DATE: Sunday, July 29th
EVENT: JAZZ in the PARK
STAGE: Swingin’ Sunday Fiesta Stage
ADDRESS: Simcoe Park – 169 King St. Niagara-on-the-Lake
TIME: 5:45 PM – 7:00 PM
TICKET PRICE: FREE * Bring your own lawn chair
Denielle Bassells: Vocals
Drew Jurecka – Clarinet & Violin
Julien Bradley Combs – Guitar
Scott Hunter – Upright Bass
Andrew Scott – Drums
Toronto born vocalist, songwriter and bandleader Denielle Bassels is an exciting performer that will “stop you in your tracks” – Juliet Dunn, Twilight Jazz Festival.
Her performance style is as engaging and whimsical as her songwriting, which has been described as a “cinema verité” and “film noire”- Raul de Gama, Toronto Music Report
Denielle’s music career was launched when a dream sent her crossing the sea to Switzerland as an Au Pair with the goal of finding herself and purpose. As serendipity would have it, her charge (A little boy named Osvaldo) took drum lessons at Lausanne’s prestigious jazz school, Ejma. There she discovered Europes thriving Jazz scene and was recruited into her first Jazz combo after singing a rendition of “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewilderd” in an underground jazz cavern. For two years, Denielle worked, toured and honed her songwriting skills. Wanting to acquire a deeper foundation in music with which to draw from, Denielle began formal music training at Humber College where she met her current players including rising star clarinetist Jacob Gorzhaltsan. Since graduating, Denielle and her band have graced the stages of many of Ontario’s most prestigious jazz settings, including the Jazz Room, Hugh’s Room, Lula Lounge, and the Jazz Bistro. She has performed countless festivals such as the TD Jazzfest, Beaches Jazzfest, Port Credit Jazz and Bluesfest, all the way out to the Merrickville Jazz Festival in Ottawa. Over the years she has also held residencies at Gate 403, 120 Diner, and La Rev, and is a regular feature on Jazz 91.1 FM’s renowned “Jazz Safari’s”. Denielle is an exquisite and seasoned performer/singer, but also an accomplished songwriter. In 2014 her original song “Cool Cool Water” was awarded Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, earning her over $8,000 in prizes. Since then she has had five more award-winning originals in the same competition. Now with help from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Toronto Arts Council, Denielle has released her first full-length album of original compositions called “What About Wool Wishbags”. It blends upbeat gypsy swing with savoury indie-folk nuances, merging a romanticized 1930’s swing era with today. She continues to promote her original works and build herself as an artist and songwriter in the Toronto area collecting new followers every day There are few singers-songwriters in North America as original and refreshing as Denielle Bassels. A star on the rise! – Jaymz Bee JAZZ FM 91.1
Denielle Bassels band merges the swingin’ carefree sounds of 1930’s Parisian jazz, with the dreamy modern folk landscapes of today. Their music is fresh and exciting, and infuses a sense of whimsy and romance likened to cinema verité and film noire. The group contains the exceptional talent of some of Toronto’s finest rising stars, including: Andy Mac (guitar), Andrew Scott (drums), and Jacob Gorzhaltsan (clarinet) and Scott Hunter (upright bass) of Jackie Richardson’s “Soul Pepper”. Aline Homzy (violin) is also a frequent and favoured guest in the band and never fails to impress a crowd.
The group met at Humber College back in 2011 while studying music and have been playing together ever since. Their chemistry is clear, and their camaraderie on stage is immediately engaging and endearing. “Bassels has a winning combination here: a strong, clear voice, great stage presence, along with a tight rhythm section, forceful gypsy-jazz-influenced guitar, and expressive clarinet and tenor sax.” Brett Delmage, Ottawajazzscene.ca
Together the band has played jazz festivals across Ontario such as the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Beaches Jazz Festival, Kensington Jazz Festival, Harbourfront’s Hot and Spicy Jazz Festival, Merrickville Jazz Festival, Brantford Jazz Festival, Barrie Jazz Festival, and Port Credits Southside Shuffle amongst many others. They just recently headlined at the Empire Theatre in Belleville for the Gala screening of Yo Yo Ma’s “Music of Strangers” for the Hot Docs Film Festival. They are also a reliable stop on the Jazz FM 91.1 Jazz Safaris, and perform regularly around Toronto at venues such as The Jazz Bistro, 120 Diner, and La Revolucion. Launching from Lula Lounge on February 8th of 2017, they released the full-length album “What About Wool Wishbags” to critical acclaim. The album features 11 of Denielle’s original pieces and is frequently played on Jazz FM91.1 and CBC Radio One and radio across Canada.
In 2014 Denielle won Grand Prize in the Jazz Category of the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting competition with subsequent wins as finalist in 2015, and 2016 garnering over $10,000 in prizes. She is the recipient of two generous grants from the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts towards her current album “What About Wool Wishbags”. In 2016 Denielle was awarded a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to study with her mentor Thais Morell in the Bossa Nova style while exploring jazz scenes in France and Spain. Andy Mac (Guitarist) Andy was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study with Montreal guru Denis Chang. In four months of one-on-one with Chang, Andy transcribed many of his ideas into a comprehensive set of gypsy jazz instructional notes on topics ranging from picking technique and comping to vibrato, bends and tremolo. Andy Mac had been invited to conduct workshops and lectures on the subject of gypsy jazz at Ryerson University, Humber College, McGill University and at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts for the Django in June festival.
OttawaJazzScene.ca editor Alayne McGregor had this to say: “Probably the biggest surprise at this year’s Merrickville’s Jazz Fest was Toronto vocalist Denielle Bassels. She was an unknown quantity when she walked onto the stage of the Baldachin Ballroom on Saturday, October 18, but her charisma and her quintet’s swinging music quickly grabbed the audience’s attention.”
“She will stop you in your tracks!” – Juliet Dunn, Twilight Jazz Series / TD Niagara Jazz Festival
“Bassels has a winning combination here: a strong, clear voice, great stage presence, along with a tight rhythm section, forceful gypsy-jazz-influenced guitar, and expressive clarinet and tenor sax.” Brett Delmage, ottawajazzscene.ca
“There is something about the imaginative way in which Denielle thinks, crafts and creates music that is undeniably her own. What About Wool Wishbags is a remarkable collection of songs that brings together the past and the future with strong songwriting structures that still leave room for all sorts of adventure. 2017 has been blessed.” -Dani Elwell, JAZZ FM 91.1
“Unique and Fresh!” – Farley Flex, Canadian Idol
A little fact about Denielle: After series of unfortunate events (before discovering music as a career) Denielle had a disturbing (and mysterious) dream that sent her running for the nearest church despite not having any affiliation. She crashed a party in progress and ran up to the pastor frantically explaining her dream and asking for guidance. Clearly thinking she was crazy or at best, a witch, he passed her off to a councillor whom she ended up really jiving with and, after a few weeks of great discussion, she suggested that Denielle search for something overseas to “find herself, and her purpose”. Two weeks later with 200$ her my pocket she stepped off the plane in Lausanne, Switzerland as an Au Pair and the rest is in the Bio!