Friday October 20 2023, 7:00 PM
Musique Royale welcomes Harry Vetro’s Northern Ranger back to the south shore for a performance at St John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg on Friday October 20 at 7 pm. Northern Ranger is a Canadian contemporary band led by drummer and composer Harry Vetro. Members include highly talented young musicians and the group has toured across Canada and in Europe performing at jazz festivals, clubs and private venues. We will hear music from the group’s new album “Taken By Violet”, releasing in Fall 2023. The album was written and recorded from 2018 - 2022.
About the Artists
Harry Vetro and Northern Ranger
Harry Vetro is a Canadian drummer and composer. He has recording credits with such Canadian jazz players as Mike Murley, Steve Wallace, Andrew Downing and Lina Allemano. Vetro has received multiple grants from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings).
Vetro’s band, Harry Vetro’s Northern Ranger has been noted by the Calgary Herald as “some of the top players in Canada, [who] are very dedicated to bringing jazz to different communities and really trying to expand the art form.” Northern Ranger’s influences range from Gordon Lightfoot, The Band, and Fleet Foxes to Bill Frisell, Kenny Wheeler and Brad Mehldau. The band released a self-titled album in 2018, which reached the National Jazz charts in Canada.
In late 2019, Starbucks discovered Vetro’s song “Buffalo Jump” on Spotify. The song was added to the “Starbucks Jazz” Spotify playlist, and Vetro is the only contemporary Canadian Jazz musician featured on that playlist.
Vetro continues to lead a monthly residency at The Tranzac (Toronto’s premiere creative music club) featuring new music inspired by nature and landscape.
Harry recently (2018-2021) recorded a new album with Northern Ranger. The album is funded by The Canada Council for The Arts and is set to release in November 2023.
Mike Murley, saxophone
An engaging, lyrical saxophonist, Mike Murley is one of Canada’s most celebrated jazz artists. He has played on fourteen Juno Award-winning recordings since 1990, seven as a leader or co-leader, seven as a sideman. His most recent Junos include The North (2018), Metalwood’s Twenty (2017) and his trio’s Test of Time (2013).
Murley moved to Toronto from his native Nova Scotia in 1981 and has enjoyed a career that has spanned a wide stylistic spectrum. Recordings with legendary Canadian artists such as Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, and Guido Basso showcase the saxophonist’s talents in the mainstream standard repertoire. On the more contemporary side, Murley has collaborated frequently with younger generations of improviser/composers including pianist David Braid and guitarist David Occhipinti. He is also well known for his work with the three-time Juno Award winning electric jazz group Metalwood. In addition, he has recorded and performed with numerous international artists including David Liebman, Renee Rosnes, John Schofield, Norma Winstone, as well as the late Paul Bley, John Abercrombie, and Kenny Wheeler.
As an educator Murley has held positions at the University of Toronto, York University, Humber College, and as a visiting member of faculty at the Banff School of Fine Arts. He also served as Jazz Area Chair/Coordinator at both U of T (2016-18, 2020-21) and York (2008-11).
In 2022 Murley retired from U of T and returned to Halifax NS, from where he continues to tour nationally and internationally.
Jacob Thompson, piano
Jacob is a keyboardist and pianist playing in forward-thinking ensembles, including the RnB group The Free Label, the downbeat award winning quartet Gymnoped, and his own trio and quartet.
He has studied with Canadian luminaries Gary Williamson and David Restivo, and performed with jazz greats such as Norma Winstone, Jerry Bergonzi, Mike Murley and Diego Figueiredo. He has opened for T-pain, Lupe Fiasco, Aqua, and Seamus Blake He has performed music on all 7 continents, and continues to perform in Montreal and abroad.
Ian McGimpsey, guitar
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Ian is a Canadian-American east coaster who migrated north. Before coming to Nova Scotia, he was an active member of Toronto’s music scene, having completed his music studies at University of Toronto. His versatile musicianship and multi-instrumentalism has seen Ian take stages throughout Europe, Canada, and the US, and he now leads a musical life as a guitarist and pedal steel guitarist in the growing Nova Scotian music community.
Nicholas D’Amato, bass
Bassist Nicholas D’Amato is a veteran of the New York City music scene. As a sideman, Nicholas has been the propulsion for a vast array of groups spanning all stylistic borders. For the past eight years he has been touring with Lizz Wright, most recently to promote her latest release, “Freedom and Surrender”(Concord). He also performs regularly with Canadian artists Ian Janes, Meaghan Smith, Charlie A’Court, Dinuk Wijeratne, and Geoff Arsenault, among others. He keeps busy recording albums and tracks for some of the world’s finest, as well as television jingles and film scores. Nicholas balances his time on the road with teaching at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where he is the bass instructor, and leads classes in improvisation.