The Concert – “Bach’s Secret Files”

 Joe Burgstaller (former featured trumpeter with Canadian Brass) and Hector Martignon (Grammy & Oscar nominated pianist and composer) present a Concert Event bringing together Classical and Jazz.


If the great composers of yesteryear
were alive today, what would they listen to and be influenced by? What would/did their music sound like with the freshness of newness? This concert lives out the fantasy of finding secret files that for centuries have hidden this music and the musical spirit of great composers. We‘ve taken a creative route to live out these flights of imagination and try to reconnect with the spirit in which these works were born to the world. Our approach is to re-context and refresh masterworks with the invigorating and exploring spirit of Jazz, and to present music that has a leg in both worlds.

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We live in the most accessible Age of Music EVER, where YouTube and the internet in general are the world’s new concert hall; an instantaneously available library of every conceivable musical persuasion. Yet, nobody really knows how the great composers of the pre-recording era played their own music (not to mention how the other composers performed Bach’s music). The original context of these masterpieces is irretrievable. Every step forward in musical evolution moves us away from the newness and originality of these works to the human ear.

Excitingly, the approach of Jazz has the potential to bridge these contextual and interpretive gaps with its in-the-moment energetical intent. The performer becomes a creative partner with the composer; the artificially constructed boundary between composer and performer is erased, uniting them in a timeless synergy. Improvisation on a given harmonic and melodic structure is, after all, not a recent invention. Baroque musicians used “Figured Bass” (quite similar to Jazz’ chord symbols) to improvise variations, counterpoints and free melodies in situations not unlike modern jam sessions. Bach’s pupils attested to his astonishing skills in improvisation. Brahms improvised for hours during his “gigs” at a Viennese Café, resulting in his immortal “Imprompti” and “Intermezzi”. Mozart improvised variations on well-known themes. Schubert, Chopin, Liszt and most other great composers were known for their great improvisational skills.

The term “Crossover” really means cross-genre, and cross-genrenism is a huge part of the evolution of all music. All these composers studied in depth the work of those who came before them as well as that of their contemporary peers. They did their own “sampling” by quoting others’ work in their own, deconstructed and reassembled other’s music to better understand and internalize what they had done, etc.

It is in this vein that we humbly endeavor to expand and continue that timeless tradition. Our music is a hybrid of Classical and Jazz, interweaving the concepts of both with equal respect and enthusiasm. Our approach is to re-context and refresh masterworks with the invigorating and exploring spirit of Jazz, and to present music that is either written with a leg in both worlds. This concert lives out the fantasy of finding secret files that for centuries have hidden this music and the musical spirit of great composers. We are happy to share our love of music with you!

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