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Lorraine Desmarais Solo In Intimate Setting

Written by Patrick Rice on Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Even though I loved jazz for quite some time now I have never paid to see a live performance of any type until June 26, when I saw Lorraine Desmarais in a live solo piano concert. I did not know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. 

I left home early as I knew that construction, which never seems to end in Montreal, and crowds from the jazz fest would make finding parking downtown very difficult. After finding the Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur, I found my seat and waited for the show to begin. The setting was very quiet and intimate with large brown curtains hanging in the background, a huge golden chandelier hanging from the ceiling providing the lighting over a beautiful Fazioli grand piano. 

Ms Desmarais came out around 7:10 and started playing the well known jazz standard ‘All The Things  You Are”. This was great to hear because the harmony was pretty much re-worked giving it a classical-jazz-type sound. Most of the following songs were compositions written by Ms Desmarais herself, but the standouts for me was an improvised tune she composed on the spot and the re-harmonized version of a Chopin classic ‘Nocturne in Eflat’. Chopin being my favourite classical composer, I never expected to hear him in a jazz setting, but it was great and judging from the applause, everyone else thought so too.

It’s great when you have no expectations walking in to an event and leave feeling that your 90 minutes was time well spent.

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