Photo by: Cristina Moarcas

Philippe Hode-Keyser

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, 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 the small ensembles Arlequin Jazz (1975), United Press (1987), Rubber Soul and The Zbrass (1990), Keyser-Couroux (1993), Keyser-Dolden (2001), Keyser-Martin (2013), the large ensembles PKBB (1991), Kappa (1996), Hodekestra 1 (2001), Hodekestra 2 (2005), The Third Stream Ensemble (2013), The Grand Jawaka (2015), Kappa Guitar Quartet (2016), The Don Ellis Project (2016), Ode à L’Infonie du 333 ToutArtBel (2017), The Baird Hersey Project I (2017), The Robert F. Graettinger Project (2018), Ho Festival & Series (2002), Radicaliberté (2003), Kollectif Ho (2005) and the experimental school PAAC (Progressive and Alternative Arts Centre) (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. In the fall 2017, invited by the CECO of the Montreal University, he will give a master class based on the rhythmic analysis philosophical concept.

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 2012, he was awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council (CC), Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).

From 1994 to 2012, he produced ten recordings with Keyser-Couroux (3+3, Theatre of Entropy, Watergating, etc..) and six 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 presently pursuing his studies in philosophy at the Montreal University.

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Marc CourouxPhoto by: Juliana Pivato

Marc Couroux

Marc Couroux is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is rooted in his experiences as a contemporary music pianist. Acclaimed as “the Glenn Gould of contemporary music” (Musicworks), he won the OPUS Award of the Conseil Québécois de la Musique in 1998 for his work in disseminating Canadian piano music around the world (Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Ludwigsburg, Paris). He is co-founder, with Michael Oesterle, of Ensemble KORE, which has been producing concerts in Montreal since 1997 that are dedicated to recreating a living relationship between the composer and the listener.

Professor Couroux’ early piano performance works centred on the reinvention and renewal of the audience-performer dialectic, challenging the received notion of the performer’s physical presence within the socio-political confines of the public event. His pieces include the monumental American Dreaming John Cassavetes (1999) and le contrepoint académique (sic) (2000), a work described as “controversial”, “demented” and “illuminated”, that was featured at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville.

As a video/sound artist, Professor Couroux is concerned with creating metaphorical spaces for the exploration of socio-political issues. His Rockford – Keep on Rolling superimposes images from the 1970s TV show onto a power grid, reflecting the other Los Angeles, plunged into rolling blackouts during the energy crisis of 2000. Rockford has been presented at a number of international festivals including the Club Transmediale in Berlin

Blowback at Breakfast: a Dr. Kissinger Mystery (2003) for piano and 17 mini-speakers creates a Watergate-era environment centred around wiretapping and surveillance, with Henry Kissinger as main protagonist-pianist, dryly reciting congressional testimony while simultaneously leaking vital secrets to the listener. The large-scale audio-video performance work Watergating (Selected Hearings), presented at the 2006 Vasistas festival in Montreal, investigates concepts of hearing and listening through the lens of the 1973-4 Watergate scandal in the US.

In 2007, Marc Couroux launched two offshoots of Watergating. Carpenters et al, Downey Lyrical Holdings, a Real-Time System as of March 29, 2007, a piece concerned with exploring, through non-technological means, concepts emanating from and associated with technology, was performed by neither/nor in Toronto. The Fetishization of Music and the Regression in Listening, presented in Edmonton as part of Latitude 53’s Visualeyez festival of interdisciplinary art, was a performance intervention designed to operate a form of Situationist détournement on the muzak environment.

Professor Couroux is developing a six-hour audio-video installation titled 68/70 (blindspots) (truth 24 times per second). Several sections of the work were screened in 2009 at CounterPULSE in San Francisco, in an event organized by the interdisciplinary organization NexMap.

Professor Couroux has been artist-in-residence at Princeton University and visiting professor at the University of Alberta and Dartington College of Arts, UK, and has lectured on music and video art at McGill and Concordia Universities, Montreal; Stony Brook and the Eastman School of Music, NY; York University, UK; and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in the Netherlands. He joined York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 2006.