Because [Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3] is such a familiar piece, I thought, why do we want to do it the same way everyone else does it?Mike Herriott
March 14, 2019
CBC News Interview by Lukas Wall
‘We needed to be together and make up for the 35 years,’ says Ofra Harnoy
Well, it’s been certainly a busy year since I last updated on here. I really need to do this more often.
In any case, the new album Isn’t Life Grand has been doing well with some nice reviews and decent airplay. Sean Harkness and I have been spending a fair amount of time working on our newest project Flights Vol. 2 which we’re hoping to release this fall.
The album was recorded over a few sessions at Reservoire Studios in NYC and we’re very happy with the results. Currently, we’re in the post-production faze. With our combined schedules, the biggest challenge we face is coordinating so that we can get everything done. Having said that, we have also made the conscious decision to take our time with this project… so often, these things get rushed and the evidence is in the finished product. In any case, we’re very excited to share this with you and we’ll make sure you know all about it when the time comes.
I am about to head into playing another show – “Beautiful: The Carol King Story” at the Ed Mirvish Theatre for the summer. I just finished playing “The Bodyguard” in May and have been enjoying a bit of time off… not really time off because I managed to get busy on a bunch of other things but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Between a number of gigs in and around Toronto, I was also kept rather busy in the studio with recording the horns for Jann Arden’s new album, a couple of TV shows, and with my Master’s Thesis… which is coming along nicely.
The past year has been a good one with having finished “Kinky Boots” (Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto) around this time last year, then some jazz festival appearances with the highlight being a version of my quartet (with Sean Harkness, Matt Clohesy, and Mike Melito) playing a couple of concerts at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival which were recorded by PBS for broadcast this spring. That was followed by a wonderful 6 month run on “Matilda” (Ed Mirvish Theatre, Toronto) with some great run-out gigs to Ottawa to play with the NAC Orchestra, plus a handful of shows in Toronto with my big band.
All in all, I’d have to say that I have a lot to be grateful for and I am constantly thrilled to have so many great opportunities to play good music with terrific musicians. May it continue for a long, long time!
home to all things related to my recordings and performances. This past year has been an extremely busy time for me. I started 2015 with the decision to record another album with an approach similar to “Off the Road” (2013). With the support of some wonderful contributors to my crowd-funding campaign, I dove into the writing, recording, editing, mixing, etc and finally finished production in November. Also, at the beginning of the year, I started preparation to achieve my 1st Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, an activity I added to my life several years ago. I was very pleased to successfully pass the testing in March and continue with my training and teaching. It’s very rewarding to have something that takes that level of focus and also provides a bit of a departure from the world of music.
As well, I took the year to finish course-work toward my Masters degree in composition at York University. I found the work to be inspiring and it actually helped to shape the recording project that I was engaged in concurrently. I am please to say I successfully completed the course-work with much better marks than my last run through University education! (I was a lousy student when I was a kid…)
I have also been very happy to work on Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein’s broadway hit, “Kinky Boots” for the duration of the Mirvish production in Toronto since June of last year. We will run until May 15th when the show closes and the Royal Alex Theatre undergoes renovations.
The remainder of 2016 is going to be very busy with a number of new recording projects being recorded and released. On March 8, we will see the release of my brand-new album, “Isn’t Life Grand”, at Lula Lounge in Toronto. We are very excited to have this album available on iTunes and via all the regular online outlets, as well as HMV and other physical retailers. In particular, I am thrilled that this album will also be available on vinyl – a direct purchase point is on this site *here*
There are a few items that I am not at liberty to disclose just yet but check my itinerary for a list of what this year has in store. Hopefully, we’ll cross paths and, in the mean time, I hope this music puts a smile on your face!!