INTRODUCTION TO THE ENSEMBLE

Since its foundation in September 2002 and its subsequent officialization in 2003, Buzz Brass has been performing all across Quebec and Canada as well as in the United States, Europe and China. The ensemble has thus given over 1,400 performances on three continents, in primary and secondary schools as well as in famous halls, reaching more than 275,000 spectators, not counting a vast radio, television and Internet audience. Journalists and spectators alike continuously acclaim the ensemble’s performances while the quintet’s obtaining of the 2014 OPUS Award for “Concert of the Year—Multiple Repertoire” is added to the numerous other prizes and distinctions that the quintet is regularly awarded and confirms Buzz’s place of choice among the best concert-music ensembles in Quebec.

Sylvain Lapointe
Sylvain Lapointe
artistic director / trumpet
Frédéric Gagnon
principal trumpet
Pascal Lafrenière
horn
Jason De Carufel
trombone
Sylvain Arseneau
bass trombone

 

Whether it is performing in chamber-music concerts, young-audience shows, symphonic matinées or recordings, Buzz has built up an exceptional repertoire for itself over the years, consisting mainly of Classical music but also including jazz and traditional music. What’s more, its tremendously energetic and humourous stage productions combine originality with quality interpretations.

The ensemble’s appearance at the celebrated Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015 marks the beginning of a truly international outreach. It was followed by a first tour of China with four concerts in April 2016 during which the quintet notably represented Canada at the opening concert of the 15th edition of Meet in Beijing Arts Festival—China’s most important international arts festival. The ensemble returned to China in September 2016 for a second tour, this time to give its young-audience show The History of Music. Skillfully combining music and theater, this show was given not in its original French version (performed over 400 times throughout Canada), nor in its English translation (presented more than a hundred times in Canada, the United States and Scotland) but, for the very first time, in a Chinese version. The ensemble thus travelled all over China from North to South, visiting the cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Changsha, Dongguan and Dalian. Buzz subsequently returned to China in 2017 for a third tour to present 6 chamber-music concerts that were this time intended for the general public. China is proving to be a new market that is definitely opening up to Buzz and where more tours are to be expected before long, regarding both chamber-music concerts and young-audience shows.

In short, Buzz knows how to amaze, bedazzle and delight every audience thanks to the diversity of its musical influences, the quality of its performances and the freshness of its stage productions!

Distinctions

Winner—Editor’s Award 2015—Three Weeks Edinburgh newspaper
Ten top picks among the titanic array of productions taking the stage at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe | The History of Music

Winner—”TRILLE OR” Award 2015
Francophone solo artist or group from outside Ontario having most distinguished itself in Ontario (Canada) | L’histoire de la musique

Winner—OPUS Award 2014
Concert of the Year—Multiple Repertoire

Finalist—Young Audiences Music Awards 2012—Jeunesses Musicales Internationales
Production of the Year | The History of Music

Nominee—ADISQ 2010
Album of the Year—Classical—Solo and Small Ensemble | The Planets

Winner—OPUS Award 2007
Production of the Year—Young Audiences | The History of Music

Press review - Overview

A first-class brass quintet, with a likeable flair for humour and for pleasing a crowd without uttering a word.”

Three Weeks Edinburgh newspaper, August 2015

 

“Amazing. The instruments go beyond complementing one another, they achieve the extension of one another to ensure the flow of the discourse.”

Montreal’s daily La Presse, November 2015

 

Five very serious musicians and an MC with an art for clowning and communication. An absolute must for any music lover.

Fringe Review, August 2015

 

“Style and intelligence. Impossible to resist.”

Le Journal de Montréal daily, October 2015

 

“The music is skilful and so engagingly played as to be worth recommending to all ages.”

The List, August 2015

 

“These five musicians are fearless! The Montreal quintet tackles major works and its rendition gives the impression they have been written for its two trombones, two trumpets and horn.”

Montreal’s Voir cultural weekly, October 2015

 

“One of those fun, accessible shows […] and the music, well, the music is the best part of all.”

Herald Scotland, August 2015

 

“The result is musically formidable because of the quality of the musicians and the top-level arrangements. It’s impeccable!”

Info-Culture, October 2015

 

“A lot of very fine playing. Buzz Brass demonstrate their musicianship […and] a capacity to educate and entertain.”

The Scotsman, August 2015

 

“An astonishing combination of musical virtuosity and humour.”

Montreal’s daily La Presse, August 2015

 

“A pure wonder!”

Le Babillart Quebec cultural e-zine, October 2015

 

“There is both skill and imagination here, and in abundance. Brilliant, exciting, yet always controlled playing.”

Fanfare magazine, July 2012

 

“Buzz Brass is a blast! Breathtaking!”

Vernon Morning Star newspaper, April 2012

 

“Superb, highly recommended!”

Mixtures – The newsletter of the Quebec Federation of Friends of the Organ, May 2010

 

“One of this year’s best gems.”

Le Journal de Montréal daily, December 2009

 

“A must!”

La Scena Musicale cultural monthly, October 2009

Comments

“The magnificent brass quintet Buzz presented an unforgettable evening of musical entertainment last night. Buzz made a real connection to our Sarnia Concert Association audience with their informative and hilarious introductions, and brilliant sensitive playing. The transcription of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 was astonishing. The precisely synchronized double tonguing and rapidly moving scales gave the impression of a huge concert grand piano. In contrast to this, the quintet demonstrated a delicate string-like sound with their beautiful arrangement of Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. Gershwin’s An American in Paris demonstrated a wonderful orchestral sonority. These daring arrangements are the hallmark of a mature ensemble that has found its unique quality of expression. After the concert, which ended with a double standing ovation, Buzz indicated very strongly that they would love to come back to Sarnia soon. We will look forward to their return! They are an outstanding treasure!”

David J. Nichols, Associate Composer, Canadian Music Centre and President and Chair, Program Selection Committee, Sarnia Concert Association, March 2017

 

“I just wanted to let you know how fantastic Buzz were last night in Sarnia. They bent over backwards to get here against all the odds with flight cancellations and road closures. They went straight on stage and put on a fantastic performance. They are so personable and played just the sort of program Sarnia likes with chat in between. We heard so many wonderful comments from our patrons and they would be welcomed back any time. You have a great group and I agree with David Nichols when he says they are as good as Canadian Brass.”

Margaret Lovegrove, Sarnia Concert Association Treasurer, March 2017

 

I was truly impressed by the quality and the finesse of the production you offer. I work in the cultural domain and I am often invited to attend children’s shows. Never before had I seen nor heard such an attentive and merry audience. Both children and adults equally enjoy attending this show. The pieces played are relevant and the costumes are original while the comic acting is of unbelievable finesse. I feel that this show has the very essence of what a show addressing a young audience must offer: learning by having fun. As to the final part in which you present your instruments, it brings everything to an end in a manner that is very relevant and very accessible to this type of public. I congratulate you wholeheartedly for this masterly performance in the history of Canadian young-audience shows. Bravo!

Yoan Leviel, spectator, Montreal, June 2017

 

“The show was entertaining, educational and of very high artistic quality. I have taught music for all ages, in all kinds of schools and in several countries over a 33-year career. I have never seen a performance to equal yours!”

Deborah Mehes, Len Wood Middle School, Armstrong, BC

 

“In 30 years of music teaching, it’s the best show I have ever seen in a school. Your show is of excellent musical and pedagogical quality. What a treat for the ears and eyes. To you I therefore say Bravo! Bravo! and yet again Bravo!”

Carmen Major, Le Prélude school, Orleans, ON

 

“Our staff thought it was the best school performance they had seen in decades! Kids came home from Hillcrest raving about the performance.”

Hillcrest Elementary, Salmon Arm, BC

 

“Magnificent show!! Both students and teachers alike spoke about it all week. Some teachers event told me it was the best (school) show they had seen in their entire career!! Bravo!!”

Sophie Clermont, de la Rocade school, St-Dominique, QC

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