The Kelly Craig Sextet was formed to satisfy a need for a deep serving of soul-influenced bop. The band has performed weekly at numerous clubs and festivals since its inception. It has always drawn from a deep talent pool, earning the group recognition and notoriety.
The 2012 arrival of Adam Daudrich to the Sextet has had a profound effect on the sound of the group. Kelly had asked Adam to replace Mike Manny as the piano player when Mike moved to Winnipeg, but since Adam was moving to Montreal, he could only serve as a substitute on his visits to Ottawa. Adam approached Kelly about recording his piano trio at Shine Studios in Ottawa. Kelly offered a barter, with Adam contributing tunes for the sextet in lieu of payment. Adam jumped at the chance as he is an active composer and was very interested in writing for the Sextet. The current lineup was formed when Adam was acid testing these arrangements with his trio. Once the rhythm section was prepared Adam requested that the horns travel to Montreal to rehearse and stay for the trio’s weekly Tuesday night jam at Deize Onze. Brian Asselin was not available so Patrick Lampron was asked to fill the Tenor Sax chair for those sessions. The intention was originally to continue with the previous sextet lineup, but since the musical approaches of these members fit the tunes so well, this became the full-time lineup. Since then, Daudrich’s insatiable drive to compose has produced 20 compositions for the Sextet’s repertoire. Building on the original concept, Daudrich’s work is specifically crafted to the collective tastes and strengths of the new players. The group has solidified its vision in this format, playing to enthusiastic audiences in concert halls and festivals throughout 2012. They often take time between selections to share anecdotes that reflect the band's sense of humour and give the performance character. Kelly has always thought that his role as bandleader was to assemble the right personnel to execute the Sextet’s vision and make comments on the music only when necessary. When asked, Kelly states: ”Adam gets me. The tunes were written with my strengths and later, the players’ strengths in mind. They are monsters and cool dudes to boot. The less I interfere, the better it sounds. For now, my job is to get everyone in the same room. I have some compositions that will be added to the book, and by the time we record them, all the members will have made suggestions and alterations. I love that. ”
Kelly Craig Trumpet,band leader,composer, arranger
Zakari Frantz Alto Sax
Adam Daudrich Piano, composer
Patrick Lampron Tenor sax
Alex Bellegarde Double bass
Alain Bourgeois Drums