On February 18, on another beautiful, snowy evening in Montreal, four very talented, emerging recording artists performed at RAC’s 4th Concert Showcase at Sala Rossa. A full house was thoroughly entertained by the four bands on the ticket – Be Astronaut, King Karoshi, Brittany Kwasnik and Tofu Stravinsky.  

Recording Arts Canada would like to congratulate Tofu Stravinsky, who brought home top prize with a fantastic set. By delivering an very inspired performance,  Tofu Stravinsky won a free recording session at RAC Montreal’s studios in the Old Port. The outcome was determined by a panel of label reps, award winning engineers, and studio owners who evaluated the performances. Tofu Stravinsky is looking forward to recording new material that it hopes to release in the very near future.

The staging of the Concert was run by Recording Arts Canada students, supervised by J-P Nault, an veteran live sound engineer and RAC Instructor. The lighting and sound was excellent, and the RAC student crew did a fantastic job. 

A very responsive crowd greeted every band with appreciation. Each band, after completing their set, hung out and supported the other acts. It was another great night of camaraderie and music at the RAC Showcase. Once again, the panel of judges were all impressed with the talent on display. All acts walked away with a prize and valuable constructive feedback from this group of accomplished and insightful industry professionals. At RAC, we’re delighted to help bring new audiences and industry exposure to these artists. 

Recording Arts Canada’s Showcase Series has been a great success, attracting media and music industry shakers to the event. RAC’s goal at Recording Arts Canada is to foster meaningful interaction between RAC’s community of artists, musicians, producers, and sound engineers with the larger cultural community. RAC has provided a lot of support in many ways to emerging artists. We’ll continue to look for ways to help some extremely talented and deserving young recording artists with creative and career development.

King Karoshi started off the night with an inspired set. Influenced by the British progressive-indie sound, KK has talent and imagination. KK displayed some vert nice guitar harmonies, and intros that sounded like Steve Hackett era Genesis. The transition between songs was fluid. Led by singer Patrick Dunphy, and driven by drummer Alexy Guerer, King Karoshi embodies the mood and sensibilities of many successful Brit groups. Fine textures and riffs by Rémi Denis on guitar and backing vocals, and a solid performance by Antoine Poliquin on bass, round out the King Karoshi roster. 

Tofu Stravinsky was the second band up last night, and the crowd was truly impressed with their set. The band met while in school in Nelson, BC, a wonderful creative community in the heart of BC’s interior. Tofu Stravinsky’s eclectic brew of tunes features thoughtful lyrics, delivered by the beautiful voice of Sarah Orton. An incessant groove, led by Tyler Toews on guitar and vocals, is a trademark of Tofu Stravinsky’s sound. Jon Perry, on keys, laid down some very moody textures and krafty lines that enveloped Orton’s voice beautifully. Edward Annett (drums) and Pat McTaggert (bass) laid down a solid foundation song after song for this fine collection of musicians. From the opening song – Human Being, to the set closer – 33.3, this band put on a heck of a show.

Brittany Kwasnik and her band was the third act to take the stage. Kwasnik has a strong voice, and writes very personal stories of inspiration. She has put together a solid band that includes: Aaron Shepherd, Electric Guitar; Luc Celny, Drums; George Flores, Bass; Marc-Antoine Fortin, Keyboard. Kwasnik and her band played 6 dynamite tunes that were extremely well received by the audience. Kwasnik was originally signed with Montreal’s Justin-Time Records, and has been performing across Canada and in the United States. CTV’s Canada AM, CBC National News, and Newspapers across Canada have featured her music. Brittany released her latest album “The Covers & The Sheets” as an independent artist in June of 2013. 

Be Astronaut was the last band to perform. An edgier, alternative – progressive trio from the Montreal area, Be Astronaut laid down a very high energy set. A new song, Bronco, had a QOTSA feel that might be an indication of new things to come. All in all, BA is a very tight trio, having performed with many acts, including Sean Paul and Down With Webster. Be Astronaut members are: Lead singer Guillaume Theroux (Guitars and Vocals); the uber talented Ben Cardilli on Bass and Vocals; and Pascal Beauregard on Drums. Throughout their set, we heard very musical unison lines played by Cardilli and Theroux. The Be Astronaut performance was musically interesting, and had a “Rage Against The Machine” edge. Most impressive were the harmonic and rhythmic arrangements. This is a very entertaining band.

This event is further evidence that Montreal is one of the world’s hottest music talent hubs. This was just one of many exciting events hosted by RAC, all with the aim of helping build bridges to the industry and successful careers for both emerging recording artists and Recording Arts Canada students. Congratulations once again to all four bands for a wonderful evening.

For more information on this or other RAC events, please call us at 514-286-4336, or send us an email at [email protected]

Our next Concert Showcase will be held in April 23rd, 2014 at Sala Rossa in Montreal. Artists can Apply here