Canadian bassist Alain Caron's musical career began at the early age of 11 when he won an amateur contest, he soon joined some top 40 bands performing American, south-American and French standards. AT the age of 14 he discovered the music which would become his life's passion - jazz.
Opportunity knocked in 1977 when he met the Michel Cusson Group. Caron found himself in the company of like-minded musicians - who could appreciate jazz and its origins, as well as looking ahead to the future; they emerged in the early 1980s with super fusion group UZEB.
After moving to Montréal, still playing with UZEB, he started extensive studio work and also started playing quite a bit in jazz clubs in and around town. The self-taught musician took correspondence courses, and eventually, journeyed south to attend Berkley College of Music. While in Boston, he was quickly introduced to some outstanding young musicians, co-students, as well as, seasoned well established professional jazzman. Soon performing nightly, in the Boston area, with David Kikovsky, Tom Harrell, Sal Nestico, Frank Tiberi, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, to name a few.
Caron soon took off on his solo career, launching his own imprint NORAC RECORDS; In 1993, he produced the first of his 7 solo albums to date ¨Le Band¨ who won a Félix award for best album of the year then toured in Canada and Europe. ¨Rhythm And Jazz¨ ¨ was released in 1995 followed with ¨Play in 1997 and Call Me Al¨ in 2000.
He also toured world-wide with friends Mike Stern, Frank Gambale, Biréli Lagrène, Didier Lockwood, Tiger Okoshi, Billy Cobham, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Dennis Chambers, Alex Acuna, Don Alias and Gino Vannelli performing concerts in more than 30 countries.
Along the way, recording numerous albums with friends. ¨5¨ was released in 2003, and nominated for a Juno in the category best "CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR"
In April 2005, Alain Caron was invited by the prestigious WDR big band in Cologne, Germany to perform a series of concerts and recording directed by Michael Abene from New-York.
The DVD and double CD entitled "Live au Cabaret de Montréal" was released in 2006 and to commemorate UZEB`s 25th anniversary, CARON released on his NORAC LABEL the DVD UZEB ¨THE LAST CONCERT¨. The only official live concert footage ever released or to ever be released by UZEB. Featuring special guest TIGER OKOSHI on trumpet. CONVERSATIONS was released in 2007. a beautiful collection of duets with Oliver Jones, Lorraine Desmarais, François Bourassa, Jean St-Jacques and Otmaro Ruiz.
In 2007 The University of Québec, under the aegis of the University of Québec in Rimouski, decreed an honorary doctorate to the internationally acclaimed bassist. Important to note, he is the only musician to have ever received this honor.
In 2010, he releases his seventh solo record, Sep7entrion. The city of Rivière-du-Loup announced that it would be building a music school and naming it "École de musique Alain-Caron". The school will be inaugurated in 2011.
Caron soon developed a reputation as a master electric bass player, a virtuoso on the 6-string bass guitar. Not surprisingly, as he became increasingly well known, Caron taught master classes in most of the world's major cities, including Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, New-York, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Geneva, Frankfurt Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bogota and Mexico.
To this day, Alain Caron has released more than 20 records, solo or with the group UZEB and in collaboration or as a guest artist on more than 25 recordings. Winners of numerous prices including, 10 Felix, 1 Gemeaux, 1 Oscar-Peterson award. Alain Caron was ranked Best Bass player for 10 years in the row by magazine The Jazz Report.
Damien Schmitt, drums
Born into a musical family, Damien learned drums with his father and the music profession directly on stage at the age of 4. His mother was a piano teacher and singer in the family orchestra, that’s why he was interested early on in singing and learned to play several instruments including bass and guitar, instruments that quickly became his favorite.
At the age of 16 he formed the group Yossoma for which he composed and wrote his first songs. He released two albums: Le scatstyle des rastyles (1996) and FM Francophone Revolution (1998). The group performed all over France and was a finalist at the Printemps de Bourges Springboard in 2000. At same time, Damien performed in several bands in different genres of music ranging from funk to hip hop, metal, jazz (trio, quartet and big band), jazz fusion and even the batucada.
After selling thousands of records with himself-produced records, he moved to Paris. This is where he started playing as a live drummer on tour for the most famous French artists like:
Yannick Noah, Khaled, Gage, Georges-Alain Jones, Emma Daumas, Zap Mama and Les Nubians
He forged a solid reputation in the jazz fusion and performed with:
Dominique Di Piazza, Jean-Marie Ecay, Hadrien Feraud.
Since 2007 he is member of Jean-Luc Ponty’s band. He also replaces Paco Séry in Sixun.
Offering also his talents on records, he is featured on many bestseller albums (see Discography) with, for example: Jannick Top & Eric Lelann, Biréli Lagrène, Brothers Christophe et Tony Raymond,
Hadrien Féraud, New Horizons.
Looking for a new life, he moved to Los Angeles where he explored new possibilities. It was there that was born The Dada Show: a new show full of energy.
Always solicited and ready to travel over the world, he discovered Montréal at the Montréal Drumfest in October 2009 and recorded on Alain Caron’s latest album Septentrion.
He felt in love with the warmth he received from the people of Québec and then moved to Montréal in order to entirely record and produce The Dada show with outstanding musicians!
John Roney, piano
Obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in jazz piano, classical piano, and composition from the University of Toronto in 2000. He relocated to Montréal in 2001 to complete his Masters Degree at McGill University, but returned to Toronto to lead his John Roney Trio (with Artie Roth on bass and Kevin Coady on drums) in a “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert at the Ontario Science Centre on March 4, 2002.
Since he settled in Montréal, he has performed frequently with local and international artists the local jazz scene. His musical collaborations with Chet Doxas, Remi Bolduc, Effendi JazzLab, Bernard Primeau, and Jean Christophe Beney have led to tours throughout Canada, Europe, and The Middle East, and several recordings for CBC/Radio Canada, Global Television, JustinTime Records, Effendi Records, and Swingin’ Time Productions, as well as live performances across Canada and Europe.
His work with classical soprano Natalie Choquette has comprised performances all over the world including Canada, Japan, China, Europe, and Western Africa. Roney has performed and/or recorded with legendary international artists including drummers Peter Erskine and Steve Houghton; bassists Christian McBride and Alain Caron; composers Johnny Mandel, Gary Kulesha, and Alf Clausen; Belgian guitarist Phillipe Catherine; and saxophonists Seamus Blake, Nick Brignola, Francois Theberge, Michael Blake, Jerry Bergonzi, and Donny McCaslin.
Pierre Cotê, guitar
Born in Sorel Québec, guitarist / composer / songwriter / producer Pierre Coté is one of the busiest studio/live musicians on the Montréal music scene. Over the last 20 years, he has toured or recorded with artists such as Jim Corcoran, Celine Dion, Carol Welsman, The Benny Goodman Orchestra (New York), Alain Caron (UZEB), Le Cirque du Soleil, Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets), Ken Peplowski, Dave Liebman, (New York) and countless others. Equally versed in jazz, blues, pop and country, he has played on several recording sessions.
Pierre has also written music and several songs for various Hollywood and Canadian movie productions as well as themes for television. He was also nominated for several "Adisq" (Québec) and "Juno" (Canada) awards as a producer/arranger, composer and musician. He has just released his first solo jazz project "Amerika Plads", featuring fellow Juno nominee, saxophonist Chet Doxas.