j o e s o r b a r a [ d o t ] c o m . p r o j e c t s . f r a n ç o i s h o u l e / j a m e s m e g e r / j o e s o r b a r a
françois houle . clarinet
françois houle . clarinet
Houle/ Meger/ Sorbara is a placeholder name for a new, Canadian, creative music power trio featuring clarinetist François Houle, bassist James Meger, and percussionist Joe Sorbara. These stalwart sonic adventurers come together to breathe new life into a diverse book of compositions penned by each of the trio’s members as well as free jazz and experimental music luminaries such as Anthony Braxton, John Carter, and Steve Lacy.
Clarinetist François Houle has established himself as one of today’s most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces: classical, jazz, new music, improvised music, and world music. He has twice been listed by Downbeat magazine as a “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” and was hailed as a “Rising Star” in Downbeat’s 2008 Critics’ Poll. His extensive touring has led to solo appearances at major festivals across Canada, the United States and Europe, and he has released more than a dozen recordings, earning multiple Juno Award and West Coast Music Award nominations. François’ clarinet playing transcends the stylistic borders associated with his instrument. Inspired by musical innovators such as Steve Lacy, John Carter, William O. Smith and Evan Parker, he has developed a unique improvisational language, virtuosic and rich with sonic embellishment and technical extensions. François has performed and recorded with Marilyn Crispell, Myra Melford, Ab Baars, Marc Dresser, Georg Gräwe, Joëlle Léandre, Evan Parker, Dave Douglas, Benoît Delbecq, and Michael Moore. By mastering each of the diverse musical genres he approaches, François demystifies music for his audiences, and has become known as one of today’s most engaging and stimulating musicians. François is on faculty at Vancouver Community College School of Music, and was Artistic Director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute for five years.
James Meger is an active bassist and composer currently working and residing in Vancouver. He’s received education in music from Capilano College in Vancouver and also from Mcgill University in Montreal, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Jazz performance. Since moving back to Vancouver he has had the opportunity to collaborate with many local and international players such as Wayne Horvitz, Lori Freedman, Ig Henneman, Lina Allemano, Peggy Lee, Brad Turner, and Lisa Miller, among others, and has made many appearances at The Vancouver Jazz Festival, The Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival, Tone Fest in Toronto, and The Vancouver Improvised Music Meeting. He is also active as a sideman and co-leader in various ongoing projects, including: Peggy Lee's Echo Painting, Sick Boss, The Alicia Hansen Band, The Bruno Hubert Trio, The Now Orchestra, Elisa Thorn’s HUE, Cow Trance, The Sumner Brothers, and many more. Recently James spent several months in the Netherlands studying with renowned improvisor Wilbert de Joode thanks to an Early Career Development grant from the BC Arts Council. He also co-curates the weekly interdisciplinary performance series, Sawdust Collector, at the Gold Saucer Studio in Vancouver.
Canadian drummer and percussionist Joe Sorbara has spent nearly two decades developing a reputation as an imaginative and dedicated performer, composer, improviser, organizer, and educator throughout the extraordinary creative music communities in and around his home in Toronto. In the fall of 2017, Sorbara and his family made a somewhat-temporary move to Vancouver where he is currently getting to know many of the west coast’s most adventurous musicians including Meredith Bates, Jared Burrows, Nikki Carter, Bill Clark, François Houle, Bruno Hubert, Peggy Lee, James Meger, Clyde Reed, Ron Samworth, Carol Sawyer, Jeff Younger, and Josh Zubot. Sorbara is a highly inventive musician who has played and recorded with the AIMToronto Orchestra, Ken Aldcroft, Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Allen Ravenstine, and Friendly Rich as well as with his own projects including The Imperative, Other Foot First, Remnants Trio, My Misshapen Ear, Mars People, and the Imaginary Percussion Ensemble. He is equally comfortable playing jazz, free improvised music, indie rock, and chamber music; but is most at home when playing them all at the same time.