Photo by: Cristina Moarcas
Born in Montreal in 1956, Philippe Hode-Keyser studied classical percussion at the Cégep de Saint-Laurent and jazz percussion at the Creative Music Studio (New-York), Concordia and McGill Universities (Montréal). His principal teachers were Barry Altschul, Pierre Béluse, Karl Berger, Ed Blackwell, George Cartright, Jerome Cooper, Gerry Danovitch, Don Davis, Jack DeJohnette, Charles Ellison, Oliver Lake, Michael Lytle, Art Maiste, Jacques Masson, Roscoe Mitchell, Famoudou Don Moye, Guy Nadon, Jean-Guy Plante, Claude Ranger, Ingrid Sertso, Wadada Leo Smith. In 1983, he received a Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degree in Jazz Studies (New Paltz State University, Concordia and McGill Universities). He performed alongside musicians such as Carla Bley, Tim Brady, Anthony Braxton, Alain Caron, Marc Couroux, CMS Orchestra, Michel Cusson, Lorraine Desmarais, Paul Dolden, Michel Donato, Charles Ellison, Lori Freeman, Satoko Fujii, D’Arcy Philip Gray, James Harley, Fred Henke, Andrew Homzy, Phil Hornsey, Tim Jackson, Oliver Lake, Clemens Merkel, Roscoe Mitchell, Mark O’Leary, Michiel Schrey, Wadada Leo Smith, Guy St-Onge, Simon Stone, Dave Turner, and Jean-Pierre Zanella.
At age 20, he is considered a pioneer since he was the first to implement a jazz percussion program at the college level. He taught jazz percussion at the Cégep de Saint-Laurent (1977-2012), Cégep Marie-Victorin (1989-1993), Saint-Luc High School (1997-98) and Concordia University where he teaches improvisation led (conduction) in the Soap series.
He has conducted the Cégep Saint-Laurent Big Band (1982-2000), Saint-Luc High School large jazz ensemble (1997-98), l’ensemble multidirectionnel CSL (2000-2005) and le grand ensemble jazz du Cégep de Saint-Laurent (2005-2012). He founded 1) the small ensembles Arlequin Jazz (1975), United Press (1987), Rubber Soul and The Zbrass (1990), Keyser-Couroux (1993), Keyser-Dolden (2001), ADAPPS (2016), Kappa Guitar Quartet (2016), 2) the large ensembles PKBB (1991), Kappa (1996), Hodekestra 1 (2001), Hodekestra 2 (2005), The Third Stream Ensemble (2012), The Grand Jawaka (2015), The Don Ellis Project (2016), 333 ToutArtBel (2017), The Baird Hersey Project I (2018), The Third Stream Project I (2019), The Don Ellis Project II (2020), 3) the festivals Ho Festival & Series (2002), Radicaliberté (2003), Kollectif Ho (2005) 4) the experimental school PAAC (Progressive and Alternative Arts Center) (2006).
In 2016, as part of the Creative Music Symposium held at the University of Guelph (Ontario), he gave two conferences and presented a concert with composer, professor James Harley. As a peer assessor, he was part of two committees (Project Grants and Multi-Year and Annual Grants) for the Canada Council for the Arts.
From 1980 to 2012, he has received over forty awards from the Canadian Stage Band Festival, Festival des Harmonies du Québec, Festival des Harmonies et Orchestres Symphoniques du Québec, Jazzfest des Jeunes du Québec, Musicfest Canada, National Association of Jazz Educators (NAJE) (Detroit), Yamaha Band Explosion (Toronto) and the Yamaha Band Explosion World Final (Tokyo). He has earned from the Pro-Mark Corporation, the Certificate of Recognition in appreciation of his distinguished service and outstanding dedication to teaching jazz percussion (1993) and a sponsorship from the prestigious Swiss company, cymbals and gongs, Paiste (1994).
From 1996 to 2018, he was awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).
From 1994 to 2018, he produced nine recordings with Keyser-Couroux (3+3, Theatre of Entropy, Watergating, etc..) and ten recordings with the Kappa ensemble (Kappa, bien serré, Sound Off, etc..), participated to the Kore inaugural concert, was a board member of the Innovations en concert production group, percussionist for the L’ivresse de la vitesse 1 & 2 compact discs reissues, the recording of Entropic Twilight by composer Paul Dolden and the soundtrack for the animated short “C-Note” by filmaker Christopher Hinton for the National Film Board (NFB) (http://www.nfb.ca/film/cNote).
From 1980 to 2012, he participated as a conductor and/or percussionist to the Canadian Stage Band Festival (Hamilton, Montreal) Festival des Harmonies et Orchestres Symphoniques du Québec (Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke), Festival des Musiques au Présent (Québec), Montreal International Jazz Festival, French Broadcasters Festival (Béziers), Festival Évolutions (Montréal), JazzFest des Jeunes du Québec (St-Hubert), National Association of Jazz Educators (NAJE) (Detroit), Les Coups de Théâtre (Montréal), MusicFest Canada (Ottawa, Québec, Toronto, Edmonton), Open Ears (Kitchener), Suoni per il Popolo (Montréal), Yamaha Band Explosion (Toronto, Tokyo).
He’s currently pursuing his studies in philosophy at the Montreal University.