Edmonton Journal

In anticipation of a serious photo-blog post later this evening, here’s what the Edmonton Journal has to say about our upcoming show on Saturday at the Yardbird:

Tunnel Six jumps into jazzMost of the time they’re spread all over the continent, but ever since the musicians of Tunnel Six met about two years ago, they have shared a special simpatico that continues to grow.

“We come from somewhat different backgrounds and from all over the country,” notes trumpeter Chad McCullough. “I think that’s one of the strong points of the band, but we also have a very similar musical esthetic. Even though we write very different tunes, they all seem to have the same vibe.”

He sums up their sound as strongly melodic contemporary jazz. The three Canadians and three Americans met as participants in the 2009 Banff Centre International Jazz Workshop. Trumpeter McCullough (based in Seattle) is joined by saxophonist Ben Dietschi (Toronto), guitarist Brian Seligman (Toronto), pianist Andrew Oliver (Portland), bassist Ron Hynes (Halifax), and drummer Tyson Stubelek (New York). All six contribute compositions.

Their name Tunnel Six refers to the Tunnel Mountain that rises behind the Banff Centre, and that’s not their only play on place names. When the group reunited last year for a cross-continent tour, they had one particularly satisfying, if chilly soak after being cooped up in a van for many hours. In memory of jumping into that lake, the album they recorded at the end of that tour is titled Lake Superior.

That all-original collection of tunes has just been released. “That tour really had a huge effect in helping us sort out our musical directions. We like to break down some of the traditional roles of instruments,” McCullough explains, “like using the guitar as another horn, or at other times, like a piano.”

Tunnel Six will perform tunes from the CD Lake Superior and newer works when they hit the stage at the Yardbird Suite (102nd Street at 86th Avenue) Saturday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $18 for members, $22 for guests, from Ticketmaster (780-451-8000) or at the door.

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