Remarkable musicians are coming to the Annex on Oct. 20! Duo Florian Hoefner and Dani Oore will improvise, with an opening set by legendary pianist (and piano-tuning hero!) Bill Stevenson.

We will host an improvising workshop the following day from 10:30 - noon, also at the Annex. (PLEASE NOTE: This may be cancelled due to lack of registrations. If you are interested let us know as soon as possible.)

Embark on an enchanting voyage with the Canadian duo Flying Pooka— JUNO-winning pianist Florian Hoefner and JUNO-nominated winds/vocal improviser Dani Oore. Their fearless debut venture, "The Ecstasy of Becoming," available from Alma Records in October 2023, intertwines risk and unbridled creativity.

The origins of this extraordinary collaboration are rooted in chance. Award-winning composer Florian Hoefner's relocation to remote St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador opened a serendipitous chapter. Drawn by the beauty and remoteness, he navigated a jazz scene that demanded reliance on connections from his international journeys. Dani Oore's timely presence shortly before the pandemic began, as an interdisciplinary artist posted at Memorial University, sparked an unforeseen synergy. Their bond intensified, culminating in a pandemic album of fully improvised music that unveils a vulnerable transformative story.

A ‘mascot’ of their musical odyssey is "The Pooka," a Celtic shapeshifter known to guide people on wild rides. "The Ecstasy of Becoming" encapsulates this essence, inviting listeners to join their mesmerizing journey. Dani Oore's seamless transitions between winds and impassioned glossolalic vocals blend as one with Florian Hoefner’s intricate harmonies and expansive soundscapes, crafting a spellbinding narrative.

The album's authenticity stems from its fully improvised nature. The absence of pre-planned material results in directness of expression, sustaining tonality and shifting harmonies, rarely found in completely improvised music performed on melodic/harmonic instruments. Each composition and the overarching narrative emerge organically, an intuitive dialogue bursting with melodies, sophistication, and depth. Their distinctive improvisational style nurtures a way of listening that resonates across divisions, nourishing a fragmented world.

United in their musical journey, Flying Pooka's resonance is palpable. With their debut album on the horizon, Florian and Dani's synergy unfurls on an international stage, fostering connection, transformation, and the magic of unscripted musical dialogues.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Bill Stevenson:

In over fifty years as a musician Bill has recorded for Elektra records while still in his teens, opened for the Doors, backed up John Lee Hooker, put performing and recording bands behind some of Canada’s best loved musicians. He has hosted his own National radio series for CBC. He has been a contributing side man to multi award winning albums and includes his own win with a 2008 ECMA for best Jazz Album. His participation in the Jazz/Blues idiom has earned him a respected place in the national music spectrum.

Tickets are now $10!