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Open & Schutt

May 10, 2007

Linda Browne talks to jazz musician Kate Schutt about her new album.

For American jazz artist Kate Schutt, coming to Newfoundland will be like attending a family reunion of sorts.

From May 11-12, the Pennsylvania native—who now calls Guelph, Ontario home—will be playing two shows in St. John’s to promote her debut studio album No Love Lost. She will be joined by local jazz legends Duane Andrews and Patrick Boyle.

Schutt first met the duo back in 2005 during the North American Folk Alliance conference in Montreal. She was in a hotel room behind a soundboard and speakers doing her duties as sound technician.

“Duane and his band were there playing, and I think there was probably one or two other people in the room, so I got the private concert,” she laughs. “I was just totally blown away by those guys.”

When she heard the suave sounds of Andrews’ gypsy jazz guitar layered over the notes of Boyle’s trumpet, she was captivated.

“When I heard their sound I just thought, this is it, this is something that I’ve been looking for for this particular set of tunes I had written,” she says.

About three months after the conference, Schutt invited Andrews and Boyle to her home in Guelph to help record her new album. Their reunion this weekend will mark the first time that the trio has performed the album together since its completion.

No Love Lost comprises jazz standards as well as covers of pop tunes such as Sheila’s E.’s “Glamorous Life.”

And how has the reaction to the album been so far?

“Overwhelmingly positive,” says Schutt. “So far the response has been just wonderful.”

For Schutt, writing songs is a craft that she’s been honing for years.

“It’s a turn of phrase that strikes my ear in a certain way that gets remembered or written down and worked on,” she says.

On “No Love Lost,” Schutt takes inspiration from wherever she can get it: novels, diaries and historical figures.

“One of them is based on ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’ The song ‘Peter Please’ came out of my reading that,” she says. “The song ‘Calamity Jane,’ on the album it’s called ‘Calamity,’ that came about because I have a fascination with the Wild West.

“For certain songs I spend a lot of time researching,” she adds. “One of my heroes is Randy Newman. He sort of does that kind of thing. There’s always a sort of historical nugget in his songs.”

If you’re interested in a history lesson, or just want to unwind to the sultry sounds of some of the finest jazz musicians in the country, check out Kate Schutt with Duane Andrews and Patrick Boyle at TasteFest on Friday, May 11 and the Majestic Theatre on Saturday, May 12.

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