One of the most unique voices in contemporary jazz …If you never heard this trio before, you will never forget it. Three virtuoso musicians, and a bundle of instruments, producing a big sound unlike anything you ever heard before.
The Stretch Orchestra is a renegade trio hell-bent on saving the world, making it safe for the little guy. Individually, Jesse Stewart, Kevin Breit and Matt Brubeck, have entertained the multitudes in many ports and have acquired many letters of love and shiny things that go on walls and shelves. They have broke bread with Tom Waits, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, k.d Lang, Dixie Chicks, Hugh Laurie, Roswell Rudd, Pauline Oliveros, and many others. Yes, they are tall. So tall in fact, they used to be called the Tallboys (as were several other, not so tall, groups…hence the new name “Stretch Orchestra”). They have a new, self-titled disc, which can be purchased from this site. Click here and that lil’ nugget is yours. It has been receiving rave reviews from very important people who know a lot about things. Matt, Kevin and Jesse like it too.
Canada’s Tallest Band
In addition to being perhaps the tallest band in Canada (average height =6’5”), Stretch Orchestra is also one of the most eclectic and musically well travelled. In performance, they routinely traverse a wide gamut of musical styles—from jazz to rock to folk—often within a single tune.
This eclecticism is reflected in the diverse musical backgrounds of each member of the group. Together, they form one of the most musically adventurous and exciting trios around.
Kevin Breit is the middle child of the trio at a height of 6’4″. He has performed with many artists who are NOT as tall. Shorties like Norah Jones, Hugh Laurie, Cassandra Wilson, and other vertically challenged individuals. He has been awarded shiny things that go on walls and shelves. He has released a mountain of recordings under his own name as well as others like, Sisters Euclid, Supergenerous, and Folkalarm.
Matt Brubeck is a composer/performer with a focus on the improvising cello. Raised on jazz and classically trained at Yale, Matt is at ease in multiple genres and has taken his cello skills into diverse musical territories, including work with Tom Waits, Sheryl Crow, Yo-Yo Ma and many more. His current projects include the improv trio Ugly Beauties (with pianist Marilyn Lerner and drummer Nick Fraser) as well as Brubeck Braid, a Juno-nominated duo with jazz pianist David Braid. (Incidentally, Matt towers over the other members of StretchO.)
At 6’3”, Jesse Stewart is the shortest member of the group. He has performed and/or recorded with a wide array of musicians including George Lewis, Roswell Rudd, Bill Dixon, William Parker, Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, Pauline Oliveros, Michael Snow, David Mott, and many others. He also leads his own group and performs regularly as a soloist at festivals across the country and internationally.
Overall, Stretch Orchestra’s debut album is a fresh, diverse, and eclectic collection of heavily improvised instrumental songs. This is the sound of three experienced musicians who have the experimental energy of most musicians half their age, constantly stretching the boundaries of their capabilities to great effect – that explains the name, I suppose.
Stretch Orchestra, blew away my preconceptions, exceeded my expectations. Damn, this is a satisfying collection that is elastic, stretching to embrace Americana, roots Canadiana, jazz Euro and NYC, classical pops, and diverse folkloric musics. What should I have expected from A-list players Kevin Breit, Jesse Stewart, and Matt Brubeck? Their “orchestra” leaves nothing wanting.
“…these cats took the stage, took a bottle of quirk and mixed it with some carbonation, shook it, and popped the cork…this was one of the best shows of the whole [Rochester Jazz] Festival.”
“The Tallboys [now Stretch Orchestra] were a truly outstanding act. Representing the annual Guelph Jazz Festival, the Tallboys were the best kind of ambassadors for jazz. The virtuosic skill of the three veteran improvisational musicians – Kevin Breit on guitar, Matt Brubeck on cello, and Jesse Stewart on drums – resulted in vibrant compositions. It was clear that the Tallboys were given over to the music as was the crowd which sat and soaked up the performance. Two standing ovations, one before, and one after the encore were the best way the audience could thank them for an amazing performance.”
“Although their music is built around improvisation, the path it takes and the ground it covers is individualistic and idiosyncratic.”
“Yes, guitarist Kevin Breit, cellist Matt Brubeck and drummer-percussionist Jesse Stewart are decidedly tall drinks of water, and together they have cooked up a refreshing new spin on the jazz-rock-world-groove vibe.”
BUY OUR CD
Stretch Orchestra’s self-titled first album can be downloaded through:
To purchase a physical copy of the CD, send your name, address, and $20 per copy to:
c/o School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for all things Stretch (bookings, interviews, photos, bios, recipes, jokes).