Guitarist Joe Morris coming to Curated art gallery on Feb. 28

joe morris
From left to right: Craig Pedersen, Joe Morris, Mark Molnar.


On Saturday, February 28, something special will be taking place at Curated, a small gallery of art and oddities located in the Charlotte Mews.

Craig Pedersen of Montreal and Mark Molnar of Ottawa have been working together to bring renowned guitar player Joe Morris to Canada for a short tour. Three musicians from three cities—two Canadian and one American—will improvise together and create some world-class music in an intimate, and inviting listening space.

Joe Morris has been playing within the free-jazz and new music communities for three decades. While continuing to perform regularly, he is also currently on faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music in the jazz and improvisation department.

For some context (albeit limited in scope), improvised music in North America was born out of the jazz scene, stemming from a desire to break away from the rigid structures of traditional jazz and be-bop, and move in new directions. Eschewing time signatures and chord changes, musicians such as Ornette Coleman, with albums such as The Shape of Jazz to Come and Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation, and the later works of John Coltrane, were part of developing an approach to jazz, and music in general that many refer to as avant-garde.

That being said, this is a hugely dense and diverse canon of music that in reality necessitates more knowledge and space than I have available, to be described in any meaningful sense.

More importantly, to enjoy and be inspired by free-jazz or other forms of improvised music does not require any particular musical training. It is hard to write about, describe, or otherwise pin down—but let it be said that it is in turns moving, vibrant, sustained, sweeping, creeping, intuitive, and inventive.

On the 28, Morris (guitar), Molnar (cello), and Pedersen (trumpet), will add to this ongoing musical tradition in their own way.

Morris has been hailed as “…the most exciting and original jazz plucker to emerge in the last decade.” (John Corbett, Downbeat), and as such it will be a performance not to be missed.

Opening for the trio will be In Fallow, a collective of musicians from Peterborough featuring Alex Unger (electronics), Kathleen Adamson (keys), Beth McClelland (tenor sax), and Bennett Bedoukian (drums).

If you are interested in experiencing something new, or exploring the possibilities of scope and quality afforded by the music of Morris, Molnar, and Pedersen, then please join us for this rare and unique opportunity.

The show will take place at Curated, 203 Simcoe St. Unit 5, at 8pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, available at Curated and The Spill, or $15 at the door.