The Mike Janzen Trio is a Toronto-based jazz group whose music is chock-full of hypnotic grooves and surging imagination. With the dynamic Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy, Rinsethealgorithm) on drums, the iconic George Koller (Holly Cole, Shuffle Demons) on bass, and the riveting Mike Janzen on piano/vocals, this trio is one of Canada’s most entertaining jazz outfits.
With a sound that melds jazz, rock and folk, there is always an undercurrent of adventurous joy to the group’s musical approach. Although virtuosity is in high supply, the trio’s ability to slide through the ears and into the heart is what sets them apart. The Mike Janzen Trio has performed at many festivals including the Toronto International Jazz Festival, the Wreckhouse International Jazz Festival, and the Port Hope All-Canadian Jazz Festival. They are a national fixture on CBC radio and Jazz 91.1.
The recording Try to Remember received a glowing review from Christopher Loudon at the Jazz Times (07/11/11) and the rambunctious track Chim Chim Che-ree was debuted by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Massey Hall in December of 2012. In November 2014, the trio performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Sarah Slean in an original show, Reimagining Broadway, featuring 16 new arrangements of Broadway tunes for the symphony orchestra. In October 2016, the Mike Janzen Trio again joined Sarah Slean, this time with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, for another night of Reimagining Broadway.
Their newest project, Nudging Forever, features the trio along with Kevin Turcotte (flugelhorn) and a 19-piece string orchestra led by Marie Bérard. Combining Janzen’s considerable jazz talent with his gift for composing, Nudging Forever melds the richness of a 20-piece string orchestra with the spontaneity of a jazz quartet.
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