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Francois Bourassa Francois Bourassa

Piano, composition | Over nearly three decades, François Bourassa has built many musical mansions. As pianist, composer and bandleader, he long ago became an international example of Canada’s contemporary jazz scene. A model of both consistency and evolution, he continues to challenge himself, his talented musical partners and his ever-widening community of listeners.

Bourassa was born in Montreal on September 26, 1959. Initially inspired to play piano by his mother’s example, he put the instrument aside for five years in favor of the guitar. “Even as a teenager I was passionate about music,” he recalls. “I would transcribe Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix solos. Then my taste grew more sophisticated when I heard progressive rock, especially Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I came back to the piano at 17 and started to write tunes. Return to Forever was my transition point to jazz, after which I discovered Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Coltrane and Miles.” Now a committed if self-taught improviser, Bourassa studied composition at McGill, where he earned his college degree.

In 1983, Bourassa, bassist Guy Boisvert and drummer Yves Boisvert formed the François Bourassa Trio, an ensemble that won the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival new talent competition in 1985. “We entered as a lark, having had almost no previous gigs,” Bourassa admits; but the instrumental proficiency and creative affinity of the pianist and the Boisvert brothers was undeniable. The festival prize led to hometown gigs, touring throughout Canada and a debut album Reflet 1 in 1986 that underscored the band’s roots in the music of Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner and Wayne Shorter.

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“…a modern, varied and spirited jazz… dazzling and complex…” Neri Pollastri, All About Jazz Italy

“Rich, episodic, constantly evolving, multi-faceted pieces that feature strong, accessible melodies allied to unusual and imaginative harmonies.” Ian Mann, The Jazzman, UK

“A real 'choc' surprises you as you didn't expect it ... the feeling of amazement does not fade with repeated listening ... when the music possesses so many qualities. Crazy energy, dense and nourishing writing, high-level soloists.” ('Choc' de JazzMag) Ludovic Florin, Jazzmag, France

“wittily uses rhythmic and harmonic twists and turns to defy our expectations … you can have fun while absorbing one of the boldest and most gratifying records of the year

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Albums

Album Number 9 by Francois Bourassa

Number 9

Effendi Records
2017

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Album Live by Francois Bourassa

Live

Self Produced
2008

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Album Indefinite Time by Francois Bourassa

Indefinite Time

Effendi Records
2005

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Live

Effendi Records
2001

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