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VIDEO: KPU music instructor releases new album

Release party for ‘Sun Songs’ takes place Nov. 23

Juno-nominated jazz bassist Jodi Proznick is launching a new, self-produced album that was eight years in the making.

Sun Songs pays tribute to life’s bittersweet rises and falls, and will officially be unveiled at a launch party on Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. at Frankie’s Jazz Club, 755 Beatty St. in Vancouver.

Proznick is a professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the recipient of numerous national jazz awards. From a young age, the bassist, composer and bandleader was recognized as a promising young artist, earning a scholarship for bass studies at McGill University.

Since returning to Vancouver, Proznick has also worked with a long list of jazz icons, including Oscar Peterson, whom she opened for in 2004, as well as Michael Bublé, Peter Bernstein, George Coleman, Sheila Jordan, Bucky Pizzarelli and the late Mark Murphy.

Proznick’s recordings are broadcast on jazz networks the world over. She can be heard as a featured performer on more than 40 albums, and her 2006 debut release, Foundations, was received by critics with wide acclaim. In addition to securing a Juno nomination for ‘Traditional Jazz Album of the Year,’ it took the National Jazz Award for ‘Album of the Year.’

But in Sun Songs, Proznick is taking her music to a more personal level.

“With Sun Songs I wanted to share a deeper part of myself with the world,” she said.

“Coming off the wonderful high after releasing Foundations, I found myself swept up by two events that would forever change me — the joyous birth of my son, and my mother’s tragic diagnosis of early onset dementia. This album is a metaphor for those experiences — the sunrise and sunset of life reminding us that each day is a gift.”

During the composition of Sun Songs, Proznick drew from the overwhelming emotions that arose from becoming a first-time mother while grappling with the gravity of her own mother’s condition. The resulting eight original works — and one cover — Proznick recorded for Sun Songs reveal a warm resilience heard in her signature pop and jazz sound. Filled with lush harmonies and fresh rhythms, and layered with exquisite melodies, each track on Sun Songs offers a unique beauty and solace.

Proznick’s own prodigious quartet featured on Sun Songs includes West Coast artists Tilden Webb (piano), Jesse Cahill (drums) and Steve Kaldestad (tenor saxophone).

Luminous vocals performing Proznick’s moving lyrics are by Vancouverbred star Laila Biali.

Highlights from Sun Songs include Beautiful Again, inspired by Indigenous author Richard Van Camp’s children’s book, Welcome Song for Baby, and Ancient Yearning with text by Vancouver poet Celeste Snowber. Proznick expresses her longing to keep connected to loved ones in So Near, So Far. The album closes with the song famously covered by Peter Gabriel, The Book of Love written by Stephin Merritt.

The official release date for Sun Songs is Dec. 8. The album is available for pre-order at jodiproznick.com.

Tickets for the release party are available at coastaljazz.ca.

Proznick will also perform in Langley on March 2, 2018 as part of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s music faculty showcase. For more information, click here.

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