Kevin Ramessar

Kevin Ramessar

BandClassicalAdult Contemporary

As a two-time winner of First Place for guitar at the Canadian Music Competitions, I'm equally at home playing an intricate solo fugue by Bach, creating stirring world beats and sitar-like melodies, singing an intimate ballad or wailing on a powerful original rock anthem.

Biography

A two-time winner of First Place for guitar at the Canadian Music Competitions, Kevin Ramessar has delighted listeners and critics with music that is "passionate," "beautifully contemplative," "lyrical," and "entirely satisfying" (Kevin McMillan, Wholenote Magazine; Howard Dyck, The Record).

Equally at home playing an intricate solo fugue by Bach, creating stirring world beats and sitar-like melodies, singing an intimate ballad or wailing on a powerful original rock anthem, Kevin has a history of moving audiences. As one reviewer puts it, it was one of the most captivating evenings I can remember. (Harry Currie, The Kitchener Record). His solo classical and jazz playing is hailed by critics as evocative (WholeNote Magazine) and marvellous (Tom Allen, CBCs Music & Co.), while the sound he creates with his band is reminiscent of Jesse Cook and the Dave Matthews Band, among others.

Recent performance highlights include an appearance at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival with Kevins ensemble: The Ramessar Quintessence, which was awarded a FACTOR grant to produce a studio demo, and is now working on a full-length project which combines jazz, fusion, and world music styles. Last month, Kevin was invited to perform at the Buffalo-Niagara Guitar Festival for Jazz luminaries Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Steve Swallow, and Antonio Sanchez, and his recordings are now on regular rotation on WNED programming.

This summer, Kevin spent 10 days working with jazz bassist Christian McBride (Diana Krall, Pat Metheny, Sting), guitarist Rodney Jones (Dizzy Gillespie, Maceo Parker) Terreon Gully (Charile Hunter, Diane Reeves) and others at the exclusive invitational Jazz Aspen Snowmass in Colorado as part of the Kellylee Evans Quintet. Kevin has also performed with this vocal sensation at Rogers Annual Impression Awards in Ottawa, CBCs Metro Morning with Andy Barrie, Torontos Dundas Square, CTVs Good Morning Canada, Blue Skies Folk Festival, and will soon perform with her at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C.

He has performed extensively across Canada with airplay on CBC, WNED, and several other television and radio programs, and has made several appearances in Europe and the USA, including performances at the Lugano and Solothurn Jazz Festivals in Switzerland. Kevin has been a featured soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, North Bay Symphony, Guelph Symphony Orchestra, the Waterloo Chamber Players, and has also performed with several other Canadian orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Stratford Festival Orchestra, and Orchestra London.

Kevin has appeared at the National Arts Centre, the Glenn Gould Studio, Roy Thompson Hall, the Stratford Festival Theatre, Centre in the Square, and many other major centres. He has been featured on CBC's Music Around Us, Stratford Summer Music, Mill Race Festival, and recently took Second Prize overall in the Canadian Music Competition National Stepping Stone competition (2004), and was a semi-finalist in the 2006 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition.

His debut solo release, Echoes: The Sacred Dance evoked positive reviews from CBC's Howard Dyck and WholeNote magazine, and the highly anticipated follow-up, Sojourn, now in stores, is already garnering high praise from the musical community. An eclectic musician, Kevin has appeared on numerous classical, folk, rock, and world music recordings, and has been involved in many collaborations involving dance, visual art, multimedia photography, poetry, and music. He has been an advocate of the Canadian arts, and has consulted on, and premiered Owen Bloomfieds Interludes, collaborated with several Canadian visual artists and choreographers for specific new Canadian works. Kevin received a grant from the Waterloo Region Arts Foundation (2004) for the composition of a suite based on Oakville artist James Tughans drawings: The Dreaming of Lions.
Kevin earned his B.Mus in Classical Guitar Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, where he was awarded the prestigious Maureen Forrester Performance Scholarship and the Garfield Weston Scholarship, graduating with the Gold Medal in 2000. He has enjoyed supporting artists Randy Brecker, Danny Gottlieb, Bill Pierce, Wayne Bergeron, Mark Soskin, Pat LaBarbera, Christian Jacob, and Mike Richmond. Locally, he has shared the stage with Da Capo Chamber Choir, Ronnie Prophet, Terry McKenna, Michael Coren, and actor Ted Follows.

A large part of Kevins musical initiative is the fostering of quality art, working with choreographers, dancers, visual artists for Canadian works in performance. He composes his own works for public performance, and promotes new works for guitar, eg. by W. Beauvais, Harry Somers, S. Wingfield, Don Ross, Rik Emmet, and transcriptions from other instruments. His own works have been broadcast on CBC, local radio and television.

Kevin and his family live in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, where he is in high demand as a p

Discography

Echoes:
The Sacred Dance
Released 2001
KR781201

St Jacob's Faith
Released July 2004
CHM040623-1

Sojourn
Released June 2006
KR781202

Set List

Orchestral Repertoire
- E. Bernstein: Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra
- M.Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Concerto No. 1 in D major
- M.Giuliani: Concerto for Guitar and Strings, Op.30
- M.Ponce: Concierto del Sur
- J.Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
- H.Villa-Lobos: Concerto for Guitar
- A.Vivialdi: Concerto in D

Currently performing the songs of Paul Simon:
Bridge over Troubled Water
Under African Skies