Kevin Ramessar
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Kevin Ramessar

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Kevin Ramessar @ Hugh's Room

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kevin Ramessar @ City Hall Rotunda

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Kevin Ramessar @ Private Function

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



Kevin Ramessar always enjoyed Paul Simon’s music, but he didn’t consider himself a huge fan.

Until now.

Acknowledged as one of the region’s best guitarists — inan area brimming with great guitarists — Ramessar ac-
quired new respect for Simon as he researched Going to Graceland, a unique tribute concert he developed for One Night Only: Live at the Registry.

Ramessar has frequently appeared at the Registry as the small theatre on Frederick Street evolved into one of the region’s premium public, live-performance venues.

“It’s really taken off,” he says.

He started talking to Registry artistic director Lawrence McNaught about doing a tribute show some time ago.

“We didn’t want to do a typical tribute show of studio versions of greatest hits,” Ramessar says, adding “we wanted to pick an artist who has stood the test of time and transcends generations.”

Although the concert is titled Going to Graceland, the program spans the full length of Simon’s career including
his days with Art Garfunkel.

“We want to trace his evolution as a songwriter.” Ramessar also selected songs that are particularly suited
to an ensemble setting.

He will be joined by three Juno winners including pianist David Braid, drummer Paul DeLong and sax player Jeff King, in addition to bassist Matthew Lima. Guest artists include vocalist Giselle Sanderson, formerly of Lace, a female country trio formed by David Foster; and Ben Rollo, a triple threat on vocals, guitar and percussion.

“Playing great music with such great musicians is a big thrill.”

The concert will be capped by a special artist — Ramessar’s wife, Lorna Reynolds.
The couple met by singing in school and they haven’t performed together “for years,” Ramessar says.
“The first song we ever sang together was (Simon’s) Under African Skies, so this is a real treat for me. I’m really excited.”

B eyonda masterful techniquea clas-
sical guitarist must have superb
styleand introspection.
At the launch of his debut CD on
Friday at the WaterlooStageTheatre,
Kevin Ramessar
displayedall of these
characteristicsand more,proving that
he is a force to be reckonedwith in his
Having auditioned the CD -
Echoes:The SacredDance- prior to
the concert and hearing near perfec-
tion on the disc,I had doubtsthat what
I heardfrom the recording studiocould
be matched on the stage, but I was
wrong. Not only was it matched, in
someways it was better,for Ramessar
drew inspiration from the audience
and it translatedto his playing.
Everything was performed from
memo~ and so intense was the bond
between them, it seemedthat player
and instrument were one.Later I dis-
covered that the instrument he was
playing was not his own but borrowed
for the concert becauseof its greater
sonority;I could only imaginethe inter-
pretation on an instrument which was
There were times that it seemed
though there weretwo guitars playing,
a mark of the true professional, for
when there are separate lines, as in
pieceslike Jo~ Go With My Love and
the Bachprelude,evengoodplayersof-
ten havea homogenous
Not here,for the lines wereseparate
and distinct, evenhaving different son-
Malaguenawasa delight,
the strings singing with a warm vibra-
to and the music full of controlled pas-
It was interesting to follow the vari-
ations in the Domeniconi,eachrelated
to the themeor the precedingvariation
by melod~ rhythm or harmonic struc-
ture, and El Noi de la Mare was simple
and elegant.
The lilt and delicacyof the Vals,the
evocativemelody of Julia Florida, the
6/8 rush of Canarios, the emotion of
Flight of the Loversandthe African in-
fluence of 0 Sifuni Mungo - it was
one of the most captivating eveningsI
Surprisingl~ Ramessarhad no en-
coreprepared,but with the demands
the audienceringing through the the-
atre he came back, apologized, and
then playedan improvisedpiecewhich
had structure, logic, melodic and har-
monic integrity;
This young man is one to watch as
his careersoars.
A word about the acoustics in the
ell said it aboutjazz in the venue- the
best room he has ever played in for
small group jazz. Friday night proved
that it is superbfor chambermusicand
solo performance, something that
should be examined by every small
classicalgroup in the region.
Not one note was lost, no matter
how gentle or delicate the touch, and
the reverberationrate is just enoughto
enhance soundnaturall~
More classics
- The Record


The Sacred Dance
Released 2001

St Jacob's Faith
Released July 2004

Released June 2006



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