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2011 Adjudicator

Fraser Hollins

Fraser Hollins has been praised as "one of Canada 's great bassists." Don Thompson - Canadian Jazz Multi-Instrumentalist. His playing demonstrates "highly imaginative and creative spontaneous music making." Craig Hurst - Jazz He is an in-demand sideman, and his contribution as a rhythm section player is valued for the "strong foundation" he gives the music while at the same time providing "much more than the requisite maintenance of the beat." Joanne Villeneuve - The Brandon Sun.

A native of Ottawa, Canada where he was born in 1970, he became interested in music when he was seven years old and began lessons on the violin and piano. Music has since been an important part of Fraser's life. In particular, he studied at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music where he earned his Masters degree in performance in 2004.

During his professional career, he has performed around the world and appeared on over 40 recordings with bands featuring national and international artists. This list of musicians includes Jeff Johnston, Jean-Christophe Béney, Christine Jensen, Rémi Bolduc, Josh Rager, Dave Turner, Don Thompson, Kelly Jefferson, Guido Basso, Kevin Hays, Ingrid Jensen, Brad Turner, Geoffrey Keezer, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin, Jon Cowherd, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone and Seamus Blake.

Fraser has lead his current quartet since 2006, whose members have included Joel Miller, Steve Amirault, Karl Januska, Martin Auguste, Greg Ritchie and John Fraboni. The first three of these musicians join him on his debut release, entitled "Aerial", which features a collection of music that is largely influenced by his travels to South America, and his love of Nature. All four members of the band contribute to the creative, modern, fresh and subtle qualities heard on the album. The recording is a tribute to Fraser's love of diverse styles of music, ranging from straight-ahead swinging tunes, to more open, and floating feeling straight-8's pieces with extended forms, to lyrical ballads. His harmonic and melodic palette is effective and sometimes deceptively simple sounding, and other times adventurous and chromatic. "Aerial" represents his belief that jazz is an inclusive art, one that embraces all traditions, and allows for a breadth of expression through a variety of colourful landscapes.

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