Bio

The Artist –
  A multi-disciplinary artist and educator (formerly taught at Ottawa’s French high school for the performing arts –  De La Salle),  Alice Groves is a singer-songwriter, recording and performing artist who writes, co-arranges and co-produces her music at her home-base, Monkland Studios, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as well as creating and designing her own videos for release on her dedicated youtube channel; for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_lou0Mr4o8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekfPAS_vX4U&feature=channel&list=UL   She performs and records both originals and covers which blend world-jazz-folk genres variously with infusions of Brazilian, Arabic arpeggios, and Celtic stylings.  And in her concert at NAC’s Fourth Stage (November 3. 2011), the audience  got a taste of her eclectic repertoire, stylings ,  and soprano voice accompanied by a six-musician ensemble including Brazil’s guitarist-composer Evandro Gracelli, violinist Laura Nerenberg, pianist Art Lawless, double bassist Neil Sealy, Chilean percussionist Alvaro de Minaya, and accordionist Doug Slone. Intrigued by the coming together of this group of musicians, Ottawa Jazz Scene’s Alayne McGregor interviewed Alice about her world-jazz roots and development in the following:   http://ottawajazzscene.ca/news/3380-alice-groves-a-flowing-lateral-arabesque     Several of the songs Alice performed at the Fourth Stage Concert are included in her sixth  album  Whisper Down the Wind  to be released in September, 2012.    
Performances
 
Alice has performed in dozens of venues large and small, over the course of the last two decades, both at home in Canada and abroad – from small cafes to large concert halls, including, to name a few:
 
  • MIDEM, the international music festival/conference in Cannes, France
  • Parliament Hill Mainstage on Canada Day
  • Studio at the National Arts Centre of Canada
  • Fourth Stage at the National Arts Centre of Canada
  • Franco-Ontarian Festival
  • Tulip Festival
  • Dr. Keon Heart Foundation Fundraiser
  • Etc.
Radio and television  – radio3.cbc.ca/bands/Alice-Groves  
  • CBC  In Town and Out
  • CBC All in a Day
  • live CTV coverage of her Canada Day performance
  • Radio Anthos/Q101
  • Energy 12
  • CFRA
  • CKCU/Barrio Latino
  • Rogers TV
  • CTV and CBC-TV – entertainment news-spots.
    The Internet   Myspace  –   www.myspace.com/alicegroves Youtube   –   www.youtube.com/alicegroves CDBaby   –   www.cdbaby.com/alicegroves Itunes       –   www.itunes.com/alicegroves Linkedin – ca.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Alice/Groves    

Awards

 
  • Canada Council Publishing Grant
  • Foreign Affairs Travel/Touring Grant
  • Banff School of Fine Arts Afro-Cuban Festival Grant
  • Patrick O’Brien Outstanding Teaching Award of Ontario, Carleton University
    Discography  
  • Venus Rising
  • Ave Maria
  • Besame/Moondance
  • All Over the World
  • Soft Illusions
  • Whisper Down the Wind
 

The Music

Albums #5 – Soft Illusions and #6 – Whisper Down the Wind

This fifth album of Alice’s, is a combination of originals, for which she wrote both lyrics and, in most cases, music,  and some of her favourite cover tunes. Whether she is singing such modern adult contemporary classics as “A Day in the Life of a Fool”  or one of her own compositions such as  “Canada”   which she wrote and debut/performed on Main Stage, Parliament Hill, for Canada Day,  the constant factor is her voice –  her passionate vocal rendering, her ability to reach out to the listener and bring him/her into the song. Whether she is performing in the National Arts Centre of Canada,  or in a small, intimate café or club on the Mediterranean,  she connects to the audience through Song. A multi-disciplinary artist,  Alice is both poet and singer, lyricist and composer/arranger, whose musical interests and vocal stylings embrace her Celtic heritage as well as the world around her. Her songs variously reflect the smooth integration of Latin American rhythms and Arabic arpeggios wherein her soprano voice plays like the main instrument in the mix. And her ability to move  into the song  and  launch it passionately through both soul and heart, in a torchy melding of folk-world-jazz genres consistently endears her to audiences.     Alice Groves’ constant drive to embrace world cultures and sounds has led her to include Antonio Carlos Jobim’s  “Manha Carnaval” (“A Day in the Life of a Fool”), from the Cannes award-winning Brazilian film  “Black Orpheus”, on her fifth album “Soft Illusions”  and which has begun to receive notable attention on Youtube.  The album also covers Consuelo Velazquez’ s  inimitable love song “Besame Mucho” and the modern classic  “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”; but it also covers Cirque de Soleil’s “If I Could Reach Your Heart”.     And alongside these covers she performs her originals:
  • Canada for which she composed both lyrics and music
  • Today’s Lover  and
  • The Phoenician  –  both spoken-word pieces with Alice’s soprano vocal scatting
        • weaving/flowing in and out of the words.
    Album #6  is by far the most ambitious thus far in its interpretations of such modern classics as “Windmills of Your Mind”  as well as her spoken original “Jazz Tango to Love”.  The theme of the album is the ephemeral nature of love in all its anguish but elation.           Artist’s Background

The Celtic Roots

While strongly reverent of her English-Irish roots, both personally and artistically,  Alice’s hunger  for the exotic inevitably led to her travels and years living abroad, immersing herself in other cultures and absorbing their music, especially  Arabic and Greek,  as well as  Spanish, Brazilian and French. And growing up in a multi-cultural community in Ottawa, Canada, Alice had early on announced her passion to know other cultures including home-grown French, including learning the language, creating a sensibility which would inevitably find its way into her singing and songwriting.

 

All Over the World

Then, kismet would take  Alice to the Middle East and to a discovery of its endemic sounds which opened infinite musical vistas, possibilities, and a desire to incorporate these sounds into her singing, songwriting and, later, arranging. While on a family diplomatic posting to Beirut, Lebanon, she became enamored of the Lebanese and Arabic culture in general, studying the Arabic language, exploring the richness of Lebanon,  and travelling to neighbouring countries Turkey, Greece, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.  

Putting It All Together

Coming full-circle, Alice thrived on the integral connectedness of music Irish and Arabic. Seeing the world as one musically, she began to feel at home singing in different languages, rhythms, and styles. And her path is to continuously create songs which integrate the breathtakingly  beautiful sounds of world cultures with her soprano voice. Whether the instrument be the oud, the tabla, or the cahone, her vocals embrace its peculiar charm.  

Back Home

Back in Canada after her tumultuous if exciting years in the Middle East, Alice received a Canada Council grant to have her book of poems, Babylon and Other Dreams, published , a Foreign Affairs performance/touring grant, and recorded a series of albums and maxi-singles: Venus Rising  and then Ave Maria,  Besame, and All Over the World . While her ‘moonlighting sideline’ (as she likes to call it), teaching creative writing and English at the French School for the Performing Arts, net her Carleton University’s  “Patrick O’Brien Outstanding Teaching Award for Eastern Ontario”,  her songwriting and singing found her performing at such events and places as Canada’s Parliament Hill on Canada Day, the National Arts Centre of Canada, the Casino Lac Leamy, along with dozens of clubs, cafes, festivals, and events.  

Two To Tango

Ever fascinated with Brasilian music, especially the works of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Alice joined forces with a trio and then quartet of Latin American musicians and spent nearly a decade performing the sensuous rhythms of Latin Jazz and boleros and working it through her own original brand of vocal expression and musical arrangement, both on stage and in the recording studio. Her album “Besame”, for example, is a synchronicity of Consuelo Velasquez’s “Besame Mucho”  and Van Morrison’s  “Moon Dance”.  

Flying Solo

Leaving the Latin American group and in particular her long-time Peruvian percussionist and singing partner to fly solo again, Alice decided it was time to re-examine her musical DNA, and to record again, a decision which gave birth to her fifth album, “Soft Illusions”.  

The Story Continues…

Alice’s Plans for the future?  Continuing to write songs.
Continuing to perform and record  them. (She is now at work on Album #6.) Continuing to
explore her voice as a means of communicating with the world, to bringing Canadian culture anywhere and everywhere on the planet that she may be able to, and to bring music lovers everywhere into her world.   *                          *                           *                           *                        *

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