Award-winning instrumentalist Trevor Dick and his long-time bandmates have entered new territory with the introduction of the Trevor Dick Band’s debut album, New World. This world/jazz/folk fusion project with classical and modern pop/rock underpinning takes you from Africa to Latin America to Europe and North America, erasing all borders.
As a solo artist, Trevor’s five previous albums were in the gospel/sacred vein. 2010’s Yahweh won two GMA Covenant Awards including instrumental album of the year. Trevor helmed those recordings, but the combination and arranging contribution of all five seasoned musicians — Brad Toews (keys); Tony Lind (guitar); Will Jarvis (bass); Steve Heathcote (drums); and Trevor (violin, viola) — to the songwriting took the Ontario-based group in a new creative direction.
“I was born in Nigeria, Africa, so I have a love for African music, especially West African,” says Trevor, “and another band member, Will, is a specialist in Latin American music — Cuban and Brazilian — so we were feeling fairly restricted creatively in the music that we were previously doing. We were ready for something brand new.”
Produced by the Trevor Dick Band, along with co-producer/engineer/mixer Richard Cleaver, at Toronto’s state-of-the-art Noble Street Studios and various home studios, the quintet spent a year in pre-production, writing and arranging such songs as “Bourbon Street Carnival,” “East of Sinai,” “Perpetuum” and “Ifriqiya,” and another year recording. Cellist Kevin Fox is the only guest on the 15-song album for the “Schindler’s List” and “New World” tracks.
“On most of our previous projects, I did the majority of the writing and just pitched that material to the band to rehearse and arrange,” says Trevor. “New World was the most collaborative effort we’ve had as a band, where everyone played a much more significant role in the writing and arrangements. Amazing, fresh and exciting things can happen when collaborating fully as a team. We saw this with New World as we worked together at a deeper level and pooled our ideas, musical skills and experience.”
“Bourbon St. Carnival” was written by Tony whose style is quirky and experimental, resulting in a fun, groovy blues tune that conjures up a New Orleans’ party vibe. “East of Sinai,” one of Trevor’s compositions, is a turbulent, dramatic “spy song”, reflecting the unrest in the Middle East. Trevor’s “Perpetuum,” with its repetitive motif, represents the constant revolution of the earth, passage of time, changing seasons and cycle of life and his “Ifriqiya” — North African for ‘sunny place’ — is a cheerful rhythmical number exploring the beauty of humanity and diversity, despite the hardships. The title-track is a medley of “What A Wonderful World,” popularized by Louis Armstrong, and the main theme of Anton Dvořák’s “New World Symphony.” The combination of the two are significant to The Trevor Dick Band.
“‘New World Symphony’ was written when Dvořák saw the new world [North America] for the first time and was inspired by the African and Native American people and music,” says Trevor. “For this reason, we felt a pairing with ‘What A Wonderful World,’ was appropriate. The song embodies the spirit of adventure, risk, vision and exploring new worlds. We chose it as the title track to this album because of the new direction we have taken with this project.
“The music on this album also represents that sense of excitement, adventure, vision and sacrifice when our forefathers and mothers left the Old World, got on a ship and sailed into the unknown, in faith, and discovered the New World. That’s what this album is all about — that longing for adventure, that sense of creativity, the drive to explore new territories with reckless abandon.”
For interviews, bookings or more information, please contact the Trevor Dick Band.
Award-winning band leader, Trevor Dick, is a jazz/world/pop/classical crossover violinist and composer, whose style evokes the sound of Jean Luc Ponty, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Mark Wood, Mark O’Connor, Jerry Goodman and Hugh Marsh all rolled into one. He also has a unique feather in his cap: he is the performer of The Weather Network “Local East Coast Back Beat” theme.
Trevor has performed with or opened for such talent as Iona, Great Big Sea, Carolyn Arends, Mike Janzen, Laila Biali and the Newsboys’ Paul Coleman and toured across North America, South America and Africa, both as a solo artist and with The Trevor Dick Band.
Born in Nigeria to missionary parents, his father died in a car accident when he was 4-years-old, prompting his mother to return to Canada with her seven kids. She was a musician herself and enrolled Trevor in violin and piano lessons at age 7. “The piano lasted a week, but I immediately took to the violin,” he says.
He won local music competitions and later, at 15, toured as the youngest member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Soon, he turned his attention to pop-rock and jazz. “In the 80s, to the horror of my classical violin teacher, I began attaching a cheap contact pick-up with putty to my 180-year-old English made violin, ran through effects, to learn some Jean-Luc Ponty jazz-fusion tunes,” Trevor recalls.
While earning a classical Music Performance degree at the University of Toronto with the goal to becoming a concert violinist, he was given 5-string custom blue electric violin by luthier Zoltan Ari and continued the exploring and improvising.
As a composer, Trevor’s African roots seep into his writing, rhythmic playing, phrasing and choice of melody. “I love how music can transcend all cultural and language barriers and connect with others at a soul level,” he says.
To date, Trevor has released six albums under his own name, the latest under the group moniker, the Trevor Dick Band. For the past decade, he has also aligned himself with Compassion Canada, “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name” and is founder/artistic director of Flyingbow Music Ministry.
Over his 30-year career, bassist Will Jarvis has performed with everyone from Tito Puente to Amy Sky; Del Shannon to David Clayton-Thomas. A versatile player with 25-years experience as a college/university music teacher, he is equally comfortable playing jazz, R&B, funk, jazz-fusion and Brazilian and Cuban music. While country, pop and rock may not figure as prominently in his repertoire today, in his youth they certainly did.
“My father was a singer-guitarist who led his own country band,” says the Toronto-born musician. “My first professional gig was with my father’s band. I learned to play the bass by playing along with recordings. The Beatles’ Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones were early influences.”
At the suggestion of a guitarist friend, they took a part-time music course at Humber College. “I liked it so much that I decided to enroll full time,” Will says. After graduating, he went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in composition from York University. “Most of my compositions are written at the piano,” he says. “I may start by playing a melody or chord progression and the music develops from there, sometimes all in one sitting but usually over weeks or even months.”
Will is also on the music faculty at both Humber College and Mohawk College and held previous teaching positions at York University and McMaster University.
In the past three decades, Will’s C.V. has increasingly been stacked with notable names after playing live with the likes of Puente, Clayton-Thomas, Sky, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Paquito D’Rivera, Hilton Ruiz, Hilario Duran, (drum icon) Steve Gadd, Manteca, Bruce Cassidy’s Hotfoot Orchestra, Jackie Richardson, Carlos Del Junco and Louise Pitre. His skills have also been called upon by such musical theatre productions as Peter Pan, Blood Brothers, 9 To 5: The Musical and Jersey Boys.
Guitarist Tony Lind has toured across Canada, U.S. and the UK, and parts of Europe and South America, and played on more than 100 albums. He has performed alongside top symphony orchestras in North America, participated in recordings that have won Juno Awards and Canadian Gospel Music Association Awards and heard his guitar work and compositions on film and television.
Tony began playing guitar in his early teens, spending countless hours sequestered in his bedroom, learning and creating music. “We often had music playing at home when I was young and the radio would usually be on in the car,” he says. “I just became interested in pop and rock music and as I got a older the sound and energy of the electric guitar fascinated me.” He cites Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Al DiMeola, Steve Morse and Eric Johnson as early influences.
Soon Tony was performing in coffee houses, schools, theatres, and churches and spent considerable time at home creating original ideas, he says. “So as I was finishing high school, and trying to figure out what I’d like to do with my life, an opportunity to move to the ‘big city’ to join a band came up. From there, musical opportunities kept growing until the point came to dive in full-time.”
In Toronto since the 90s, he has recorded with artists of diverse genres — pop, rock, alternative, country, rap, blues, and classical. His credits include award-winning works by Ali Mathews, Chris Bray, Jodi Cross, Stephanie Israelson, and Deborah Klassen. In addition to the song placements, he’s written jingles, TV themes and music for corporate videos. “They might start with a chord progression or riff, maybe a melody or drum groove or beat/loop and it builds from there,” Tony says. “I took guitar lessons when I was young, but the learning process has come from doing.”
Steve Heathcote is an award-winning drummer whose talents have been called upon by Elton John, Shirley Bassey, Rich Little and Bob Newhart. He has also toured with Anne Murray, Colm Wilkinson, David Clayton-Thomas, Holly Cole, and many more. In 2009, he was voted Drummer of the Year at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.
A professional musician for over 30 years, Steve first caught the music bug from his father, whose collection of big band music included the likes of Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, and Count Basie, as well as more contemporary horn-driven acts Chicago, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, Lighthouse, and Tower of Power.
“Playing along with records whenever I was alone at home was one of my favourite things to do,” Steve says. “My dad acquired an old drum kit from a family friend when I was about 12 and all I wanted to do was get better at playing the drums. There’s a saying I once heard, ‘You don’t choose music; music chooses you.’”
Steve’s initial formal training was in the jazz program at Toronto’s Humber College. His versatility and reading skills made him a first call for many TV, radio, and film projects; his theatre credits include Jersey Boys, Billy Elliot, The Lion King, We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia, The Producers, Hairspray, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Most recently, Steve has performed with Rik Emmett, Colin James, Measha Brueggergosman and Steven Page, as well as various North American symphonies as a member of the Jeans’n Classics Group. He also covers Tower of Power material in Oakland Stroke.
In the Trevor Dick Band, he stretches his wings even further into a fusion of world/jazz/folk. “No matter what the gig is, my sole purpose is to perform at my best and enjoy the moment,” he says.