First Canadian performances by JUNO and GRAMMY® nominated ensemble
Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Canadian-born Darcy James Argue and his 18-piece big band Secret Society will embark on a four-city tour of prominent Canadian jazz festivals during the month of June, 2011. These are the first Canadian appearances for Secret Society, an ensemble that includes four other Canadian musicians who now make New York their home: Ingrid Jensen, trumpet (Vancouver/Nanaimo), David Smith, trumpet (Toronto), Mike Fahie, trombone (Ottawa) and Gordon Webster, piano (Ottawa). This tour will feature music from Argue’s highly regarded JUNO, and GRAMMY® nominated debut recording, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records, Naxos Records of Canada).

Secret Society will perform in Argue’s hometown of Vancouver, at the historic Vogue Theatre on Sunday, June 26th, 2011 as part of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Performances will follow at the TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival (June 28th) and the TD Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (June 29th), before the tour concludes at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on Thursday, June 30th, 2011.

These upcoming high-profile Canadian jazz festival concerts are the latest in a string of recent career highlights for both band and leader. Argue and his band have been credited with “a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future” (Seth Colter Walls, Newsweek). They have been profiled in The Canadian Press, have performed at such world renowned venues as The Kennedy Center and Merkin Concert Hall, New York; collaborated with critically acclaimed pianist/composer Vijay Iyer among others, and earned a GRAMMY® nomination for Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records).

In 2010, Darcy James Argue was the recipient of both Up & Coming Artist and Large Ensemble of the Year awards at the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards in New York. He topped the Big Band Rising Star, Composer Rising Star and Arranger Rising Star categories in the 2010 DownBeat Critics Poll, while also being recognized in the Jazz Album of the Year and Jazz Artist Rising Star categories. The group was also nominated for a 2010 JUNO Award and performed at such other noteworthy jazz festivals as CareFusion Jazz Festival New York, CareFusion Jazz Festival Newport and the London Jazz Festival.

All four Canadian jazz festival concerts are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, which enables Canadian audiences to discover artists from other regions and provinces, and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through US Artists International (USAI) in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society http://www.secretsocietymusic.org
Tour Canada 2011
June 26: Vancouver International Jazz Festival The Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville Street, Vancouver. 9:00 PM. $30.00 http://www.coastaljazz.ca
June 28: Ottawa International Jazz Festival Confederation Park – OLG Stage, Ottawa. 10:30 PM Free. http://ottawajazzfestival.com
June 29: Montreal International Jazz Festival Théâtre du Gésu, 1200 de Bleury, Montreal. 7:00 PM $28.50 http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/
June 30: Toronto Jazz Festival The Outdoor Stage at Metro Square, Toronto. 5:30 PM Free. http://torontojazz.com

Contact Information:
Publicist (Tour Canada): Glenda Rush (514) 276-6870 glendavivo@sympatico.ca Vivo Musique Internationale.
Publicist (Darcy Argue): Scott Menhinick (781) 373-5825 scott@improvisedcommunications.com Improvise Communications.
Naxos Records of Canada: Raymond Bisha (416) 992-5677 raymond@naxoscanada.com

3510 Pharmacy Avenue, Unit #3 Scarborough, Ontario M1W 2T7
Tel: (416) 491-2600 Fax: (416) 491-2621
E-mail: naxos@naxoscanada.com International: www.naxos.com

Infernal Machines (CD review) Quotes

“One of the leading new big bands in jazz.”
— Martin Johnson, Wall Street Journal

“Argue uses what many think of as an antiquated form — the jazz big band — to create exuberant, emotionally charged, sprawling modern music.”
— Joan Anderman, Boston Globe

“Clearly some of the most ambitious and compelling sounds I’ve ever encountered in the past 40 years.”
— Juan Rodriguez, Montreal Gazette

“Argue draws on the full spectrum of modern rock, jazz and classical music.”
— Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York

“A wickedly intelligent dispatch from the fading border between orchestral jazz and post-rock and classical minimalism… radiates self-assurance, and an almost chilling steadiness of conviction.”
— Nate Chinen, New York Times

* * * * “Infernal Machines is addictive not only for its architecture, but for its fetching way with color.”
— Jim Macnie, DownBeat

“With their haunting compositions and imaginative experiments, Argue’s Secret Society might do for jazz what Radiohead did for rock — and poach some of its audience, too.”
— Michael J. West, JazzTimes

“For a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future, look to Darcy James Argue.”
— Seth Colter Walls, Newsweek

“It’s maximalist music of impressive complexity and immense entertainment value, in your face and then in your head.”
— Richard Gehr, Village Voice

“A nearly perfect creative synthesis between tradition and innovation.”
— John Eyles, BBC.com

“Brimming with fresh ideas; elegant in its combination of disparate influences (from distorted electric guitar to magisterial wind-instrument arrangements to minimalist rhythms); and accomplished in execution.”
— Larry Blumenfeld, Wall Street Journal

“Big band music like you’ve never heard… thoroughly immersed in modern sounds and sensibilities.”
— Andy Whitman, Paste

* * * * * “[A] seven-track marvel of imagination.”
— David R. Adler, Time Out New York

* * * * “Combines the rhythmic insistence of late Gil Evans with the coloristic approach of Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmeyer.”
— J.D. Considine, Globe and Mail

“Infernal Machines stands defiant, updating the big band tradition for the new millennium while presenting exciting possibilities for the future.”
— Troy Collins, All About Jazz

“Infernal Machines, however, lives up to the buzz, featuring writing and performing that catapults Argue’s group into the ranks of jazz’s best contemporary large ensembles… masterfully blends thrilling, innovative rock elements with sounds that remind one that he’s running a big band after all.”
— Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

“[T]his is a seriously great record, one of the finest examples of new jazz I’ve heard in the past decade, one of the finest big band records ever made, one of the finest jazz records I’ve truly ever heard.”
— George Grella, The Big City

“An exciting stylist with an abundance of ideas, Argue deserves his place alongside Schneider, Hollenbeck and other contemporary big band arrangers who are looking beyond traditional notions of what a large jazz orchestra should, and can, sound like.”
— James Hale, Jazz Chronicles

“Like a rock band, the Secret Society delights in big, assertive ideas. Yet this rugged let-it-rip aesthetic is beefed up by a rich harmonic palette […]. This is fresh and non-derivative work, and justifies the intense buzz surrounding this bandleader’s debut release.”
— Ted Gioia, Jazz.com

“A big, broad musical vocabulary came together easily, without jump-cutting or wrenching shifts of style.”
— Ben Ratliff, New York Times