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Take Five With Min Rager

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Meet Min Rager: At the Montreal International Jazz Festival during that same year, her Quintet was nominated for the Grand prix de jazz General Motors. Also that year, Min's Trio (featuring Andre White on drums and Alec Walkington on bass) performed at Montreal's L'OFF Festival de Jazz where she was the recipient of the Best New Artist award. In 2008 Min received a commission from CBC to compose a jazz suite for 2 pianos. The work, lasting 10 minutes, was submitted to the European Broadcasting Union as part of The Handel Project 2009 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the composer's death. Min's suite was recorded by CBC as part of a concert at Pollack Hall featuring NYC tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf and is available to stream on the CBC website Concerts on Demand.

Min is currently on staff both at McGill University as a part-time faculty member where she teaches courses in the jazz department and at the McGill conservatory where she teaches jazz piano.

Instrument(s):

piano.

Teachers and/or influences?

Jan Jarzyck, Jeff Johnston, Wray Downes...Herbie Hancock, Eliane Elias...

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I was a baby. I knew I had perfect pitch when I was born.

Your sound and approach to music:

In between modern and the traditional jazz sound. Also, I focus mostly both the melodic, harmonic parts and the forms of the tunes when I compose adding for some rhythmic elements.

Your teaching approach:

I want every of my student to be able to play with right 8 notes swing feels. It is not easy all the time, but I think that is the one of the most important elements in jazz piano if you would like to be a performer.

Your dream band:

Seamus Blake, John Patitucci and Bill Stewart.

Favorite venue:

Rex jazz club in Toronto.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Herbie Hancock Trio: Live in Europe somewhere... It is just SO GREAT!!! He is the MAN!!! What can I say more about Herbie...

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Bill Evans - Alone

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Be able to write the good melodies. (Melodic senses the way I am hearing the music).

CDs you are listening to now:

Seamus Blake : Live in Italy.

Maria Schneider: Concert in the Garden

David Kikoski: Any CD's which he is on...

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Be able to swing, cause when the music swings, that's it!!!

What is in the near future?

Live recording project; Live at the Rex in April 2010, in Toronto as Min Rager Quartet including Kirk MacDonald, Don Thompson and Terry Clarke.

2010 Summer Jazz Festival tour in Canada as The Min Rager Quintet.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

I cannot think of any profession rather than being a jazz musician.

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