Way North is a cross-border mash-up of North American artists born out of the joy of playing together. Formed in Brooklyn in 2014 by three Canadians and a New Yorker, the band features saxophonist Petr Cancura (Down Home - JUNO nominee), trumpeter Rebecca Hennessy (2018 Toronto Emerging Jazz Artist/Women’s Blues Revue bandleader), bassist Michael Herring (Peripheral Vision - JUNO nominee) and American drummer Richie Barshay (Herbie Hancock/Chick Corea/Esperanza Spalding). The quartet brings together four composers who love to explore folk and world music with a backbone in jazz improvisation. They love to use their music and connection with each other to reach out and connect with audiences, building community where ever they play. They have released their third album, "New Dreams, Old Stories", following, “Fearless And Kind” and their debut, Kings County, which was picked by the Ottawa Citizen as one of the best Jazz CD’s of 2015. Their last album was launched with high-energy Canadian touring, and expect more of this as they head back on the road. Way North’s music is a roots stew, seamlessly threading together the blues, old-time, Balkan, Brazilian, Calypso, and other folk genres with jazz and improvisation. In January 2016, Way North was invited to perform and teach at the Panama Jazz Festival w by artistic director Danilo Perez, and also appeared at the Mamoni Valley Preserve as part of the Earth Train NGO Geoversity campaign. In 2017 Way North was awarded a grant by the Canada Council for the Arts to tour Canada, and once again the CCA has supported both their new album and tour in 2018 and 2019.
"New Dreams, Old Stories" closes with the lilting ballad/lullaby "When You Say Goodnight to Me"––
composed by Ms. Hennessy and Herring, the music feels likes a hymn and, at the same time, a love song.
Sweet and satisfying, it's just the right song to finish a program that is so inviting, so much fun, and so
well-played. Way North is not about technique, it's about how one can have a good time in the midst of
a crazy world creating music from the heart and soul. Enjoy!!
Richard Kamins – Step Tempest
There's much to recommend this equal-opportunity outfit and the album, but perhaps the most
appealing thing about it is diversity when each of its dozen tracks inhabits a stylistic world separate from
the others. The performances, assured in delivery and often celebratory in tone, reflect a broad array of
genre interests and a strong rapport between the participants; here are four people who clearly enjoy
playing together… Throughout the disc, her suave horn partners effectively with Cancura's bluesy bluster,
while Herring and Barshay are an unfailingly responsive tag-team. Yet while the four are seriously good
as soloists and ensemble players, the tone of the album isn't sober but instead carefree and joyful. That
makes the experience of listening to it all the more enjoyable, and one comes away from the recording
feeling good for having spent an hour in such congenial company.