Interview for Guitar Moderne
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Live at the Tranzac Vol 1
Ken Aldcroft - William Parker
Solo Ken Aldcroft
Red & Blue
Ken Aldcroft & Scott Thomson
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Ken Aldcroft Presents
Second Wednesday Series
The Tranzac, 10pm
Third Sunday of the Month
The Tranzac, 3pm
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Most of Trio Records' catalogue is now available as downloads from itunes
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Here is a poem written by Nicholas Power which was inspired by a set of improvised music performed by me, drummer/percussionist Germaine Liu and bassist Jim Sexton at the LoD Series in Toronto.
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Kenneth Grant Aldcroft (14 November, 1969 - 17 September, 2016)
The extended family of creative music in Toronto, throughout Canada, and internationally is mourning the sudden, shocking death of guitarist, composer, educator, and producer Ken Aldcroft from a heart attack. He was 46.
Above all, Ken was an utterly devoted and loving husband to Maria and father to Liam, 13. The love, dedication, and conviction that defined his exemplary family life radiated outward to the countless musicians with whom Ken played, the myriad recording and performance projects he convened, and the many students - in private lessons and, since 2010, at the University of Guelph - he guided and inspired.
Ken's tremendous skills as a guitarist, composer, and bandleader were matched by his passionate, tireless work ethic and ironclad sense of purpose. He manifested his creative vision by leading and contributing to a dazzling number of groups and projects: Convergence Ensemble, Threads, Hat and Beard, various Ken Aldcroft Trios and Quartets, Alaniaris, AIMToronto Orchestra, solo composition and improvisation, and international touring and recording with duo partners including William Parker, Klaus Kürvers, and Jason Robinson. With his friend and partner John Sorensen he released more than twenty-five recordings of his music on his independent label, Trio Records.
Ken's efforts forming and sustaining key scene-building initiatives in Toronto embodied his commitment to fostering community through music. Hallmarks of his dedicated stewardship of creative improvised music - and his bountiful generosity - include co-founding the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto, the Leftover Daylight Series, and the NOW Series, and serving on the board of the Somewhere There musicians' collective. He was a great friend to and supporter of fellow musicians, and was deeply loved for his off-the-wall sense of humour, his creativity, his kindness, his perceptiveness, his loyalty, his keen intelligence, and his sheer love of life.
He was a true gentleman who is profoundly missed by the legion of family, friends, colleagues, and listeners he touched and inspired with his music and spirit.
Along with Maria and Liam Aldcroft, Ken is survived by his father, Ken, his mother, Judi, and brothers, Gord and Greg. His life will be celebrated in a private funeral for his family in British Columbia on Sunday, 25 September. Family, friends, colleagues, and supporters in the Toronto area are warmly invited to the 'Tribute to the Life of Ken Aldcroft' in the Main Hall of the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Avenue, just south of Bloor, on Friday, 7 October, 7pm. The event will feature music, spoken reflection and reminiscence, a pot-luck supper, and continued celebration of Ken's life, long into the night.
The family invites messages of condolence at this address:
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With a rigorous and pan-idiomatic approach to both composition and improvisation, guitarist Ken Aldcroft is a key practitioner in Toronto's dynamic creative music scene. After establishing himself as a compelling new voice in the jazz scene of his hometown, Vancouver, Ken moved to Toronto in 2001 and quickly made connections with like-minded collaborators. Since then, his own multi-faceted development as an improvising guitarist, bandleader, composer, producer, and organizer has corresponded with the re-emergence of Toronto as an important centre for creative improvised music-making.
As a guitarist, Ken extends the jazz tradition that lies at the core of his music education. Through his commitment to a wide-open field of musical influence and to forging new collaborative ties, Ken has systematically sought new and challenging contexts in which to improvise. As a result, his playing reflects the breadth of his interests, from the extended bebop of a jazz repertory project like Hat & Beard, performing the music of Thelonious Monk, to the language of free improvisation that he explores in collective improvisational settings such as ongoing collaborations with NY bassist William Parker and saxophonist Andy Haas or one off performances with artists such as Wilbert DeJoode, Joe McPhee, John Oswald and Lori Freedman to name just a few. This variety comes into its fullest view with Ken's two solo recordings; "Home: Solo Guitar Compositions" (2011) and "Vocabulary: Solo Guitar Improvisations" (2009), both are passionate musical reflections on his ongoing development as an improvising guitarist.
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As a bandleader, Ken's projects have provided increasingly nuanced contexts in which his compositional and ensemble-related ideas find voice. The evolution of the Ken Aldcroft Convergence Ensemble reflects his development in these regards as well as the expanding scope of music played by groups under his leadership. While his Group, Quartet and Trio + 1, his trio of projects during the early 2000s, synthesized models from jazz and derivative musical traditions, the Convergence Ensemble expands the frame of stylistic reference and conceptual depth considerably. Six recordings by the Convergence Ensemble "Tangent" (2014), "Saskatoon" (2013), "Sneaky Pete - Slugs'" (2012), "Our Hospitality" (2009), "Trolleys" (2008) and "The Great Divide" (2006), all on Trio Records, are clear testimony to this fact.
Concurrent with this trajectory as a performing musician is Ken's commitment to supporting the creative music scene in Toronto as an organizer and producer. From 2010 to 2012 Ken was a member of the Somewhere There Collective, which administered the modest 35-seat concert space Somewhere There in Toronto, and was a founding board member and the first president of the Association of Improvising Musicians Toronto (AIMToronto). Through these activities Ken has ensured that the world-class calibre of Toronto musicians has gained considerably wider recognition.
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