A prolific, veteran Vancouver, BC based performer, has worked with a veritable who’s who in Canada’s vast and talented musical landscape . Elliot plays, records, lives and breaths drums and percussion.
Know as a versatile and intuitive musician, Elliot can slip comfortably into almost any musical situation and style, live on the concert, festival or club stage, on the road, or in the studio. He is as comfortable behind the traditional drum set, as he is playing a variety of percussive noisemakers from all over the world.
Elliot’s true voice is heard when he brings together hand percussion and drum set into a unique hybrid style he can truly call his own. Able to create musically fascinating and evocative textures, Elliot’s eclectic approach provides Artists he plays with the best of ‘all worlds’: exploring incredibly vast, interesting and varied musical possibilities; crossing cultural boundaries and pushing the rhythmic envelope. Great examples of his idiosyncratic approach can be heard in his work with artists like: Pacifika – SuperMagique (2010), Asuncion (2008); Leela Gilday – Calling All Warriors (2010); Valley of Wolves – Valley of Wolves (2010); Brian Shiva Haley – grokkin’ the river (2010), Jim Byrnes – House of Refuge (2006), Fresh Horses (2004); Zubot and Dawson – Chicken Scratch (2002), Tractor Parts (2000, and Strang (1998); Steve Dawson – Bug Parade (2001), We Belong to the Gold Coast (2005). Mariam Matossian – In the Light (2007), Far from Home (2004); Babe Gurr – Chocolate Lilly (2008), Back Alley Porch (2005).
In addition to his work with these artists, Elliot maintains a busy schedule as a free-lance performer, touring and recording with numerous artists, including: The Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir, Jimmy Zee, Francois Houle, Adam Popowitz, Riley and the Ryze Band, Groove n’ Tonic and many others.
Additional Artists of note that Elliot has performed or recorded with over his 20 year-plus professional history include: The Higgins Family Band, Gary Fjellgard, Long-John Baldry, Shawn Hlookoff, Chin Injeti, Terry Jacks, Ache Brasil, Karin Plato, The Paperboys, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Yve Adam, Sumalao, Dal-Dil-Vog, Yard Sale, Colleen Sexton, Leora Cashe, kin lalat, Alma Libre.
A native of Dauphin, Manitoba, Ingrid Stitt grew up in a musical family and still remembers the excitement of getting her first saxophone at ten years of age. While still in high school, she studied at Brandon University with James MeMendenhall which fuelled her desire to pursue music professionally. She earned a BMus at McGill University in 1983 and went on to become one of the most sought after session and touring musicians in Montreal and Toronto. She has performed with the top freelance musicians in the country and several well known recording artists such as Corey Hart, Rita McNeil, Tommy Banks, Jan McShann, Fraser MacPherson, Jake Hanna, Bo Diddley and Tom Scott. Since moving to Vancouver in 1995, she has pursued teaching secondary school in Burnaby. She also adjudicates Jazz Festivals in the Lower Mainland and teaches at summer music schools in the province as well as in Whitehorse. She has completed her Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Victoria and maintains an active performing schedule. Whenever time permits, Ingrid can be found on the links, working on her swing!
A mainstay of the West Coast Music Scene, Laurence is active in a wide variety of fields, including Classical, Jazz, Latin, and World Music. He plays both Double Bass and Electric Bass.
Laurence has performed with many symphony orchestras and choirs, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, and Vancouver Opera, and his jazz credits include work with Herb Ellis, Louis Bellson, Alan Matheson and Bud Shank/Phil Woods, Charlie Byrd, NOW Orchestra, Asza, Christine Duncan, and his own jazz quartet. He can be heard on CBC radio and at jazz and folk festivals across the country. He’s recorded 2 CD’s with the Chilean band Sumalao, played with Sal Ferrares, Ache Brasil and the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Celso Machado, toured with Silk Road, and recorded a CD with the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble.
Laurence’s versatility has also involved him in theatre work including the musicals “Sweeney Todd” and “Ain’t Misbehavin'” for the Arts Club, and “Guys and Dolls” and “The Music Man” at the Vancouver Playhouse theatre. Most weekends Laurence plays “casual” gigs with Sassabrass. He played on the soundtracks for the award-winning feature films Live Bait and A Place Called Chiapas. Laurence has performed at theVancouver Early Music Festival, and at Harbourfront in Toronto as part of Peter Hannan’s “Hal Band” for the “999 Years of Music” project.
Laurence co-developed the Vancouver Bass Conference ’99, 2000, and 2001, and the Comprivisation course (with Francois Houle, Ken Morrison and Benoit Delbecq). In his spare time, Laurence enjoys making fine Bass Guitars.
“Mike Kalanj’s Hammond organ oozes sweetness”. Read reviews of Mike’s mastery on the Hammond B-3 and you’ll read of a musician who stands out in the musical world of the Blues, Gospel and R&B. Whether kickin’ it up with spirited solos, or providing a solid foundation for singers and bands, Mike is the real musical deal. His artistry on the Hammond will take you from a “mild purr” all the way up to a wicked “overdriven growl.” His understanding and knowledge of the music and how to bring it to life on the one of a kind Hammond B-3 keeps him in constant demand. Mike plays for the Powder Blues Band, Jim Byrnes and played for the late Long John Baldry as well as countless other musicians on stage and in the studio.
The Hammond Organ is a unique instrument, originally built in the 1930’s as a cheaper alternative to Pipe Organs for churches. The Hammond B3 model quickly became popular not only in churches, but as an integral instrument in Blues, Gospel and Jazz and to a somewhat lesser extent in Rock Music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The Leslie Speaker produces the now famous B3 “vibrato” that gives the warm and vibrant quality to the organ.
When you hear Mike play the organ, you will be experiencing what
church-going folks have experienced for decades, the heart and soul and emotion of Gospel Music, which is still very much alive and still very much kickin’, because you will hear Mike Kalanj, one of the masters of the Hammond B-3, “Take us to Church”.