Monday, 12 July 2010 15:18
WHO: People Project CD Release!
Canada-Mexico's bi-national/quadrilingual band, People Project, fuse funk
and folk on "Natural" disc
WHERE: Nathan Phillips Square, "Tasty Thursdays" Events, Toronto
WHEN: Thursday, July 22 , Noon--2pm
COST: Free public event
Music Video: http://www.youtube.com/v/WGJdsi2RRU4&hl=en_US&fs=1&
[Toronto ON] What happens when a group of players drops the notion of borders to merge talent from Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, and Trinidad to play an innovative musical hybrid of funk, hip-hop, calypso, and Afro-Brazilian --- sung in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese no less?! What happens is People Project and their new disc, "Natural"!
While co-founders Philippe Lafreniere from Canada (Souljazz) and Gabriel Bronfman from Mexico (Quem, Resorte), take the spirit of world music and advance the cross-cultural and musical ante, it’s quickly apparent that it doesn’t matter where the band members are from – indeed the thousands of miles which divide the songwriting duo are rendered meaningless and only to serve to reinforce the magic of artistic collaboration and intercultural exchange.
Unlike a band who may specialize in multiple genres, People Project is instantly distinguished by their ability to apply myriad influences concurrently. The sound they’ve birthed is entirely their own. A cursory tour across Natural’s 13 tracks reveals a wide-ranging degree of grooves identifying a true mélange – all the more innovative for its progressive, multicultural – yet borderless – stance.
“Ciudad” – a song reminiscent of writer Bronfman’s Latin American roots, adds a solid worldbeat groove to the jazzy allure of Souljazz sax powerhouse, Steve Patterson. Or the Caribbean-spiced “Las Calles”, featuring Drew Gonsavles’ (Kobo Town) vocals and Pierre Chrétien’s (Souljazz) prominent keyboards, as Lafreniere adds percussive push. The seductive “Sabado” with its South American swing or the more complex “7am” quickly get under your skin while the lively Manu Chao cover, “Mr. Bobby (Hey Bobby Marley)”, deftly merges jazz to reggae in near-pop proportions, while remaining loyal to their collective allegiances.
A strong jazz sense fires many of these compositions, yet Latin, Jamaican and African influences are present without ever sounding contrived or unnatural. Surprisingly subtle yet wholly soulful, People Project is a product of the heart – each player is driven by an all-encompassing love – and hope – for humanity, as reinforced by their highly personal and philosophical lyrics.
People Project is by the people, for the people – and in celebration of people everywhere. The sincerity of their efforts to build bridges – creatively and otherwise – is the reason why this music matters. It’s also the reason why it sounds so great – ringing true and "natural" for a brave new world.
"Uniting an array of international friends, instruments and influences, these troubadours travel the highways and byways of afrobeat, blues, jazz and funk. Intercultural, multilingual and cosmopolitan!"
Festival de Jazz de Montreal
"...une entreprise bicéphale fondée par des musiciens de talent et d'éxperience."
Le Voir, Ottawa
"The group manages to tour and create music without letting their geographical positioning burden them. Rather than a roadblock, People Project have used it to their advantage, turning their music into a multicultural experience, singing in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese."
"Ce soir, ce sera la première fois qu'ils interpreteront leur titre phare "people" sur l'hexagone!"
Radio Nova, Paris