Pugs and Crows

Pugs and Crows


The Pugs and Crows band plays original music that draws on multiple genres to create a dark and cinematic soundscape.


Formed in the Fall of 2008 by Vancouver-based guitarist Cole Schmidt, The Pugs and Crows perform a blend of original compositions and free improvisations that draw inspiration from a myriad of influences ranging from Argentinian tango music to the compositions of John Zorn. Often described as cinematic, The Pugs and Crows' debut album, Slum Towers, takes listeners on a journey through a varied soundscape of songs that, according to a review in Difficult Music, have "a gritty elegance."

Winners of the Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in 2010, the members of The Pugs and Crows have a chemistry when playing that fuses their music with playful creativity and reflective musicianship. The band's unique sound is derived from the blend of their diverse musical backgrounds. Meredith Bates majored in classical violin at Dalhousie University, Cole Schmidt, Catherine Toren, and Ben Brown studied guitar, piano, and drums, respectively, at the Capilano University Jazz Studies Program, and bassist, Russell Sholberg, graduated with a fine arts and an education degree from Simon Fraser University. It is their varied paths that give The Pugs and Crows' music it's originality. They approach their compositions with a clarity, opening up into tasteful solos and duos, with occasional departures into frenzied or meditative, but always inventive, improvisations.

The Pugs and Crows have performed at the 2009 and 2010 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, many venues throughout Vancouver and plan to tour the West Coast in the December of 2010 before recording their sophomore album in January of 2011. Their first album, Slum Towers, was released independently in the Fall of 2010. Over the past two years the band has featured guest musicians such as guitarist/composer Clayton Murray, singer Debra Jean Creelman (Debra Jean and the Means, Mother Mother), clarinetist Sam Davidson (Brasstranaut), and singer EN Roberts (Cortez the Killer).


We released a full length CD with 12 tracks in September 2009. The Disc is entitled 'Slum Towers'.

Set List

We can perform two sets of original music (90 minutes total). All songs are instrumentals although we have two songs which can involve a guest vocalist.