Tanya Kalmanovitch
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Tanya Kalmanovitch

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"One of the more engaging recordings heard in some time."

This is an exceptional and welcome venture that brings together free-jazz improvisation, contemporary music and rock, creating one of the more engaging recordings heard in some time ... Listen to Rara Avis, a stunning tone poem, and her poetic sorties on the seven vignettes that are the core of this session and you will hear a musician who is alive with creativity and ideas. These collective improvisations beg for discovery and repeated listening. [Review of "Hut Five", 12 June 2003]
- Irwin Block, Montreal Gazette


"An accessible and fascinating album."

The young Canadian artist Tanya Kalmanovitch showcases her not inconsiderable talents on viola (and occasionally violin) on this accessible and fascinating album in which she leads a tuneful, compatible quartet that performs her often mournful compositions with a graceful sensitivity. Kalmanovitch produces a richly sonorous conservatory-based tone that exudes a lovely consistency, not unlike a rich, full-bodied wine ... There are beautiful sounds emanating from this group, and lots of pregnant potential, particularly from its leader whose writing and improvisational skills are often worth exploring. [Review of "Hut Five", November 2003] - Steven Loewy, All Music Guide (AMG Pick)


"Kalmanovitch is an exceptional musician."

Kalmanovitch is an exceptional musician. In soloing she thinks compositionally, with an expressive contrast between the astringent chromaticism of her lines and compositions and her warmly malleable tone. The quartet shares an uncanny mutual awareness ... characterised by sometimes austere beauty and a remarkable unity between the written and the improvised. [Review of "Hut Five", 27 Feb 2003] - Ray Comiskey, Irish Times


"The Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Dixie Dregs are musical reference points."

The original Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Dixie Dregs are obvious musical reference points for Kalmanovitch’s quartet - in instrumentation, compositional approaches and the use of unison lead lines. Kalmanovitch's use of the viola on most of the pieces provides full-bodied foil for Rick Peckham's guitar ... The band is at its best with the riff-driven, rhythmically varied structure of Guilfoyle's "Hidden Agenda" and the leader's title song, where the blend of their voices creates dense textures. [Review of "Hut Five", March 2004] - James Hale, DownBeat


"This is an engaging album, bristling with energy."

The viola may be seldom heard in jazz, but Kalmanovitch's instrument sounds entirely at home in the company of Rick Peckham's guitar, Ronan Guilfoyle's bass and Owen Howard's drums. This band of old associates do considerable justice to the jagged melodies and angular forms of the leader's compositions, making them sound easy (almost!). This is an engaging album, bristling with energy ... Kalmanovitch's playing is forceful and direct, and the superb Peckham sounds like a man possessed. [Review of "Hut Five", 2 March 2002] - Cormac Larkin, The Sunday Tribune (Ireland)


"Startlingly good!"

Classically trained Juilliard grad Kalmanovitch plays a mean viola - an instrument rarely heard in jazz - as well as violin. Her work with very impressive guitarist Rick Peckham, bassist Ronan Guilfoyle and drummer Owen Howard is startlingly good with great collective improv and dark and stark treatments of composed pieces. Especially stirring cuts on her sophomore CD are "Hidden Agenda" and Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression". [Review of Hut Five, June 19 2003] - Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star


"Exhilarating!"

Hut Five's music is an exhilarating mash-up of classical, jazz, funk and rock. [Preview, June 19-25 2003] - Ian Cochran, Monday Magazine


"Top 10 concerts at the Vancouver jazz festival"

A classically trained violist and Juilliard graduate, her fierce improvisation can leave you breathless. [Preview, June 19-26 2003] - Marke Andrews, Vancouver Sun


Discography

Out Where The Trains Don't Run (upcoming, 2004)
Hut Five (2003)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Canadian violist Tanya Kalmanovitch operates at the intersection of contemporary jazz, classical music and free improvisation. Fast building an international reputation as an innovator on the viola, she brings its warm, rich voice into the conversation of contemporary jazz and creative music.

In her quartet Hut Five, Tanya joined by three of jazz’s foremost creative musicians: Boston guitarist Rick Peckham, Dublin bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, and Canadian-born New York drummer Owen Howard. The ensemble swings seamlessly between extended composition and free improvisation, touching on elements of rock, funk, classical music and modern jazz to achieve a remarkable synthesis between extended composition and free improvisation.

The quartet’s first album Hut Five (Perspicacity, 2003) received exceptional reviews in DownBeat and other leading publications. Their second album, Out Where The Trains Don’t Run (Perspicacity, to be released 2004) promises to be a fiery follow-up. Recorded mid-way through their 2003 tour of Canadian jazz festivals, Out Where The Trains Don’t Run showcases the groups’ uncanny creative chemistry in a series of concise free improvisations. The quartet sample freely from their wide-ranging musical vocabularies (think Freddie Greene, Bartok, Hendrix, Coltrane, calypso and Charles Ives – for a start!) with results by turn darkly comic, fiery, expressive, wry and sublime.

Tanya has performed with a diverse range of artists including Myra Melford, Andy Laster, Tom Rainey, Julian Arguelles, the Turtle Island String Quartet, Martin Hayes, John Cage, and Shujaat Husain Khan. She performs extensively in North America and Europe, and travels frequently to India where she studies Karnatic music. A formidable classical performer, she maintains an active interest in championing new repertoire for viola.

Rick Peckham is an internationally known jazz guitarist, clinician, composer and writer. He has performed with George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Mike Gibbs, and Dave Liebman, and recorded the album Stray Dog (Ropeadope) as a member of Um, led by trombonist Hal Crook and featuring organist John Medeski. His most recent recording, Left End, is a set of original compositions mixed with collective improvisations recorded with drummer Jim Black and bassist Tony Scherr. Rick is Assistant Chair of the Guitar Department at Berklee College of Music.

Irish bassist and composer Ronan Guilfoyle performs as leader of his own bands as well as a side player to the likes of Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie, Joe Lovano, Emily Remler, Benny Golson, Sonny Fortune, Richie Beirach, Greg Osby and Kenny Werner. He has recorded with Pat LaBarbera, Keith Copeland, Dave Liebman, Steve Coleman and Simon Nabatov. Recent releases include "Exit" with his own band Lingua Franca (IMC) and "After Dark" with David Liebman (IMC). An accomplished composer, he won the Julius Hemphill Composition Award in 1997.

New York-based Canadian drummer Owen Howard appears often as a side player with artists such as Tom Harrell, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, John Abercrombie, Michael Formanek and Dick Oates. He has toured across Canada, Europe and the United States with many groups including Sheila Jordan, Mick Goodrick, Nils Wogram, Andy Middleton and Jay Clayton. Owen has released two albums as leader: "Sojourn" and "Pentagon" (Koch Jazz).