Jazztopad Festival
Cat Toren & Michael Bates Duo
7:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
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Cat Toren – piano
Michael Bates – double bass

NFM, Red Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
from 30 to 55 zł

Sometimes the duet provokes a musical exchange of views between is members, other times it creates a space for a shared narrative, playing one story told by the two concurring voices, but sometimes the field is taken over by only one artist and the other merely accompanies them. There are also concerts during which all the above-mentioned relationships take place, and their distribution during the performance creates its dynamics. What scenario will Cat Toren and Michael Bates choose for the Wrocław concert?

Music has always played a dominant role in the life of Cat Toren, who began learning piano when she was four years old. Jazz aesthetics began to prevail in high school. Toren completed her BA in her hometown at Capilano College but transferred to the State University of New York at Purchase to pursue her master's degree. So far, Toren has released four albums signed with her own name. The last one, Scintillating Beauty, recorded with her band Human Kind, has a clear social and political context. The direct inspiration and at the same time the keynote of the album is the content of an open letter written by Martin Luther King in 1963, which once again became relevant during the past presidency of Donald Trump. The recording proves that jazz can still be music strongly rooted in the present day and fulfil the role that Max Roach’s We Insist! or Sonny Rollins’ Freedom Suite played in the 1960s!

The Canadian Michael Bates is a jazz double bass player, but also a respected leader and composer, who has lived in Brooklyn for twenty years. His turn towards jazz took place gradually. The first impetus was the album of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which he got from his bass teacher. Shortly afterwards, when he was still listening to the recordings of The Melvins, he got his hands on Miles Davis’ live album Agharta. After studying at the University of Toronto, he moved to New York, where he quickly managed to integrate into the jazz environment. The double bass player gained the opinion of a trustworthy sideman, in 2004 he showed his composing talent, debuting with his original album Outside Sources. Each subsequent year brought new projects. Bates has shared the stage with artists such as Quinsin Nachoff, Gerald Cleaver, Russ Johnson, Tyshawn Sorey, Michael Blake and Greg Osby, and recorded, among others. for Greenleaf Music, Fresh Sound New Talent and Stereoscopic Records.

The concert meeting of the double bass player with the pianist will be a fusion of their sound worlds, a musical conversation about their shared identity and careers leading from Canada to the United States. Interestingly, although the Cat Toren & Michael Bates Duo has not played in Wrocław so far, they have already performed at the Jazztopad Festival. It was part of the fifth edition of the festival in New York, during an intimate concert in a building on Lefferts Avenue in Brooklyn. This time there is an opportunity to listen to New York Canadians in much more convenient conditions – in the Red Hall of the NFM in Wrocław.

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