Trading Places: Un Échange d'Improvisateurs




Trading Places: Un Échange is a vibrant residency program begun in 2016 that takes place in Montréal and Vancouver two of Canada’s foremost centers of improvised music. The Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Music on Main, the NOW Society, Suoni Per Il Popolo and the Western Front curate in collaboration, providing  support for artistic practice and opportunities for growth through cultural exchange.


Trading Places: Un Échange est un programme de résidence dynamique qui a débuté en 2016 et qui se déroule à Montréal et à Vancouver, deux des principaux centres de musique improvisée au Canada. La Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Music on Main, le NOW Society, Suoni Per Il Popolo et le Western Front organisent en collaboration un soutien à la pratique artistique et aux opportunités de croissance par le biais d'échanges culturels.


Chaque année, les artistes résidents sont choisis pour représenter leurs communautés dans des résidences de dix jours. Les artistes créent de nouvelles œuvres, assistent à des rassemblements musicaux, dirigent des ensembles, présentent des concerts, dirigent des ateliers et réalisent des enregistrements, formant de nouveaux liens avec des artistes locaux. Les échanges culturels comprennent des marathons continus d'une vingtaine de musiciens dans chaque ville, le Mardi Spaghetti Marathon à Montréal et la création de deux nouvelles œuvres, commandée par le NOW Society, au Marathon de Vancouver, ecritent par Justin Devries et Elizabeth Millar. L'événement culminant de chaque résidence est un concert de musique nouvelle, créé et interprété par les musiciens résidents et les invités.

Each year the resident artists are chosen to represent their communities in ten-day residencies. The artists premiere new works, attend musical gatherings, direct ensembles, present concerts, lead workshops and make recordings, forming new connections with local artists. Cultural exchange include expansive continuous marathon events involving as many as twenty musicians in each city, the Mardi Spaghetti Marathon in Montréal and the premiere of two new works, commissioned by the NOW Society, in the Vancouver Marathon by Justin Devries and Elizabeth Millar. The culminatinng event of each residency is a concert of new music, created and performed by the resident musicians and invited guests.



Vancouver Resident Artists: Elizabeth Millar (clarinette) Sam Shalabi (guitare, oud)



Nov                 1      21h                      China Cloud, Freedom Muzik

3      21h                      Conduit Gallery, Collab

5      21h                      Golden Saucer, Sawdust Collector

6      22h                      What Lab, Fish Sung Sounds 

7      17h                      8EAST, Marathon

8      21h                      Toast Collective, Quiet City

9      20h                      Western Front, Concert          


Le Juin, 2019 Montréal: Ron Samworth (guitare) Marina Hasselberg (violoncelle)


Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival

Juin                   9     24h                     El Centro, Midnight Music

11     15h                     Casa del Popolo, Marathon Mardi Spaghetti

13     13h                     Casa del Popolo, Atelier

14     13h                     La Plante, avec L’Ensemble Habitant

15     20h                     Casa del Popolo, Spectacle



Coastal Jazz and Blues Society    Music on Main   

NOW Society     Suoni Per Il Popolo     Western Front





November 9 - 17, 2018

Trading Places: Un Échange d'Improvisateurs

Resident Artists: Vicky Mettler (guitar) Ellwood Epps (trumpet)

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Events  - Curated by Roisin Adams:  

Nov. 9      21:00       Merge, Improv
                1~ Kevin Romain (drums) Lyle Hopkins (bass) Róisín Adams (piano)
                       2 ~ Vicky Mettler (guitar) Ellwood Epps (trumpet) Lisa Cay Miller (piano) Meredith Bates (violin)
Nov. 10    20:00       Toast Collective, Sonic Psych
                1o ~ Jordan Barnes-Crouse (synth)
                       2uo ~ Vicky Mettler (guitar) Torsten Muller (bass)
                       3io ~ Ellwood Epps (trumpet) Joshua Zubot (violin) Colin Edward Cowan (bass)
Nov. 12    19:00       Western Front, Marathon
                 featuring a new work by Roisin Adams, resident artists and Vancouver improvisers
Nov. 14    21:00       Gold Saucer
                 Viviane Houle (voice) Vicky Mettler (guitar) Ellwood Epps (trumpet)
Nov. 16    20:00       Feature Concert Roundhouse Community Centre
                1~ Ellwood Epps (trumpet) Paul Plimley (piano) Dylan van der Schyff (drums)
                       2~ Vicky Mettler (guitar) Ross Birdwise (voice/electronics)
                            Torsten Muller (bass) Kıvanç Tatar (trumpet/electronics)
Nov. 17    20:00       NOW Society Ensemble at the Roundhouse
                 1~Ellwood Epps (trumpet) Vicky Mettler (guitar) Joshua Zubot (violin)
                         James Meger (bass) Lisa Cay Miller (piano) Skye Brooks (drums)
                       2~Lina Allemano (trumpet) and Kris Davis (piano) join the NOW Society Ensemble


Feature Concert

The NOW Society, in partnership with The Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Music on Main, Western Front and Suoni Per Il Popolo, is proud to present an improvised concert curated by resisdent artists Ellwood Epps (trumpet) and Vicky Mettler (guitar). Trading Places: Un Échange d’Improvisateurs provides support for artistic practice and opportunities for growth through cultural exchange between Vancouver and Montréal.



Thursday Nov 16, 8pm
Roundhouse Community Center, Performance Centre
General $20 | Students/Musicians $10 | 40th Anniversary Pass $30
Part of the NOW Society 40th Anniversary Installation and Performances.    

Set One:
Ellwood Epps - trumpet
Paul Plimley - piano
Dylan van der Schyff - drums

'How lovely it is to be united with friends, new and old! I have asked Paul and Dylan to join me in this acoustic adventure of the body, mind and heart because I hear in them an inextinguishable spirit with great uplifting properties. It seems that we all could use some of this, to celebrate the potency of the present moment.' Ellwood Epps

Set Two:
Vicky Mettler - electric guitar
Torsten Müller - bass
Ross Birdwise - voice/electronics
Kivanç Tatar - trumpet/electronics

'Acoustic and electronic meets for a set of noisey improv.' Vicky Mettler

a co-production with Coastal Jazz and Blues Society and Western Front

Trading Places: Un’échange d’Improvisateurs
2017 Program

Montréal Events - Curated by Craig Pedersen:

Resident Artists: Cole Schmidt (guitare) Peggy Lee (violoncelle)

Juin:                Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival

2     20:30        La Sala Rossa, Hommage à Pauline Oliveros
4     14:00        Casa del Popolo, Atelier
5     20:00        La Sala Rossa, a/Mary Margaret O'Hara
6     24:00        La Sala Rossa, Jam
7     20:00        La Vitrola, Marathon
11   20:00        La Sala Rossa, Concert



2017 Vancouver Resident Artists

Vicky Mettler is a guitarist based in Montreal. Her current projects include a song duo Brick with Raphaël Foisy-Couture and a noise/improv quartet Dusk Scored Dark, with Mark Molnar, Bennet Beduokian and Craig Pedersen, as well as her solo project for voice, guitar and electronics. Upcoming releases include a tape with improv quartet featuring Anna Webber (US), Evan Tighe and Erik Hove as well as a debut solo guitar album. 

Born in Toronto in 1976, trumpeter Ellwood Epps arrived in Montreal in 2005. Since then he has performed with Josh Zubot, Nicolas Caloia, John Heward, Jean Derome, Marshall Allen, Henry Grimes, William Parker, Mat Maneri, Axel Dorner and John Butcher. In 2008 Epps cofounded the performance space l'Envers as well as the weekly cafe series Mardi Spaghetti; the following years saw an explosion of creative musical activity in Montreal. Epps is the director of the Festival of New Trumpet Music Canada and teaches a popular series of workshops through the Studio d'Improvisatin de Montreal.


Montréal: Cole Schmidt (guitare) Peggy Lee (violoncelle)


Juin:                Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival

2     20:30        La Sala Rossa, Hommage à Pauline Oliveros

4     14:00        Casa del Popolo, Atelier

5     20:00        La Sala Rossa, a/Mary Margaret O'Hara

6     24:00        La Sala Rossa, Jam

7     20:00        La Vitrola, Marathon

11   20:00        La Sala Rossa, Concert


Coastal Jazz and Blues Society    Music on Main   

NOW Society     Suoni Per Il Popolo     Western Front


The Trading Places: Un Échange d'Improvisateurs Montréal-Vancouver partners include an Anonymous Donor, the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Music on Main, the NOW Society, Western Front and Suoni Per Il Popolo.


2017 Montréal Resident Artists:

Cellist, improviser, composer Peggy Lee makes her home in Vancouver, B.C. where she is part of a rich creative music community. She records and performs with longtime musical associates including Tony Wilson, Ron Samworth, Dylan van der Schyff, Torsten Muller, Jesse Zubot, Veda Hille, Lisa Cay Miller, John Korsrud, Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb. Peggy also leads or co-leads a number of musical projects: The Peggy Lee Band, Film In Muisc, The Echo Painting, Handmade Blade (with JP Carter and Aram Bajakian), Waxwing (with Tony Wilson and Jon Bentley) and Beautiful Tool (with Mary Margaret O'Hara). She has also collaborated extensively in theatre and dance. Peggy was the 2013 recipient of the Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award for music. 

Cole Schmidt is an active participant in Vancouver's creative music scene. In addition to curating the weekly music series, Sawdust Collector, that features original and improvising groups, he regulary performs with such local mentors as Peggy Lee, Ron Samworth and Tony Wilson. As a composer, Cole spends the majority of his time writing and recording with his Juno award winning ensemble, Pugs and Crows, as well as newly formed group, Sick Boss. He can also be heard playing guitar along side other local artists such as Debra-Jean Creelman, Copilots and Martin Patenaude. In 2013, he received the Mayor's Arts award for Emerging Artist in Music. In 2010 he won the Galaxy Rising Star award for his performance with Pugs and Crows and in 2011 he was a participant at the Banff Centre Jazz and Improvising workshops under the direction of Dave Douglas. Cole has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, including a 5-week tour with Drip Audio's DarkBlueWorld in Eastern Europe and Russion, where he participated in the Wilnius Jazz Festival. 


2016 Vancouver Artists:

Since graduating from the UBC School of Music in 2011, Elisa Thorn has become a sought after addition to the Canadian creative music scene, known for her use of extended techniques, electronic effects, and unconventional uses of harp. In 2014 she was awarded an Early Career Development Grant for a yearlong montorship with Dr. Lisa Cay Miller from the BC Arts Council to study composition. She is involved with many projects including Gentle Party, who is releasing an album under the Phonometrograph label in 2017. Her music has been featured in the Vancouver Jazz Festival, Suoni Il Per Popolo Festival (Montreal), Detroit Free Arts Festival, Dances for a Small Stage, Coetani Festival for Experimental Flamenco (Greece), BC Buds Festival, and the Sonic Boom Festival. She attended the 2015 International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre, and a residency at Spread Art in Detroit in spring 2016. In 2015 she and artistic partner Dayna Szyndrowski were awarded a 3-year long Field House Artist residency called Written on the Body with the Vancouver Park Board. She is currently working with sound and media artist Scott Morgan, studying music and technology with the assistance of the BC Arts Council.

One of Canada's most orignal and treasured guitarists and composers,  Tony Wilson has toured Canada, Europe and the United States. He has shared the stage with international artists Vinny Golia, John Tchicai, Myra Melford, William Parker, Daniel Carter, Glenn Spearman, Wilbert de Joode, Steve Arquelles, Gerry Hemmingway, Han Bennink, Toby Dolius, Benoît Delbecq, Eric Boeren, Paul Lovens, Marc Saunders and Canadian artists François Houle, Jean Martin, Hugh Fraser, Brad Turner, Dylan van der Schyff, Peggy Lee, Chistine Duncan, Marilyn Lerner, Paul Cram and many others. he has released 6 CDs as a leader and his playing has been documented on more that 30 recording projects as a sideman. His compositions have been commissioned by the new music ensembles Standing Wave, Joe Trio, and the Little Chamber Music Society and The New Orchestra Workshop and the Hard Rubber Orchestra, as well as dance companies Kokora Dance and Joe Inc. His compositions have been performed by such artists as Myra Melford, Marilyn Crispell, François Houle, Barre Philips, Mary Oliver, Ig Hennemann, Zubot and Dawson and many others.


Montréal 2016 Events

with Elisa Thorn (harp) and Tony Wilson (guitar)


2016 Montréal Artists:

The centerpiece of Elizabeth Lima's improvisational practice (voice and clarinet) is the emotional response to sound: the human experience and interconnection shared amongst musicians and with the audience. she creates performances in which traditional and extended techniques are combined with theatrical elements. she performes regularly in Montreal, Quebec City, and Rimouski both as a soloist and within multiple ensembles: Framboos (Quebec-Montréal), which she cofounded in 2000, Le GGRIL (Rimouski), Sam Shalabi's Land of Kush, who have released three recordings on Constellation Records and Joker Choir (Montreal) under the directin of Joane Hétu. She has performed with artists such as Joe Morris, Ingred Laubrock, and Caroline Kraabel, amongst others. Elizabeth has also participated in premiering works by Xavier Charles, Scott Thomson, Isaiah Ceccarelli and Lisa Cay Miller. She appears actively in various series in Montreal (Mardi Spaghetti, MercrediMusics) festivals (Suoni Per Il Popolo, FIMAV, Rencontres de musiques sponanées, Phénoména, Festival OFF Québec) and with production companies such as Codes d'accès and Productions SuperMusicque. 

Montreal-born saxophonist Yves Charuest has been active on the jazz and new music scene since the early 1980s, playing with many Canadian musicians such as Jean Beaudet, Pierre Cartier, Jean Derome, Lisle Ellis, Daniel Lessard, Michel Ratté, I Like Jazz (1984-1986), Duo Charuest-Ratté (1984-1986), Evidence (1984-1986), Trio Michel Ratté (1988-1993), Wreck's Progress (1992-1996). From 1985 to 1990, Charuest was a member of the Peter Kowald Trio (with German bassist Peter Kowald and South African drummer Louis Moholo) with whom he toured extensively in Canada, USA and Europe. For the past few years, Charuest has been participating in the work of different ensembles such as the Murray Street Band and Nicolas Caloia's Ratchet Orchestra, Charuest-Caloia, Still (a trio with Peter Velsamis) and Stir (a quartet with Lori Freedman and Josh Zubot), as well as some projects with foreign musicians such as William Parker, Marshall Allen, Nate Woolet and Mike Vlatkovich. Charuest works regulary with improvisers and composers such as Scott Thomson, Ellwood Epps, Philippe Lauzier, Sam Shalabia and John Howard. In 2015, Charuest received the François-Marcaurelle Award from the Off Festival de jazz de Montréal. 


Vancouver 2016 Events

with Yves Charuest (saxophone) and Elizabeth Lima (clarinet and voice)

Montréal and Vancouver

various venues