Newfoundland vocalist Heather Bambrick is set to join fellow Juno nominee and B.C. bassist Jodi Proznick and several other Canadian musicians on stage at Revival House this Friday at 9 p.m. Photo by Lisa MacIntosh

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A group of musicians representing Canadian jazz from coast to coast are set to take the Revival House stage for an intimate performance this Friday as part of Stratford Summer Music.

Newfoundland jazz vocalist Heather Bambrick is bringing a slice of the East Coast to Stratford, joining B.C. bassist Jodi Proznick, a  fellow JUNO nominee; Ontario pianist Dave Restivo; Quebec drummer Dave Laing; and Saskatchewan saxophonist Kelly Jefferson.

“We’ve kind of got the whole country covered,” Bambrick laughed.

Having played Stratford Summer Music for the past several years, Bambrick said she was excited last year to learn that Mark Fewer, someone she grew up with in Newfoundland, had been named the festival’s new artistic director.

“He also knows Jodi Proznick when he was working out in the Vancouver Symphony,” Bambrick said, “so he had asked Jodi to do something, and then he said, ‘I’d love it if you and her could do something together.’ Jodi and I had worked together in May out in Vancouver, so when he said, ‘Would you be interested,’ I said, ‘Yeah, of course of I would.’”

Both Bambrick and Proznick will collaborate on pieces from their latest albums – Fine State and Sun Songs respectively – but, Bambrick said, this Friday’s concert will be as much about sharing the stories behind their music as it is about the music itself.

“Jodi’s album is a very personal album. It was written at a time when she was going through both a high point and low point in her life. … Her mom was diagnosed with dementia, and through a period of about 10 years, she was watching her mom’s light fade and at the same time … her son was born,” Bambrick said.

Canadian bassist Jodi Proznick is set to perform as part of a quartet spanning from coast to coast alongside Newfoundland jazz vocalist Heather Bambrick at Revival House this Friday. Photo by Michele Mateus

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As for the inspiration for her own album, Bambrick said the songs from Fine State revolve around her efforts to come to terms with the state of the world today, both spiritually and semantically.

“I’m very big on wanting to connect with an audience. I’m not up there to just perform my music and have you just sit there and listen to it. I like to talk to people about it. I like to explain what the songs are about. I like telling about the background,” Bambrick said.

“So, it’s really very much a personal connection between those of us on stage and the audience, and then the music becomes the medium through which we can communicate.”

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