j o e s o r b a r a [ d o t ] c o m . p r o j e c t s . n e v e r w a s
madeleine ertel . trumpet
Never Was is a quartet featuring Madeleine Ertel on trumpet, Reknee Harrett on bass, Naomi McCarroll-Butler on alto saxophone and clarinets, and Joe Sorbara on drums and percussion.
Madeleine Ertel is a trumpeter, vocalist, composer, and arranger known for her honest and melodic approach to music making. A recent graduate of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance (2020), she can be seen zipping around on her bike on her way to perform with the free jazz-influenced quartet Never Was, the neo-soul band Moodset, her folk-inspired duo with guitarist Harry Bartlett, or in various straight-ahead jazz ensembles.
Reknee Harrett is an award-winning Toronto-based bassist, composer, educator and community builder. Combining their passion for free improvisation, folk music and the jazz tradition, Reknee strives to delve deep into eclectic, genre-defying music. Reknee was selected to participate in the TD Jazz Youth Summit (Ottawa Jazz Festival), School for Improvised Music (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the inaugural TD Toronto Jazz Festival Jazz Musician Intensive Ensemble, and Coalition Canada’s Music Monday Anthem. Reknee doubles as an in-demand musician, a student in the master of music: applied music and health program at the University of Toronto, and an Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy student affiliate.
Naomi McCarroll-Butler is a saxophonist, clarinetist, instrument maker and composer based in Toronto. She can be found making a wide range of music, from the full-throated clamour of saxophone duo SALT to spectral whispers in the songs of Decoration Day. Naomi plays with improvising unit Never Was, The Band Named Crow, Dan Pitt Quintet, The Tortoise Orchestra, the Element Choir, The Queer Songbook Orchestra and various ad-hoc ensembles. An active collaborator, she has been featured on over 20 recordings in the last five years on various woodwinds.
Canadian drummer and percussionist Joe Sorbara has spent more than two decades developing a reputation as an imaginative and dedicated performer, composer, improviser, organiser, writer, and educator. A consummate sonic adventurer, Sorbara’s music draws from a vast array of influences. He is equally comfortable playing jazz, freely improvised music, indie rock, and chamber music, but most at home playing them all at the same time. He has performed and recorded with Ken Aldcroft, Jared Burrows, Anthony Braxton, Nikita Carter, Paul Dutton, François Houle, Germaine Liu, Evan Parker, Allen Ravenstine, Clyde Reed, and Friendly Rich, among many many others. His own projects and ongoing collaborations include a Toronto-based sextet and a Vancouver-based quartet as well as Never Was, The Imperative, Other Foot First, Reliable Parts, My Misshapen Ear, and the Imaginary Percussion Ensemble.