Please allow me to introduce a wonderfully unique project in Baritone Madness. It started as a way for Keith O'Rourke to get together with a couple other of his favourite baritone saxophonists and celebrate the instrument by putting it front and centre in the band instead of in it’s usual supporting roll. Being a huge Sonny Rollins fan, Keith decided to name the band in honour of one of his favourite recordings and Baritone Madness was born. The first gig was a sold out hit and had the audience in attendance all asking about the next date. The second gig went just like the first and so we kept going. Offstage the band is led by Keith O'Rourke, but onstage Keith, Pat Belliveau and Gareth Bane all take a turn in leading the ensemble making it a truly co-operative project with each also contributing compositions to the band.
Keith O’Rourke is a fixture in the Calgary music scene. Since moving home to Calgary in 2008, Keith has had the pleasure of performing with nearly every notable jazz artist in the city. In 2017, Keith released his first CD “Sketches From The Road” which garnered him a YYC Music Award nomination and favourable reviews. The Whole Note magazine wrote “O’Rourke shines in his ability to write the most interestingly complex and wonderfully arresting music.”
Pat Belliveau started his formal musical training at the age of four and began playing the saxophone at age 12. He has an extensive performing background which has involved numerous performances at international jazz festivals. As well, Pat has done numerous concert performances with many artists and groups including; Mel Torme, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Harry Connick Jr., The New York Voices, Bobby Shew, Clark Terry, Pat LaBarbera, Phil Woods and numerous others.
Since returning to Calgary from New York City in 2011, Gareth Bane has continued to push the boundaries of the baritone saxophone. Modern improvisational jazz concepts and the roots of blues, combined with a “take no prisoners” approach to the horn, thus creating a unique and powerful voice on that instrument. His influences include Nick Brignola, Gary Smulyan, Ronnie Cuber and Pepper Adams and he holds a Masters in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University.
Baritone Madness entered OCL Studios on September 28, 2018 and over three days recorded their first album as a group. On the album are original compositions by each of the saxophonist as well as a few select standards. This exciting project will be released in the Spring of 2019 and distributed internationally by Fontana North and MVD.