STEVE KIRBY’S OCEANIC JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Steve Kirby is the Director of Jazz Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, and a tremendously talented composer and band-leader. He came to Winnipeg with an international reputation as a premier jazz bassist, having toured and recorded with a who’s-who of jazz: Wynton Marsalis, Elvin Jones, Cyrus Chestnut, Abbey Lincoln, and more.
With the Oceanic Jazz Orchestra, he has assembled an extraordinary ensemble, featuring top-flight players from both the jazz and classical worlds. The group’s debut is All Over the Map (released February 18, 2017), a series of compositions interweaving cultural elements from Argentina to Canada’s Arctic.
Focusing on big sounds and the spaces in between, VIKINGS’ music is equal parts dance-worthy and expansive synth trip; featuring the earworm vocals of Josh Youngson – long ago punk-singer now falsetto-wielding crowd-mover. Flanked by two brothers, Dave and James McNabb – each manning a bastion of synths – and with Luke Janzen on drums – adding the foundation – VIKINGS step out of the box and onto the dance floor.
The group’s latest, the Animal Kingdom EP, was released March 10, with a follow-up debut full length on the way.