• Ensemble Vivant presents 80th Birthday Tribute Concert for Canadian Jazz Great Rick Wilkins

    Thursday, May 11, 2017

    Tickets Now on Sale!

    Toronto, ON – Tickets are now on sale for Ensemble Vivant’s 80th Birthday Tribute Concert to Jazz Great Rick Wilkins, Thursday, May 11, 2017, 7:30 pm at Grace Church on the Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road, Toronto.

    Ensemble Vivant will perform compositions and arrangements that Wilkins wrote exclusively for the group over the past 27 years.  This internationally acclaimed group will be joined for this special concert by some of Canada’s most renowned jazz artists including: Brian Barlow, Mike Murley and Guido Basso.

    “This is a much-deserved tribute to a great man and a great artist who has been a champion of our artistry and music-making for almost 30 years,” said Catherine Wilson, founder and Artistic Director of Ensemble Vivant. “We hope the whole world will join us to honour this important Canadian music icon and to experience the wealth of beautiful music that he has written for us.”

    Hamilton born Rick Wilkins, C.M. is one of Canada’s most accomplished saxophonists and a world-renowned arranger, composer, conductor and performer. Throughout his career, Wilkins has also worked with a variety of music legends, including: Oscar Peterson, Anne Murray, Burton Cummings, Wayne and Schuster, Peggy Lee, Céline Dion, Oliver Jones, John McDermott, Guido Basso, Julie Amato and Tommy Ambrose.

    He established a major career creating music for radio and television, on CBC television and radio, as well as CTV. He was a music director for a television series and several specials starring The Jackson Five on CBS. He conducted a portion of the opening ceremonies for the Calgary Olympics, and was the music director for the gala opening of Toronto’s SkyDome. Also, he scored and rescored the Hockey Night in Canada theme.

    Ensemble Vivant, described by the Toronto Star as “Canada’s Chamber Music Treasure”, receives accolades internationally in both the classical and jazz worlds, and is an audience favourite wherever the group performs. Since its inception almost 30 years ago, Ensemble Vivant has been a pioneer in the piano chamber music world, championing exciting, innovative programming ranging from classical to Latin and other jazz and related popular styles.

    The group is also known for its passionate, virtuosic interpretations and its engaging stage presence.  As Rick Wilkins, himself commented: “This is the highest-level chamber music-making.  No matter the genre, there is magic in Ensemble Vivant’s music-making.” The group’s 12 recordings are heard on radio around the world. This sensational group is comprised of artists of the highest caliber, including: Catherine Wilson, piano/artistic director; Corey Gemmell, violin; Sybil Shanahan, cello; Norman Hathaway, viola; Jim Vivian, bass.

    A portion of the proceeds from Ensemble Vivant’s 80th Birthday Tribute to Jazz Great Rick Wilkins will go to EUTERPE, a well-established charity providing under-served GTA children with access to live high-caliber classical and jazz concerts and music education, free of charge. Euterpe’s many initiatives are endorsed by the scientific community and have been benefiting children and communities for over 10 years. Tax receipts available for donations of $20 or more. www.euterpemusicarts.com

    Tickets for Ensemble Vivant’s 80th Birthday Tribute to Jazz Great Rick Wilkins are $45.00 (service charges are extra). They can be purchased online at www.ensemblevivant.com or by phone at 416-465-8856, or email at ensemblevivant88@gmail.com.