More music this week

Janice Finlay. Supplied
Jerry Sereda. Supplied
Paul DeGurse Quintet. Supplied


A staple of Winnipeg’s jazz scene, flute/clarinet/saxophone pro Janice Finlay is finally following up her debut record from 10 years ago with Anywhere But Here. Featuring mostly instrumental and original compositions, Finlay’s disc also features a stirring and personal piece sung by Erin Propp, Remember Me, about a relative with Alzheimer’s.

Fleshing out the disc are guest appearances from Jodi Proznick (acoustic bass), Ron Halldorson (guitar), and Quincy Davis (drums), who, along with pianist Don Thompson, will be joining Finlay at her CD release show.

Having backed more artists than you can say you’ve met, including Mel Tormé, Kenny Rogers, The Temptations and kids’ heroes Sharon, Lois and Bram, Finlay is also a hero in her own right.

Between teaching, directing The Janice Finlay Jazz Orchestra and The Swing Cats, and performing in Jazz on Tap at the Winnipeg Jazz Fest, she has also performed in pit orchestras throughout Western Canada, in such shows as Hairspray (Rainbow Stage) and A Chorus Line (Saskatoon and Calgary).

Check out what promises to be the biggest night in jazz this year on Thursday, Nov. 24 at the Canadian Mennonite University’s Laudamus Auditorium (500 Shaftsbury Blvd.). Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Student tickets are $16 in advance and $20 at the door, while adult tickets are $17.50 in advance and $22 at the door. Tickets are available at or McNally Robinson.

- Nicholas Friesen


“It is important to realize that each artist is different in image, style, sound and marketability.”

Local cowboy Jerry Sereda says this not only as a general rule, but also as an unofficial personal outlook.

Almost a decade into his musical career, Sereda started his success with the release of his debut album Campground Cowboy back in 2009; Sereda takes it back even further, though, when it comes to what, or more appropriately who, inspired him to really follow his country music dream.

“When I first started singing, all I would sing is Garth Brooks songs because I loved his lyrics,” Sereda explains. “I also loved his amazing show and his stage presence, which inspired my current live show where I try to bring the same energy and excitement.”

While two singles from his debut album reached the top of the National Aboriginal Top 40 Countdown as well as scoring a nomination for Best Country CD at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards continued the inspired momentum, we can’t leave the previously mentioned live show out.

In the past three years alone, Jerry has played shows and festivals across his home country as well as opening slots for the likes of Dierks Bentley, Johnny Reid, Shane Yellowbird and Jason Blaine down in the States.

Sereda releases his newest album, Turn The Country On, at Cowboys Nightclub on Friday, Nov. 25. With huge success already including a single appearing on Billboard and a video in regular rotation on CMT Canada, the show is sure to be packed so grab your tickets for $15 (including a copy of the album) in advance at the club or for $5 at the door without CD.

- Pamela Roz


When Paul DeGurse’s father first showed him avant-garde American pop band Talking Heads’ classic 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, the local jazz pianist hated it.

“A few years later, I ended up checking it out again and I thought, man, this is so cool,” the 21-year-old says. “Ever since then I’ve been very much into the Talking Heads, specifically that DVD—the whole theatricality of the performance and the intensity that went into those songs.”

Now, DeGurse, a fourth-year student in the jazz studies program at the University of Manitoba, has arranged 10 songs from Stop Making Sense for jazz quintet.

DeGurse will perform the songs on Thursday, Dec. 1 at Aqua Books along with Erin Propp (vocals), Neil Watson (saxophone), Mike Cann (bass) and Lucas Sader (percussion).

The set includes well-known Talking Heads songs like Once in a Lifetime, Burning Down the House and Psycho Killer.

“I like that it’s catchy, I like that they weren’t afraid to experiment with different styles and different rhythms,” DeGurse says of the Talking Heads’ appeal. “Of course, for Stop Making Sense, they hired more than a few funk musicians—musicians who played with George Clinton and P-Funk. So they weren’t afraid to augment their sound with auxiliary musicians, and it ends up giving the album a very cool sound.

“They were a brave band—a band that took chances on their music.”

Take a chance on DeGurse and his quintet Dec. 1 at Aqua Books. Admission is $10 and the music starts at 8 p.m.


- Aaron Epp

Published in Volume 66, Number 13 of The Uniter (November 23, 2011)

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