Born: May 22 Primary Instrument: Guitar
With his eclectic writing style and highly developed approach to the guitar, Los Angeles native Brent Canter comes to the modern jazz scene with a sense of purpose. On Urgency of Now, his Posi-Tone Records debut, Canter presents a program of original music which draws on jazz, indie rock and pop while seeking to redefine the sound of the organ trio format for a new generation of listeners. At twenty five years old Canter creates music that is at once accessible and always pushing the boundaries of this classic group format.
As a New York City transplant Canter has developed his sound with his working trio featuring organist Adam Klipple and drummer Jordan Perlson. Urgency of Now sees Canter’s trio joined by acclaimed saxophonist Seamus Blake and features Pat Bianchi, another of today’s most notable organists. The recording consists entirely of the original material which Canter has developed through his many performances in New York City venues including Smalls, 55 Bar, Nublu and Iridium and which earned him the 2011 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award.
While some performers express a modern sensibility through arrangements or covers, Canter communicates by synthesizing his influences into his original works. From Mehldau and Metheny to Radiohead and Stone Temple Pilots, Canter draws from the artists he loves to create a sound which is uniquely his own. The results are songs with memorable melodies played with passion and great skill. Urgency of Now captures the high energy performances which are the group’s signature and which have set Canter’s group apart as a must see live act. Most recently New York’s Encore Magazine has described Canter’s music as ‘on the cutting edge’ and the Hollywood Weekly describes his songs as ‘a new vocabulary for jazz’ and as ‘the new jazz standards for his generation’.
Brent Canter’s musical development began in Los Angeles, California where he was born and raised. Canter grew up with a father who is a multi-instrumentalist and who started his son on the violin at an early age. Some of Canter’s earliest memories consist of getting music history lessons from his father in the car while hearing a steady mix of classic rock and pop. While in high school Canter turned to jazz after being exposed to recordings of Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter and John Scofield by his bandleader at Crossroads School, a well known breeding ground for many acclaimed artists. By the time Canter received a scholarship to study music at UCLA from legendary guitarist Kenny Burrell, Canter had performed at many of LA’s most notable venues including the Jazz Bakery, Catalina’s and the Roxy Theater.
With Burrell as a mentor and teacher Canter began to write and perform his original music with his first organ trio. With this group Canter recorded his jazz debut, 2008’s 'Soundscape', which garnered critical acclaim and national radio airplay on jazz, college and independent radio stations. That same year Canter participated in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC which recognizes the best under-30 jazz musicians. After graduation Canter relocated to New York City to further develop his sound. As a band leader in the city he has performed with notable peers including Linda Oh, Nate Smith, Mark Ferber, Tamir Hendelman,, Brian Charette, Joe Bagg, Greg Ritchie, Carmen Intorre and Jared Gold. Canter’s groups have shared billing with artists ranging from legendary organist Lonnie Smith to the innovative hip hop group The Roots and have appeared at festivals across the United States.
Awards:2011 ascap Young Jazz Composer Award
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