bop phrasing was one of the gig's fascinating features.” John Fordham, The Guardian, London, UK

"Petr Cancura is a great musician. He has all of the skills, imagination, versatility, and artistry he needs to be one of the great saxophonists of his generation." Joe Morris, guitar legend

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Eddie Harris
saxophone, tenor
Tom Waits



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

New Dreams, Old...



Not This Room

Self Produced


Another Way Home



Occupational Hazard

Self Produced


Life is a Gong Show

RootsToBoot Music


Don't Let It Stop!...

Roots2Boot Recordings


There Is a Chance

From: Don't Let It Stop! Live at On...
By Petr Cancura


From: Life is a Gong Show
By Petr Cancura

Evident Monk

From: Occupational Hazard
By Petr Cancura

Lonely Hearts

From: Another Way Home
By Petr Cancura



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