Michelle Gregoire

Michelle Gregoire

 Calgary, Alberta, CAN
BandJazz

Jazz pianist and composer Michelle Gregoire has emerged as one of Canada's most significant jazz talents. She is surrounded by a veteran cast off all-star Canadian musicians creating a sound described as "exciting, beautiful, inspired and new while building on the tradition called Jazz."

Biography

MICHELLE GRÉGOIRE QUINTET:
Jazz pianist and composer Michelle Gregoire has emerged as one of Canada's most significant jazz talents. She is surrounded by a veteran cast off all-star Canadian musicians creating a sound described as "exciting, beautiful, inspired and new while building on the tradition called Jazz." Her music has additionally been described as “ingenious”, “elegant”, “balanced”, “original with great depth and imagination”, and “approachable, but in a way that doesn’t sacrifice invention, interplay, and understated strength”. Her music is performed by her solid and interactive ensemble, the Michelle Grégoire Quintet, comprised of top Canadian jazz musicians, namely Juno winner, saxophonist Kirk MacDonald, National Jazz Awards trumpeter of the year Kevin Turcotte, and top call Toronto based rhythm section featuring Jim Vivian on bass and Ted Warren on drums. In June 2009 the quintet recorded a second CD Diversity supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Manitoba Film and Music, featuring original compositions by Grégoire commissioned by CBC Radio and the Manitoba Arts Council.

MICHELLE GRÉGOIRE – PIANIST/COMPOSER:
"Her ingenious creations are all of interest". -Toronto Star
"One of the more significant jazz talents in Canada right now." -Daryl Angier, CODA
"You have some good music inside!!" -Bob Brookmeyer (March 2003)
"her playing style is all about elegance, subtlety, and understatement. No sharp edges mar her approach, and she builds her solos gradually and with great care" - All about jazz
"Grégoire is quickly making a name for herself both for her tastefully elegant playing chops as well as her burgeoning career as a jazz composer.” –Holly Harris, Winnipeg Free Press, March 2007.
"this lady is very original with great depth and imagination, remarkably proficient on piano and dynamically sensitive". -Still Another Jazz Show - Sacramento, CA

A talented composer and versatile pianist, Michelle Grégoire holds an undergraduate jazz degree from St. Francis Xavier University and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the Florida State University. She attended the Hugh Fraser Jazz Orchestra Residency in Banff where she worked with Maria Schneider in 2002 and Kenny Wheeler in 2004. Grégoire has also studied privately with world-renowned composer Bob Brookmeyer. Recently, Grégoire spent four months at the Banff Centre where she spent focused time composing and working with some of the world's most brilliant musicians, composers and conductors. These included Joel Smirnoff, Rodney Sharman, Mark Applebaum, and John Halle. A performance at the Banff Centre with Kenny Wheeler was described as a "gorgeous duet by two astounding professionals, one in the twilight of his career and the other just emerging into the full light of day." –Rocky Mountain Outlook.

An active freelance musician in Winnipeg since 1984, Michelle Grégoire maintains a solid reputation as a sideperson and band leader and has worked with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra since its inception in 1997 where she appeared with artists like Bill Watrous, Phil Nimmons, Guido Basso, Byron Stripling and many others. She has appeared with artists such as Stefan Bauer, Martha Brooks, Brian Hughes, Liberty Silver, Walle Larsson, Peter Appleyard, VEJI (Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation), Frederic Alarie and Jon Geary to name a few. She has been a frequent guest with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and was recently featured with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra as part of a concert that was recorded by CBC Radio and aired nationally on various CBC Radio programs. The concert featured a world premiere of her new composition, Gratitude Suite for String Orchestra and Jazz Trio, a 15-minute work commissioned by CBC Radio. Grégoire is a respected composer/arranger and has been commissioned by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, The Manitoba Arts Council and CBC Radio. Her work has been performed and recorded by various ensembles including the WJO and the Banff Jazz Orchestra.

Grégoire was the winner of the Project COOL 2004 jazz competition which awarded her a $15 000 recording grant to use towards the production and marketing of her debut CD Reaching. Her quintet features the crème of Canadian Jazz and has completed a Canadian Tour in February 2006 thanks to funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and Manitoba Film and Sound. The group was also featured in some major jazz festivals in 2006 such as the Jazz Winnipeg Festival, The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and the All Canadian Jazz Festival. The quintet was nominated for the Grand Prix de Jazz and Galaxie Étoile competitions at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in 2006 and was recorded by CBC for national broadcasts on Espace Musique, After Hours and other programs. Reaching earned a nomination as Outstanding Jazz Recording at the Western Canadian Music Awards and the CD enjoys continued airplay making the top ten lists on jazz radio programs

Discography

MICHELLE GRÉGOIRE -
DIVERSITY (to be released in 2010)

MICHELLE GRÉGOIRE - REACHING:
Nominee, "Outstanding Jazz Recording" Western Canadian Music Awards 2005. Reaching made the 2005 jazzenvoy.com list of top 50 jazz recordings in Canada, and the CBC After Hours list of best jazz recordings released in 2004. Release on the Boat House Records label (Hugh Fraser's label), distributed by CMC/Fusion III.

Set List

The Michelle Grégoire Quintet performs music composed by Michelle Grégoire. Pieces are selected depending on the format and length of each performance. Careful thought is put into the programming of each concert to provide a well balanced and well paced performance.