A little hometown love: Richmond Review’s 30 under 30

In today’s super cool news, I’ve been selected as one of the Richmond Review’s 30 under 30 this year! It’s so great to get a little good press from the place where I grew up. Check out my interview with Matthew Hoekstra here (original link) or below:

Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School released its first album last year—a huge big-band project that pushes the jazz tradition forward. Fittingly, she dedicated it to Jeremy Hepner.

The late Richmond high school music teacher’s enthusiasm proved instrumental for many students, including McBride, who says she wouldn’t have thought a career in music would be possible if it hadn’t been for his encouragement.

Other teachers—Len Kay, Garth Bowen, David Fromager—also pushed her to be her best. She holds that positive attitude today.

A multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, bandleader and Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Jazz Artist of 2014, McBride leads two projects featuring her original compositions and talents as a saxophonist: Chelsea and the Cityscape, and Socialist Night School.

McBride studied at Humber College in Toronto where she completed her music degree, and she’s now an active performer, writer and teacher in the Toronto music scene.

She’s also an avid video gamer, and performs with a video game cover band called the Koopa Troop.

Jazz should be adventurous, she says, challenging listeners and bringing them to places they didn’t expect, before returning them home at the end of their musical journey.

For McBride, that home is still Steveston even though her bed is in Toronto. Walking along the water with the smell of creosote, the sound of waves and a coffee in hand is a lasting memory.

Inspiration? “My family. They’re all super hard workers, but we’re all pursuing our passions too, and that keeps us happy. My boyfriend and friends. Besides being amazing musicians they’re doing some really incredible things, creating music that doesn’t really obey genre lines. My teachers… They always pushed us to be our best, to just go for it and try anyway.”

Most proud of? “With the help of an amazing creative team, I made a big band record. This was a huge undertaking. I wrote and arranged all the music, I played on half the record and conducted on the other half, me and my producer co-ordinated a team of 30 people on session days and had a ridiculous timeline to do it all in.”

Advice? “Work hard at something that you want to do, preferably with people who you like. I love my life, but that doesn’t mean that everything is all rosy and bright… But I’m making it doing something that I love, with people I like, and that’s what’s important.”

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~ by crymmusic on March 2, 2015.

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