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The Worst Pop Band Ever

With influences ranging from Wayne Shorter to Levon Helm to J Dilla, The Worst Pop Band Ever is a Toronto based quintet that tries to combine a love of improvisational jazz and indie pop. Featuring two Juno award winners, the members of the WPBE have worked with a who's who of Canadian and international musicians, including Ernie Watts, Brad Goode, Feist, Blue Rodeo, Quique Escamilla, Laila Biali, Brandi Disterheft, Kevin Clarke and the Shuffle Demons. Together, whether it be blending acoustic bass with turntables or analog synths with the saxophone, the WPBE sets out to twist and bend both originals and covers, straddling genres and butting heads with expectation.

They have played festivals and packed clubs throughout North America from IAJE to NXNE; St. John’s to Seattle, sharing stages with the Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Elizabeth Shepherd, Kelly Jefferson and Rich Underhill. They were called “highlights of the festival ” at the 2012 TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival by the festival’s own website, were showcased in Canadian Musician Magazine and shortlisted in NOW Toronto’s Soundclash competition. Their music has also been used for film and videos for CBC, the National Film Board, the UN and even Disney.

Allaboutjazz.com described their last album, “Sometimes Things Go Wrong” recorded live at the Cellar in Vancouver, as “…music for people, whether they dig jazz or not…a tight band playing with substance and feeling for an appreciative audience.” (Mark Turner, July 2012). Their second album,”Dost Thou Believeth in Science” (2009), reached # 1 on the CIUT Charts in Toronto, #28 on the overall Canadian College Radio Charts (Earshot) and was featured on a host of stations, including CBC, Jazz FM, CKUA, CIUT, CFCR. Their latest CD, Blackout - a concept album about events in Toronto during the Great Northeastern Blackout of 2003 - has already received similar acclaim and attention.

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“Blackout is a fresh and successful take on a genre-hopping approach to music making that has seen a growing number of exponents in recent years…. the group grafts wide-ranging musical elements onto each other that serve to subtly or not so subtly transform the source materials. Peachy Keen features modern jazz piano comping over a reggae feel that creates a surprisingly ideal setting for Chris Gale’s soulful saxophone solo. The abrupt switch to a full-out rock groove with electronica for the tune’s ending somehow seems completely appropriate. “ Ted Quinlan (Wholenote Magazine)

“In sum, the appeal with Blackout remains the same as it was with 2009’s Dost Thou Believeth In Science?: quirky titles but no-nonsense organic grooves usually topped off by a revolving cast of proficient soloists who know how far to take it before they run out of steam

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