Darcy James Argue To Tour Canada With His 18-piece Big Band Secret Society


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First Canadian performances by JUNO and GRAMMY® nominated ensemble

Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Canadian-born Darcy James Argue and his 18-piece big band Secret Society will embark on a four-city tour of prominent Canadian jazz festivals during the month of June, 2011. These are the first Canadian appearances for Secret Society, an ensemble that includes four other Canadian musicians who now make New York their home: Ingrid Jensen, trumpet (Vancouver/Nanaimo), David Smith, trumpet (Toronto), Mike Fahie, trombone (Ottawa) and Gordon Webster, piano (Ottawa). This tour will feature music from Argue's highly regarded JUNO, and GRAMMY® nominated debut recording, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records, Naxos Records of Canada).

Secret Society will perform in Argue's hometown of Vancouver, at the historic Vogue Theatre on Sunday, June 26th, 2011 as part of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Performances will follow at the TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival (June 28th) and the TD Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (June 29th), before the tour concludes at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on Thursday, June 30th, 2011.

These upcoming high-profile Canadian jazz festival concerts are the latest in a string of recent career highlights for both band and leader. Argue and his band have been credited with “a wholly original take on big band's past, present and future" (Seth Colter Walls, Newsweek). They have been profiled in The Canadian Press, have performed at such world renowned venues as The Kennedy Center and Merkin Concert Hall, New York; collaborated with critically acclaimed pianist/composer Vijay Iyer among others, and earned a GRAMMY® nomination for Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records).

In 2010, Darcy James Argue was the recipient of both Up & Coming Artist and Large Ensemble of the Year awards at the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards in New York. He topped the Big Band Rising Star, Composer Rising Star and Arranger Rising Star categories in the 2010 DownBeat Critics Poll, while also being recognized in the Jazz Album of the Year and Jazz Artist Rising Star categories. The group was also nominated for a 2010 JUNO Award and performed at such other noteworthy jazz festivals as CareFusion Jazz Festival New York, CareFusion Jazz Festival Newport and the London Jazz Festival.

All four Canadian jazz festival concerts are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, which enables Canadian audiences to discover artists from other regions and provinces, and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through US Artists International (USAI) in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Canada Tour 2011

June 26: Vancouver International Jazz Festival The Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville Street, Vancouver. 9:00 PM. $30.00

June 28: Ottawa International Jazz Festival Confederation Park—OLG Stage, Ottawa. 10:30 PM Free.

June 29: Montreal International Jazz Festival Théâtre du Gésu, 1200 de Bleury, Montreal. 7:00 PM $28.50

June 30: Toronto Jazz Festival The Outdoor Stage at Metro Square, Toronto. 5:30 PM Price: Free.

Infernal Machines (CD review) Quotes

“Infernal Machines stands defiant, updating the big band tradition for the new millennium while presenting exciting possibilities for the future." —Troy Collins, All About Jazz

“An exciting stylist with an abundance of ideas, Argue deserves his place alongside Schneider, Hollenbeck and other contemporary big band arrangers who are looking beyond traditional notions of what a large jazz orchestra should, and can, sound like." —James Hale, Jazz Chronicles

“A nearly perfect creative synthesis between tradition and innovation." —John Eyles, BBC.com

“Argue uses what many think of as an antiquated form—the jazz big band—to create exuberant, emotionally charged, sprawling modern music." —Joan Anderman, Boston Globe

“Clearly some of the most ambitious and compelling sounds I've ever encountered in the past 40 years." —Juan Rodriguez, Montreal Gazette

* * * “Combines the rhythmic insistence of late Gil Evans with the coloristic approach of Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmeyer." —J.D. Considine, Globe and Mail

“Infernal Machines, however, lives up to the buzz, featuring writing and performing that catapults Argue's group into the ranks of jazz's best contemporary large ensembles... masterfully blends thrilling, innovative rock elements with sounds that remind one that he's running a big band after all." —Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

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