Touted as one of Canada's most gifted young pianists and composers, David Braid is among a new generation of Canadian artists making his mark on international stages. Braid has performed across Western Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Australia, Brazil, the United States
"A Jazz Genius to Call Our Own" - Maclean's Magazine
Combining harmonic intricacies fundamental to his training in European classical music and the spontaneity of American jazz, Braid's original music engages audiences with a quiet, thoughtful, lyrical voice that does not conform neatly to any one musical genre. His work has been described as "refreshingly uncategorizable" (Paris Transatlantic), "wide-ranging, exploratory" (South China Morning Post), "une force poetique" (Le Soleil) and "elegant" (Ottawa Citizen).
"Braid's tone, touch, chord voicings and imagination make him one of the most interesting new pianists I've encountered in a long time." - Doug Ramsey, recipient of Jazz Journalists Association's Lifetime achievement Award
Recently awarded 2009 Jazz Pianist of the Year in Canada, Braid is also a recipient of SOCAN Composer of the Year (2007), recognizing his output of over seventy works including compositions for solo piano, jazz ensembles and symphony orchestras. He is a Juno Award Winner, multi-National Jazz Award Winner and a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts' "JazzID Award."
Born in Hamilton Ontario, Braid graduated from the University of Toronto in 1998 and was nominated for the Canadian Governor General's Academic Medal. Since that time, he has produced seven recordings, garnering four Juno nominations with five ensembles: The David Braid Sextet, Murley Braid Quartet, Brubeck Braid, Nimmons'n'Braid and Davidson/Murley/Braid Quintet (DMBQ).
Braid's most recent focus is on his solo piano compositions and will release his first solo piano recording in 2010. He is profiled in Daniel Berman's "Solos: the Jazz Sessions" (Original Spin Media) along with pianists Brad Mehldau, Ethan Iverson and Jacky Terrason.
In addition to performing and composing, Braid is on faculty at the University of Toronto, and is an honorary guest professor at Xinghai Conservatory.
Braid's musical curiosity and open-mindedness has spawned unexpected collaborations with such diverse instrumentalists as Holland's ZAPP String Quartet, Indian classical musician Vineet Vyas (tabla), China's Chang Jing (guzheng), Nexus and the popular jazz/rock group, Metalwood. In a completely different setting, he has appeared as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Northumberland Orchestra performing George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Braid was also invited to write for classical soloists including a cello concerto for one of the world's leading cellists in contemporary classical music, Shauna Rolston. Most recently, he was commissioned to write a set of compositions for brass quintet, which he performed and recorded with the renowned Canadian Brass.
Braid also performs and records with a number of other ensembles including Mike Murley Septet, The Rex Hotel Orchestra, Hideaki Tokunaga, Kelly Jefferson Quintet, Mark McLean Quintet, Nehring Koller & Braid, William Carn Quintet, Catalyst, Sundar Viswanathan, Artie Roth Quintet, Dave Neil Quartet, Andy Ballentyne Large Ensemble, Tyler Summers Quartet, Stockton Helbing Ensemble, Chip McNeill Quintet, Mike McClennan Octet, Tara Davidson Group and Gene Smith Quintet.
ENSEMBLES and COLLABORATIONS
The David Braid Sextet:
Since the beginning of his career a decade ago, Braid has moved from performing with large ensembles to smaller, intimate collaborations. He first established himself on the Canadian scene in 2001 with the formation of the David Braid Sextet, composing fifty works for jazz greats Terry Clarke, Steve Wallace, Mike Murley, John MacLeod and Gene Smith.
The Sextet's second album, "VIVID," won the 2005 Juno Award for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year. Its third album, "ZHEN" (the last recording made at the historic 'Top 'O The Senator'), was nominated for a Juno Award and was voted one of the top jazz recordings in 2006 by The Toronto Star (top 10), Ottawa Citizen (#1) and All About Jazz (Best of 2006). The Sextet has received numerous endorsements by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs to tour Japan, and China and Hong Kong in 2006; and Brazil in 2007.
"Hearing the David Braid Sextet proved their world-class mettle." - Jack Chambers, Coda Magazine, and author of 'The Music and Times of Miles Davis'
The Murley Braid Quartet & DMBQ
Awarded "Acoustic Group of the Year" at the National Jazz Awards 2007, this ensemble is a collaborative effort between multi-Juno-award-winning saxophonist Mike Murley and pianist David Braid. The Murley-Braid Quartet brings together musicians with a unique affinity for one another developed from an extensive history of performing together in The Mike Murley Quintet, The David Braid Sextet, Mike Murley Quartet (featuring Dave Liebman) and Metalwood. Bassist Jim Vivian and New York-based drummer Ian Froman complete this ensemble.
The Quartet's first recording, "Mnemosyne's March", featuring the compositions of Murley and Braid, was heralded as one of the top jazz recordings in 2006 and was nominated for a 2007 Juno Award. The Quartet toured across Canada in 2004 and 2006. In the fall of 2006, the quartet expanded to include saxophonist Tara Davidson to create DMBQ (Davidson/Murley/Braid Quintet). In January 2008, the quintet released its first recording made live in Vancouver.
This duo of Phil Nimmons, the Canadian Dean of Jazz, and David Braid performs spontaneous music, structured improvisation without any initial conception of structure. Their debut recording, "Beginnings," documents their first performance together. This album is a rare, unedited recording of acoustic jazz created spontaneously by two Canadian composers separated in age by 52 years. Recorded live in concert in November 2004, Nimmons sat in St. Paul's United Church in Dundas, Ontario, and began to play spontaneously. Braid, gifted with perfect pitch, was quick to join in to complement Nimmons to produce seven improvisations which are abundant in melody, harmony and form.
"It wasn't the comfortable joy of a tune you could hum along with, but the ecstasy of being in the presence of daring geniuses who let us hear their innermost thoughts, and the purest music, for a few unique moments." - Brantford Expositor
"If any two people represent the past, present and future of Canadian jazz, it has to be the inspired duo of clarinetist Phil Nimmons and his former pupil, David Braid." - Jazzfest International, Victoria
American cellist/composer Matt Brubeck and Canadian pianist/composer David Braid formed this duo in late 2006. Classically trained but steeped in jazz, Braid Brubeck can easily segue between genres with fluid versatility. Their music blurs the distinctions between jazz, classical and new music. The duo format provides a unique opportunity to showcase the intimate interplay of these like-minded musicians. The duo's debut CD, "Twotet/Deuxtet," has received much critical acclaim and was nominated for a 2008 Juno Award.
"This gifted duo delivers new music that glows with clarity and depth..."
- Coda Magazine
David Braid & Canaidan Brass
Award-winning Canadian pianist David Braid is joined by the legendary Canadian Brass for Spirit Dance, an original set of jazz-inspired compositions for piano and brass quintet written by Braid. Freshly inventive and full of singable melodies and rhythmic movement, Braid has created an array of new sounds that are intimate, spontaneous and warm. Inspired by everything from whirling dervishes to Chopin's Nocturnes to a walk in Beijing, Spirit Dance is an exceptional fusion of jazz
and classical aesthetics.
Award-winning Canadian pianist David Braid is joined by the legendary Canadian Brass for Spirit Dance, an original set of jazz-inspired compositions for piano and brass quintet written by Braid. Freshly inventive and full of singable melodies and rhythmic movement, Braid has created an array of new sounds that are intimate, spontaneous and warm. Inspired by everything from whirling dervishes to Chopin's Nocturnes to a walk in Beijing, Spirit Dance is an exceptional fusion of jazz and classical aesthetics.
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