urban Chamber folk
It began one Toronto evening in April 2012. Violinist/composer Jessica Deutsch gathered together a group of musical guinea pigs and got them to play a few of her songs. At that time she was new to composing, but she already had a distinct style. Her background in chamber music and her experience playing in bands in many genres allowed her to draw from a rich musical palette. The Boston Globe deftly describes the band as "a rootsy take on the string quartet," but Ozere has to be experienced in person to truly take in the immense range of this group.
Ozere thrives in that peculiar space where chance encounters - a stranger on a plane’s lively turn of phrase, a sign on the side of a Toronto landmark - spark complex pieces. By turns folky and refined, the band sounds at home in Finding Anyplace (released October 19, 2015). Though the strings take center stage, vocals and mandolin expand the sonic palette, as does the subtle edge contributed by David Travers-Smith’s imaginative production.
This album was recorded with some of Toronto's finest musicians - Adrian Gross (mandolin/guitar), Lydia Munchinsky (cello, vocals), Bret Higgins (bass), Emily Rockarts (vocals), Eli Bender (cello), Matt Giffin (piano), and Magdelys Savigne Carrion (percussion). Marimba and hand drums merge with the band’s core sound. American spiritual gem “Wayfaring Stranger” gets an old-world twist, while pieces like “Anyplace” swirl with melodies that hint at everything from hardanger tunes to Carpathian dances and that converse with all the beauty of classical technique. Deutsch weaves original works with traditional pieces, sometimes on a single track. For all its far-flung tendencies, the music feels grounded, of a piece, and yet never too comfortable or settled. This is Deutsch's intention. “The identity of the band doesn’t fit neatly into something. I want to maintain a free sound.”