Record Release - The Instrumental Music Liberation Front!

Saturday May 23
918 Bathurst Centre for Culture – 918 Bathurst St, Toronto M5R 3G5
Doors: 7:30 Music: 8:00
TICKETS: $20 advance/ $25 door; students/seniors $10 (All prices HST included.)

Tickets & info: bemusednetwork.com

Ron Davis releases his 13th recording! Celebrating two great institutions of purely instrumental music, Jazz music and Western classical music, Ron and SymphRONica bring them together in new compositions to create a newly jazz-energized, one-of-a-kind musical experience.

Come hear the energy and beauty of the music via SymphRONica's rewiring of jazz, in the words of what one U.K. reviewer "jazz like you’ve never heard it before".

#SymphRONica


SymphRONica and The Music of Louis Simão

Saturday February 15
918 Bathurst Centre for Culture – 918 Bathurst St, Toronto M5R 3G5
Doors: 7:30 Music: 8:00
TICKETS: $20 advance/ $25 door; students/seniors $10 (All prices HST included.)

Tickets & info: bemusednetwork.com

SymphRONica is all about the collaborations between Ron Davis and many great musicians, in Toronto and beyond. One of those musicians is the multi-talented, multi-faceted Portuguese-Canadian Louis Simão. Bassist, guitarist, accordeonist, composer, arranger, vocalist - it seems as though there's nothing Louis cannot do. And he does them all with profound musicality.

Louis has been working with SymphRONica for several years. This includes stints on bass, contributions as an arranger, and one stellar contribution as a composer/arranger with his gorgeous tune A Luz (da Partida), which appears on the 2019 release SymphRONica UpfRONt (see video here).

This show is a celebration of SymphRONica's work with Louis, featuring his playing and arrangements.

Come hear the energy and beauty of the music via SymphRONica's rewiring of jazz, in the words of what one U.K. reviewer "jazz like you’ve never heard it before".

#SymphRONica

Ron Davis & Louis Simão
Ron Davis & Louis Simão

SymphRONica Season 7 (2019/20): The Opener!

Saturday November 9
918 Bathurst Centre for Culture – 918 Bathurst St, Toronto M5R 3G5
Doors: 7:30 Music: 8:00
TICKETS: $20 advance/ $25 door; students/seniors $10 (All prices HST included.)

Tickets & info: bemusednetwork.com

Special Guest MC: Jaymz Bee

Fresh from a successful run of August shows at the world's largest arts festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ron Davis and SymphRONica embark on a seventh (!) season of - in the words of one U.K. Fringe reviewer - "jazz like you’ve never heard it before".

SymphRONica was chosen as a Fringe Critics' Pick by The Herald. Best of Fringe by Out of Hand Scotland. Four Stars from the prestigious Wee Review. Audience reviews on the Fringe website included such raves as "Phenomenal" and "Jazz genius at work".

For this season opener, SymphRONica will be offering new music and some old favourites, but always featuring Ron's and SymphRONica's commitment to the energy and beauty of the music via their rewiring of jazz with other influences. Come hear what all the buzz in the U.K. was about!

#SymphRONica

SymphRONica 2019/20
SymphRONica at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

"Jazz in The Atrium" Free Noontime Concert with Rebecca Enkin

Wednesday November 6, 2019
12:00 Noon

Princess Margaret Hospital
610 University Avenue, Toronto

Free Admission

Ron accompanies one of Canada’s finest jazz singers as part of the wonderful Princess Margaret Hospital Music in the Atrium series.


SymphrRONica: Open Rehearsal

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Gallery 345
#3 - 345 Sorauren Avenue Toronto, ON M6R 2G5
Tickets: PWYC
Suggested $20/$10 Students & Seniors
Purchase tickets in advance at Eventbrite.com
Reserve tickets at info@gallery345.com (Cash only at the door)

On the heels of a critically acclaimed ("4 Stars!", "[The] reinvention of jazz for modern ears") three-week run at world's largest arts festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ron Davis and his genre-defying, boundary-pushing 8-piece group SymphRONica are wasting no time before launching a new season of concerts (their seventh), and a new recording (Ron's 13th).

SymphRONica isn't jazz with classical accompaniment or jazzed-up classical music. It's tuneful, inventive music with big grooves and melodies the leaves audiences moved, excited and humming. SymphRONica captures original compositions, newly reinvigorated jazz standards and world melodies with energy, pizzazz and groove that explore new musical realms across a journey of enjoyment. It’s rich, it’s substantial and above all it’s entertaining, presented with wit, wisdom and irreverence by the classically trained jazz adventurer, Ron Davis.

This open rehearsal is a chance to catch Ron and SymphRONica right before they perform a concert that will then become their next recording. It will be an informal performance, with stops and starts, a front row seat to the musical creative process in the beautiful and intimate setting of Gallery 345.

Some critical reactions to SymphRONica:

“Ron Davis’ SymphRONica is truly an ensemble like no other. Energetic, virtuosic, charming, worldly … excitingly unpredictable and fresh… virtuosity and drive …” - WholeNote
“Superb (SymphRONica)” - The Royal Philharmonic Society, UK
“Four Stars… wonderfully wayward eclecticism… sumptuously floating … deftly ranging keyboard work … a wonderful excursion … a pulsing, slamming drive … enjoyably intimate, salon vibe.” – The Scotsman
“Not like anything else out there. …Your mind will be blown … a sound which truly represents modern jazz music!” – OrcaSound
“No wonder he’s been called “one of the great minds in Jazz” by JazzFM and “an innovative force within the world of Jazz” by The National Post.” – TorontoMoon

 


Ron Davis & SymphRONica Back for a Fourth Year at the World's Largest Arts Fest - Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

Ron Davis’ SymphRONica: Around the world in 60 minutes in a superb jazz meets classical, multi-cultural music experience:
“THIS is the music you’ve been looking for, the jazz you want to hear!”

Journey with us now as Canadian pianist Ron Davis (rondavismusic.com) pilots his international SymphRONica crew through a fantastic programme that showcases world music melodies played with jazz creativity and classical élan by an eight-piece band comprising jazz quartet and string quartet.

With his first SymphRONica concert in Toronto, Ron Davis brought a jazz group into the heart of a symphony orchestra. This wasn’t jazz with orchestral accompaniment or jazzed-up classical music but tuneful, inventive music with big grooves and melodies the audience went away humming.

Now condensed into a mobile, mellifluous octet, SymphRONica captures original compositions, newly reinvigorated jazz standards and folksong melodies from Eastern Europe with energy, pizzazz and groove that explore new musical realms across a journey of enjoyment. It’s rich, it’s substantial and above all it’s entertaining, presented with wit, wisdom and irreverence by the classically trained jazz adventurer Davis.

When SymphRONica first appeared on the Fringe in 2016, audiences and media alike responded to the band’s chamber music panache and jazz dive grit with enthusiasm. BBC Radio 3’s In Tune featured them on three episodes. Subsequent visits to Edinburgh in August, which have included rave receptions at Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick and the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, have seen the SymphRONica Appreciation Society’s UK division gather momentum.

With a brand-new album, SymphRONica UpfRONt leading the charge and a line-up that combines Davis’ compatriot, guitarist and musical director, Kevin Barrett with leading Scottish players including drummer and Jazzwise magazine ‘One to Watch’ Stephen Henderson and violinist and radio presenter Seonaid Aitken, SymphRONica is set to take Fringe 2019 by storm. This is the music you’ve been looking for, the jazz you want to hear.

“One of the great minds in jazz!” - Jazz.FM91
∗∗∗∗ “enjoyably intimate” – The Scotsman
∗∗∗∗ “serious musical ability juxtaposed with wit” – The Herald

Venues: The Jazz Bar (Aug 6 - 10) theSpace @ Niddry Street (Aug. 12 - 24)
Info/Details: edfringe.com
Media and other Inquiries: Rob Adams: 0131 556 2264/07724 876867 - robadamsjournalist@gmail.com


Other Ron Davis Shows at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

In addition to his SymphRONica performances at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ron will be playing in these fantastic music presentations:

  •  Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto - 10 shows at Valvona & Crolla (details)
  •  Afternoon Jazz at the Leith Depot - 9 shows (details)
  •  The Transatlantic Jazz à Trois - 2 shows at the Scottish Arts Club (details)
  • Round Midnight Sessions (w TAHP: Susanna Macdonald/Kevin Barrett) at Argyle Cellar Bar (details)

 


RON DAVIS & ROSS MACINTYRE at MEZZETTA

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 from 21:00-23:00
Mezzetta Restaurant - 81 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C 1A7
(416) 658-5687 /mezzettarestaurant.com
$10 cover

Ron Davis and bass virtuoso Ross MacIntyre  in one of Toronto's premier jazz series: the Mezzetta Wednesday Night concerts. An evening of great original jazz, wine and some of the best Mediterranean food you'll ever have. Reservations recommended. Details at the Mezzetta website (here).


SymphRONica Back for a Fourth Year at the World's Largest Arts Fest - Edinburgh Festival Fringe!

**** (4 Stars) – The Scotsman
**** (4 Stars) – The Herald

When SymphRONica first appeared on the Fringe in 2016, audiences and media alike responded to the band’s chamber music panache and jazz dive grit with enthusiasm. BBC Radio 3’s In Tune featured them on three episodes. Subsequent visits to Edinburgh in August, which have included rave receptions at Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick and the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, have seen the SymphRONica Appreciation Society’s UK division gather momentum.

With a brand-new album, SymphRONica UpfRONt leading the charge and a line-up that combines Davis’ compatriot, guitarist and musical director, Kevin Barrett with leading Scottish players including drummer and Jazzwise magazine ‘One to Watch’ Stephen Henderson and violinist and radio presenter Seonaid Aitken, SymphRONica is set to take Fringe 2019 by storm. This is the music you’ve been looking for, the jazz you want to hear.

August 6–10, 2019 - 10:00pm - The Jazz Bar (info/tickets)
August 12–23, 2019 - 8:50pm - theSpace @ Niddry Street (info/tickets)
Fringe box office:  +44 131 226 0000 / www.edfringe.com


The Instrumental Liberation Front: A Manifesto by Ron Davis

The Instrumental Liberation Front: A Manifesto

By Ron Davis (Instrumental Musician)


Instrumental music has gone missing. I’m not sure if it’s been abducted, suppressed or shrouded in a dark veil of neglect, but it’s become nearly invisible. Or rather, inaudible.

On the radio (with the rare exception of such mainstays as JazzFM). On the Internet. Certainly on television, where it used to have a constant presence. In old media. In new. It’s gone. Instrumental music is gone, or just about. Words and music, yes. Music alone, no. Text plus music, check. Music sans text, negative.

Instrumental music needs to be liberated. It needs to restored. Restored to its rightful place on culture’s stages.

We who love music need to make this happen. We must help carve a path of return for the many great instrumentalists alive today. For the jazzers. The classical musicians. The fingerpickers. The bluegrass guys. The composers. The arrangers. For them whose voice is a collection of notes. For all the musicians in all styles of instrumental music.

We need to liberate instrumental music. We need an Instrumental Liberation Front.

The history of western music is the history of the instrumental coexisting in harmony (ahem) with the vocal. A Beethoven symphony, a Verdi opera. A Scott Joplin rag, a Stephen Foster tune. Billie Holiday Strange Fruit, Duke Ellington Isfahan. The Beatles’ Let It Be, Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man.

This instrumental-vocal coexistence ran right up until the 1980's. Before then, you could rely on finding instrumental tunes on the charts: Wipeout, Baby Elephant Walk, The Homecoming, even the much maligned Popcorn.

But then… commercial, Top 40, focus group-based, metric driven Command-and-Control McMusic started squeezing out instrumental music. There was more marketing juice in personalities than in notes. The musician was subordinated to the person (although we all know the artist is not the person). The music was subordinated to the text.

Consequence: popular music is now all vocal. No more instrumental. Scan the top playlists and charts: nada instrumentala.

What have we lost? Whole swaths of music styles and stylists. Deeply talented musicians who cannot make a living. Great players who have mastered their craft, but have no means to sustain themselves. Yesterday’s brilliant pianist is today’s divorce lawyer.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a divorce lawyer. But, for crikey’s sake, if the world can expend so much energy in saving the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis), can it not step up for the instrumental musician (Melodious problematicus)?

Now, I’m not a disinterested advocate. I have skin in the game. I’m a jazz pianist. I don’t sing. I don’t write lyrics. If I want to wax lyrical, it’s via the notes on the keyboard.

But when I talk to colleagues who were active in the 60s and 70s, I am stunned by how much the level of engagement with jazz has diminished. Those guys were working all the time. My colleagues and I today are lucky to work a few times a week.

And it’s not that the music is any less great. In some ways, it’s never been better. Thanks to devoted operations like JazzFM, you can hear the stuff out there. It’s fabulous. Mike Downes, Tania Gill, Robi Botos, Lina Alemano… superb instrumentalists and composers, all.

Jazz players and fans do have to take some of the responsibility for the reduced attention we are getting. Jazz may have become too hermetic. Too specialized. Too heady.

But that’s not the root cause of current neglect. Classical, bluegrass, percussion and other instrumental forms are experiencing the same cricket-noises.

No. The musicians and the music do not bear the greater part of the blame. The music industry does. It has succeeded in marginalizing instrumental music. It has made no room for the new Charlie Parkers, David Sanborns, Ida Haendels, and Glenn Goulds.

This must change. Instrumental music must be allowed to graze again in the open minds of the public’s ears. We need to free instrumental music.

We need the Instrumental Music Liberation Front.