Bassist and composer Brandi Disterheft is fast becoming one of jazz’s brightest lights. Still in her twenties, she’s already made a huge impression on thousands of listeners, for both her imaginative live shows and her well-conceived recordings.
Brandi’s premier album, Debut, won her the 2008 JUNO award (Canada’s Grammy), and her CV already catalogs successful concerts as far away as Japan and Haiti, and at jazz festivals from Vienna to Chicago, and a performance at Carnegie Hall.
It’s not only her fiery bass playing and charismatic performances that make people take notice. It’s also her innovative writing style, informed by various influences, from Mingus to Bjork. As Oscar Peterson said, “She is what we call serious.”
A native of North Vancouver, Brandi’s career began in her teens, playing with her mother, Chicago-born jazz pianist Fran Jare. Brandi has since studied with jazz legends Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Rufus Reid, Don Thompson and Danilo Perez. Presently, she’s relocated to New York City in order to study with legendary bassist Ron Carter. She continues to study with a classical teacher as well, eager to be as well-rounded a player as possible.
Brandi has opened for such top acts as Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, and Chris Botti, and performed as featured soloist with the Canada Pops Orchestra at age twenty-one. She’s earned both critical acclaim and the title “Rising Star” for her charismatic performances. “Her music is picturesque and enticing, as she grabs the blues, dips into bebop, lays down a cool ballad and even has the listener dancing. Disterheft comes into her own and shows why she’s been creating a stir. A remarkable talent!” (Jerry D’Souza, AllAboutJazz.com)
Although officially signed to Justin Time in 2008, she immediately won over its A&R Director after he participated in the jury for the Grand Prix du Jazz at the 2007 edition of Le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. “I tried to sway the other members to give Brandi the first prize, but you know how juries can be,” says Jean-Pierre Leduc. “So I quietly thought – fine, we’ll just sign her anyway, and I then immediately told (label founder/President) Jim [West] about Brandi and how we absolutely needed to sign her. He agreed.”
Brandi’s sophomore recording, the luminous and intoxicating Second Side, is to be released in the U.S. on September 14, 2010. Featuring guests Holly Cole and Ranee Lee, the stunning new work uses lively, swinging grooves combined with touches of lush atmospheres with influences ranging from cool jazz to Brazilian pop.
For this second recording, Brandi wanted to approach the material from a singer/songwriter’s perspective, and accordingly, one can hear (though not overtly) the influence of early-period Joni Mitchell (especially in her approach to lyrics) and of Brazilian pop sensation Milton Nascimento (“Twilight Curtain”).
Brandi adds, “I love writing music. This album, except for one song, consists of my own compositions. I find it very liberating. I do have influences, of course, but it’s important for me to have my own voice.”
In the summer of 2009, after returning from a European tour, Brandi and her sextet performed at jazz festivals across Canada to great acclaim. “I like to bring in the entertainment factor. There’s a way to make shows fun and exciting,” adds Brandi. “I love seeing a band whose members have fun onstage, and I love to showcase each member. It can be exhilarating. I like to throw curveballs, too, so the audience doesn’t just hear one kind of music for hours.”
On September 3rd, it was announced that Brandi was selected as a “Revelation Radio-Canada Musique” for the 2009-10 season, a prized honor stipulating that her worldwide activities are to enjoy enhanced visibility on all Radio-Canada platforms (radio, television, Internet) until June 2010. Launched in October 2008, the Revelation Radio-Canada Musique program is a new initiative aimed at supporting Canada’s emerging musical talent in all genres. In exchange for this visibility, Brandi agrees to become “ambassador” of the Radio-Canada Musique brand.
It seems certain that Brandi Disterheft has what it takes to be more than just an ambassador to Radio-Canada. Indeed, as Oscar Peterson said, this “serious” young woman is already fast becoming a rising star of music, of jazz and beyond, with truly the sky her only limit.
Click here to listen to an exclusive streaming track from Second Side
Brandi Disterheft – Second Side – Justin Time
Release Date: September 14, 2010
For additional information on Brandi Disterheft,
please visit her website at http://www.brandidisterheft.com/.
Explore over a quarter century of great music at http://www.justin-time.com.
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