“…a very fine balance among its musical ideas: Turcotte’s easy, swinging way of playing slightly behind the beat, MacDonald’s magnetic sound and the lightning reflexes that allow him to trace complex currents and melodic undertows as he herds his horn through the changes, Vivian’s bold, meaty sound and alert drive, Warren’s subtle, intuitive time-keeping. Gregoire herself plays transparent figures, clear melodic lines with a light touch and a glowing finish, and influences her quintet to play like a little big band — without the punch, but full of colour, leaving the intensity to the improvised solos — just exactly the kind of environment in which these first-rank players thrive.” -Stephen Pedersen – Chronical Herald, Halifax
The Michelle Grégoire Quintet features the music of Michelle Grégoire performed by some of Canada’s top jazz performers namely Kirk MacDonald (saxophones), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Jim Vivian (acoustic bass), Ted Warren (drums) and Michelle Grégoire (piano and compositions).
Pianist and composer Michelle Grégoire assembled this ensemble of award-winning Canadian musicians in 2004 when she recorded her first CD as a leader entitled Reaching. In 2010 she released a second recording with this ensemble entitled Diversity funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and Manitoba Film and Music. An accomplished composer Grégoire sought out to properly document her compositions after following the advice of Bob Brookmeyer who suggested she assemble the best band possible to inspire her to continue writing. Grégoire reached out to the Toronto jazz community to find her players – these musicians allow her to compose without reservation or limitations.
The Michelle Grégoire Quintet completed an 11 city Canadian Tour in 2006 thanks to funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and Manitoba Film and Music. The group was also featured in some major jazz festivals such as the Jazz Winnipeg Festival opening for Branford Marsalis, The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal , The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Prairie Scene Festival in Ottawa, the All Canadian Jazz Festival, IAJE in Toronto and more. The quintet was nominated for the Grand Prix de Jazz and Galaxie Étoile competitions at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in 2006 and was recorded by CBC for national broadcasts on Espace Musique, Canada Live, After Hours and other programs. Both releases Reaching and Diversity earned a nomination as Outstanding Jazz Recording at the Western Canadian Music Awards and both recordings enjoy continued airplay making the top ten lists on jazz radio programs throughout North America.