Monday, 30 May 2011

The Idea of Fusion – The Fusion of Ideas (Part 3)

Mike Essoudry talks about different fusing styles of music.

What do potatoes and brass bands have in common? Well Mike Essoudry’s Mash Potato Mashers of course. Essoudry is one of our creative forces here in Ottawa. Whether it's playing drums or writing music, Mike has always been involved in all kinds of projects and perhaps his strongest yet is his current brass band which plays mostly original compositions inspired by many different musical styles. They are big, powerful and super fun!

Since we've been talking about blending different genres - the musical blender and all the different recipes, I thought I'd ask Mike what he had to say about the whole thing:

“I think that combining music is what keeps it alive. Fusing different styles together has been happening for as long as people have moved around. For example, the music of Eastern Europe is a giant fusion of all kinds of music from High Classical to Gypsy, from Arabic to Klezmer. It is a fusion resulting from conquests, expulsions, migrations, and geography. It is history in music. And it's still morphing and changing! 
Jazz itself is a fusion of music styles (parade bands, Marching Bands, Blues ect.) that grew into its own thing that has gone on to incorporate other styles like rock, african, latin american just about everything. The difference in fusion today vs. centuries ago is how it happens. Today it's possible to create some celtic/balinese fusion music because we have internet and youtube to bring the world (at least its music) to us. As well physical travel is much easier now than it used to be. Centuries ago I doubt these two cultures would know of each other let alone come in contact and interact. 
In my own group, Mike Essoudry's Mash Potato Mashers, I fuse all kinds of styles together but mostly parade traditions. Balkan, Klezmer, New Orleans, R&B, funk and Country Waltzes. The common thread is Goodtime Fun and Dramatic music.”
The Mash Potato Mashers are playing at a number of Festivals in Ontario this summer including the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. You will be able to catch them roaming around the park on June 26th at 7pm. It’ll be hard to miss them.

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