All posts in November 2016

Old School Yule: Review

Matt Dusk instantly became Canadian jazz music royalty when his debut album, Two Shots earned him a certified gold album upon its release in 2004. For the past decade, Dusk has been touring the globe, recording quality studio albums, and entertaining loyal fans non-stop. In November 2004, Dusk released the holiday inspired EP, Peace on Earth. Dusk has since carried on his Christmas spirit with countless tours and performances centred around the holiday season. Dusk is finally showing off his charming and charismatic vocals once again with his full-length holiday album, Old School Yule! Now available at most major music retailers, Old School Yule! is a complete homage to some of the best Christmas’ songs known to music.

Released in both standard and deluxe edition, Old School Yule! is a track-by-track walk down a holiday musical and magical memory lane. From the first few chimes of “Happy Holiday” to the final note of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” the album is pure holiday joy, and easily fits into any collection of Christmas tunes. Keeping a great balance between both the traditional classic holiday sounds, and fresh and unique arrangements of the Christmas songs we have come to know and love, Dusk does not disappoint with Old School Yule!

Enlisting the help of fellow Canadian artists, Dusk invited some of the industry’s best vocalists to accompany him on some beloved duets. Toronto’s own Sophia Perlman (Santa Claus Is Coming To Town), Emma-Lee (Baby Its Cold Outside), and Barbra Lica (Let It Snow!) join Dusk and lend their vocal skills to Old School Yule! creating harmonies and luscious duets. As alumni of the St. Michael’s Choir School, Dusk is also joined by their current roster of choir members to create an astounding version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” as well as acknowledgement of his eleven years spent as a member of the choir.

From Bing Crosby to Nat King Cole, Dusk dives into the world of Christmas music and simply pulls out the best of the best. From the cozy sounds of some of Irving Berlin’s biggest hits (Happy Holiday, White Christmas, and I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm) to the absolutely iconic Bob Wells and Mel Tormé tune “The Christmas Song,” Dusk has gift wrapped something special and musical for everyone on this album.

With retro inspirations and Dusk’s smooth and powerful vocals, Old School Yule! is one swinging performance after another. Backed by over a hundred talented artists and musicians, Dusk ensured that Old School Yule! maintained the highest calibre of production quality that his fans have come to enjoy and expect from his musical work. Old School Yule! consistently maintains the integrity of each song, and allows Dusk to show off his personality with each high quality track. Dusk knows exactly what he is doing as he navigates you through years of Christmas music, and effortlessly revives the musical spirt of Christmas with each note on Old School Yule! Whether you need some songs while trimming the tree, are looking for some great party tunes, or simply want to enjoy the sounds of the holiday season, Old School Yule! has a little musical something for everyone.

Kicking off a busy season with tour dates spread out across Canada, Dusk has stops scheduled in most major cities between Saskatchewan and Quebec. Have some fun, spread some holiday cheer, and join Dusk while he hits the road to bring Old School Yule! directly to you.

it’s also about cocktails, carols, and crooning.

The holiday season is a time of cold weather, gifts, and candy canes, but for the adult crowd, it’s also about cocktails, carols, and crooning.

Matt Dusk, the Juno nominated jazz vocalist, will be ringing in the season with a concert at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Nov. 29. The show is part of Dusk’s 20-date cross-Canada tour celebrating his most recent release, Old School Yule.

Dusk called the album, which is a mix of classic and original Christmas songs, the type of album you put on just as you’re about to open the door and welcome guests into your home for a classic holiday party.

“It’s a very up tempo record, so I want the audience to have that same expectation, that they are coming in to be entertained on a very high level,” Dusk said in an interview with the Thunder Bay Source. “There will be funny stories, great up tempo music, and it will put them back in that mood of the first holiday happy hour.”

Old School Yule features holiday classics like The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Jingle Bells, and White Christmas. There are also a few twists on the classics and original music, including Dusk’s own, Snowed in With You.

Joining Dusk on several tracks for Old School Yule are celebrated vocalists Sophia Perlman, Emma Lee, and Barbara Lica. And like much of Dusk’s other work, he is accompanied by a full orchestra and big band.

According to Dusk, who has forged a successful career in Canada and around the world with his nostalgia filled jazz infused vocals, holiday songs fit perfectly with his style of music.

“The genre of music I perform is kind of engraved into Christmas,” he said. “When you think about Christmas music, it’s kind of the only standards we have left in modern popular music and that just happens to be in the genre of jazz.”

Dusk has released seven studio albums, several of which have gone gold in Canada and platinum in Poland. He also has radio hits around the world, from France to Japan.

Dusk believes his popularity in places like Europe and Asia is due in part to the uniqueness of his music, which might not be new to North American listeners, but offers something fresh to international audiences.

“The music I sing is American music, it’s the American song book, from the core of that song book,” he said. “I think in Europe and especially in Asia, it’s something unique and something they don’t hear all the time.”

That songbook, which includes so many holiday favourites, is what Dusk wants to bring back to life.

“I just recently had a daughter and I wanted to pass along those songs to her, so it just felt like the prefect timing,” Dusk said of Old School Yule.

But for Dusk, jazz is almost like its own language, using its various dialects and relying on interpretation of each individual artist. It’s about capturing the retro, nostalgic feel of the old-school crooners who performed in front of big band stages, Dusk said, before rock and roll came along and pushed the genre aside.

“Once the mid 1960’s hit with the British invasion of the Beatles and artists like Tom Jones, that music felt almost completely off the map and over time we have only remembered the greats, the Frank Sinatras, the Tony Bennetts, so I wanted to bring back the genre of those lost 1960’s where I believe that the arranging style and the musical choice of songs that came out were really cool,” Dusk said.

“I really wanted to pay homage to that period because I think it’s kind of lost and I think it’s some of the best music.”

While Dusk will only be accompanied by a five-piece band on stage at the Community Auditorium, he still promises that big band feel and a great evening that will hopefully provide the soundtrack to your holiday season.

“For me, my family would always go to my grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve,” Dusk recalled. “I remember as a kid always rushing to the stereo and looking for that vinyl record, Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. I would pull out the record and put it on and it would become the soundtrack for the evening.”

Dusk will be performing at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Matt Dusk rolling into Park

Jazz singer Matt Dusk’s new Christmas album will have you celebrating in style while sipping dry martinis in no time.


Dusk’s album, Old School Yule! captures a nostalgic, retro holiday season that encapsulates the best of the swinging ’60s.

Dusk explained the album as the perfect music to listen to while preparing to host an event.

“There is always that period just before you are about to sit down for dinner and you are cleaning up the house, chopping the food up, putting everything in the oven and mixing drinks, and the album reflects that period,” Dusk said.

He added that the album includes a variety of up-tempo, fast and fun songs to get listeners into the holiday spirit that mimic the feeling of having “that first martini where you get that great buzz and the whole world is amazing.”

Dusk said he was inspired to create his first Christmas album because the festive season is rooted in jazz.

“All those great songs that you think about — sure, there are new ones — but a lot of them come from jazz,” he said.

“I just felt that it was time to do something that I have wanted to do forever.”

This year, Dusk also celebrated the birth of his first child.

“And that is kind of the reason too,” he said. “Christmas is about kids.”

While Dusk is certainly accustomed to life on the road — touring through North America, Europe and Asia over the span of his 20-year career — he said there is no place like home in Toronto. Especially since becoming a father.

“The job that I have also requires us to be away from our families quite a bit,” Dusk said.

Dusk added that touring is a great experience when one is young and single — but it doesn’t always stay that way.

“As you start to build responsibilities of being a father or a parent, it is a little disappointing when you can’t be there for a lot of the first things. And it has made me change the way I look at my future.”

Dusk said he is not necessarily sure he wants to tour as much as he has been.

“Because at the end of the day, life is very precious,” he noted.

Yet, for the time being Sherwood Park can expect to see Dusk on Nov. 26 as he embarks on the Canadian leg of his Old School Yule! tour.

And, certainly, a career in music has provided Dusk a plethora of memorable experiences, such as sitting down to talk music with the legendary Tony Bennett, having lunch with the queen of England, and recording a duet with president-elect Donald Trump during an Apprentice Crooners edition.

“The path of music is not the one to financial riches, but the life riches are incredible,” Dusk said.

“There are certain experiences that you cannot get from any other way but from music. It just brings people together.”

After completing his Christmas tour, Dusk will begin recording again in January and preparing for next year’s holiday circuit.

“My appetite for music and trying different things as a musician is higher than ever because we are exposed to more things,” Dusk said.

“It’s tough. It’s a lot of work, but I feel very fortunate.”

Dusk will be performing at Festival Place on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Matt Dusk and Margaret win prestigious Róże Gali award!

Matt and Margaret win the music category in the prestigious Róże Gali!  Congratulations to the both of them.  The award was on the heels of the album Just The Two Of Us going platinum.