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.

Jazz Vocalist Matt Dusk Pays Homage to The Ghosts of Christmas Past With New Holiday Album

Jazz Vocalist Matt Dusk Pays Homage to The Ghosts of Christmas Past With New Holiday Album

This Christmas, even the biggest Scrooge will have something to smile about as multi-platinum selling recording artist Matt Dusk spreads a little retro cheer with his latest album: Old School Yule!

A Christmas album that embraces the festive swagger of the 1960’s, Old School Yule! is an up-tempo, cocktail party album that will have you feeling a little “Ring-a-Ding-Ding” while you croon along to “Fa-La-La-La-La”.

“It’s supposed to feel like a classic variety show,” says Dusk while on tour in America. “I wanted to record an album that you would have sitting on the turntable right next to your Bing Crosby Christmas records.”

If retro is what you’re looking for, Dusk’s new album has everything you need. The sixteen tracks contain many of the most popular holiday classics, from White Christmas to Jingle Bells. Along for the (sleigh) ride are some new songs and a few twists on some old favourites. The album also features an original holiday hit, Snowed In With You, penned by Dusk himself.

“Christmas songs are really the only standards we have left,” says the jazz crooner. “I’m so happy to be able to take this music I grew up with and share it with everyone from lifelong fans of Christmas music to future generations just now discovering them.”

Dusk is no stranger to those future generations. The Juno-nominated singer celebrated the birth of his first child, Kaia-Mae, in 2016. It was becoming a new father that really put the idea of a Christmas record into his head.

“It really is a lifelong dream come true,” he says, referring to his baby daughter. “My fondest memories from my childhood are those Christmases by the fireplace, listening to Nat King Cole with my parents. It’s going to be amazing to share that with my own daughter… and with my own album!”

Dusk isn’t alone in the celebration. Old School Yule! contains new duets with several celebrated singers. Barbara Lica joins him on a lively version of Let it Snow!, Sophia Perlman reminds the kids that Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Emma-Lee sticks around for Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

Old School Yule! doesn’t hold back the music…or the musicians. The album contains over a hundred musicians, including a full orchestra, big band, and Dusk’s own childhood choir – St. Michael’s Choir School. It’s one of the biggest albums of Dusk’s career, but he’s taking it all in stride.

“If you loved all those Christmas specials on TV from the sixties and seventies, I think you’re really going to love Old School Yule!  It’s got almost everything you could want from a holiday record.”

When asked what it might be missing, Dusk offers one of his trademark smiles and a coy little wink.

“Yeah,” he grins. “Martini shaker not included.”

01  Happy Holiday
02 Sleigh Ride
03 The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
04 The Christmas Song
05 Santa Claus Is Coming to Town with Sophia Perlman
06 Jingle Bells
07 White Christmas
08 I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
09 Baby It’s Cold Outside with Emma-Lee
10 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
11 Donde Esta Santa Claus
12 Marshmallow World
13 Let It Snow! with Barbra Lica
14 Snowed In With You
15 Winter Wonderland
16 Do You Hear What I Hear with St Michael’s Choir School

Matt Dusk & Margaret: Just The Two Of Us – Now Platinum

Matt & Margaret are proud to announce their album “JUST THE TWO OF US” is now certified Platinum in Poland.  This marks Dusk’s second platinum album to go along with his two gold albums

Matt Dusk Headlines the 9th Brantford International Jazz Festival

See Matt Dusk perform on September 17 2016 @ 8:30pm

Come and be part of the 9th annual Brantford International Jazz Festival being held on September 16, 17 & 18, 2016 at Harmony Square in Brantford, Ontario. This three-day event will be sure to please music and jazz lovers everywhere. With four stages providing a continuous lineup of free entertainment (thanks to our corporate and government partners), we are able to provide world class entertainment of diverse cultural backgrounds – Traditional Jazz to Big Band Swing to Spanish and Afro-Cuban grooves on our main stage, local area talent bringing their particular mode of jazz – Bebop to Fusion to Experimental on our Queen St. Stage and the talents of the next generation of jazz artists and new this year will be our Colborne Stage a tribute to Dixieland Jazz and New Orleans.

Matt Dusk & Margaret: Just The Two Of Us – Certified Gold

Matt & Margaret are proud to announce their album “JUST THE TWO OF US” is now certifited Gold in Poland.  This marks Dusk’s third gold album to go along with his one platinum album.  “I’m so humbled to have recieved this prestigious award” Dusk says, “Thank you so much for supporting Margaret and my musical journey through the wonderful world of colaboration!  Not only did we have a blast making it, but we also have become good friends.  I just hope Margaret can teach me some more polish words for our live shows,” laughs Dusk.  See them live on their upcoming tour throughout Poland in April 2016.

Matt Dusk & Ethan Hawke for Born To Be Blue

Canadian director Robert Budreau’s new film Born To Be Blue, Ethan Hawke portrays the famed jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. Baker was best known for his jazz albums and performances in the ‘50s, ‘70s and ‘80s; in between it all, he gained notoriety for his drug addictions which resulted in him losing his teeth.

The new trailer for the film hints at some of Baker’s milestone moments, but as the A.V. Club notes, “Born To Be Blue plays loosely with the facts of Baker’s life, inventing incidents here and rearranging timelines there.” The film made its premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Carmen Ejogo plays Baker’s love interest (a fictional character who draws inspiration from many women who were in Baker’s life) and Kevin Hanchard and Kedar Brown make small appearances as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, respectively.




By Jane Stevenson, Postmedia Network

Matt Dusk has never been known to mince words.

So why start now?

The 37-year-old Toronto jazz crooner speaks plainly about what inspired him to record his new bossa nova duets disc, Quiet Nights, with Montreal singer Florence K, released Feb. 12.

“Most of the time when people listened to this [kind of music], or at least when I did, it was ‘Bossa nova, red wine and sex,'” said Dusk, who’s already planning to record a Christmas album next.

“I mean that was always what it was. But I find singing this music with a female makes it just a little bit more intimate and romantic. And Florence is very good because she speaks Portuguese as well so it’s reminiscent of that period because the bossa nova did come from Brazil.”

We caught up with Dusk, in his usual smart suit, dress shirt and tie (courtesy of Italian brand Pal Zileri) in T.O. recently to discuss Quiet

Nights, impending fatherhood and being known as “the other guy.”

What inspired Quiet Nights?

It was the [1967 album Francis Albert Sinatra Antonio Carlos Jobim]. I’ve always loved to do those songs but the opportunity arose. My manager and I were talking about doing something different.

Do you feel jazz is on the upswing again because of the success of something like Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s duets collaboration?

The one thing about jazz music or say popular crooning or the American songbook is that it’s like the opera. It’s timeless. It’ll be around forever. The reach isn’t necessarily very broad. But there is a large community that supports it. So you’re never going to be on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine doing jazz. Maybe you might if that year it was the flavour of the month.

Do you always feel like you’re being compared to fellow Canadian crooner Michael Bublé?

[I’m] ‘the other guy.’ That’s how I sort of describe it. The funny thing is as I get older, [I’m] less and less compared to Bublé and more and more compared to Sinatra. It’s a wonderful compliment either way.

Do you and Bublé know each other?

We do. I haven’t talked to him in about three years. But we’ve hung out for weekends a couple of times. It’s kind of like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. I think I’m more Dean. I think he’s more Frank.

When will you tour Quiet Nights?

I’m always on the road. I think we’re doing something [in Canada] in the fall because from now until June I’m in Europe and the states.

How many dates are you away on average each year?

150 to 200. It’s very interesting. In my life right now there are so many things going on at once. My father passed away two years ago and it kind of changed the dynamic of my life. And priorities shift. So I just naturally became the patriarch of my family. I’ve got a younger brother and my mom. My brother [John Michael, a Famous PEOPLE Players cast member] needs a little care so I’ve got to take care of him and my mom, I want her to be free. She spent her whole life taking care of other people. We’re now all moving in together. So we’re building a house [in Etobicoke.]

That will be some juggling act between your professional and personal life given I hear you’re expecting?

We do have a kid on the way, finally. So it’s due June 24.

Do you know the sex of the baby?

We don’t know. The funny story is that I wanted to know. Julita, that’s [my wife’s] name, she didn’t want to know. And I was like, ‘Alright. Whatever. We’ll find out.’ So then I was at a dinner with some friends and they’re like, ‘So, is it a boy or a girl?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know.’ My friend goes, ‘Well, you have to know. Trust me I’m a parent. You got to get the room painted. Just don’t be a d-k – find out.’ And I said, ‘Okay, you know what? I don’t want to know.’ Listen, what’s another four months?

Do you have any guesses?

We both think it’s a boy but I’d be just as happy to have a girl. I don’t care.

And if he or she chose to follow in your footsteps?

Well, there’s a funny picture of the ultrasound and it’s like this [puts hand up to his mouth like holding something]. And I said, ‘Well, either they have a bottle of whiskey or a microphone!’

Will you ever get married?

It’s funny, my wife – well I call her my wife – we’ve been together for ten years, but all of her cousins on her family’s side, her brothers and sisters, nobody’s married and everyone has kids. So I can’t get married!

What does she do?

She used to be like [a spa] manager so she went on her own finally. It’s opening in March and it’s called Cedar House Spa in Etobicoke.