There just isn’t space here to talk about everything Jesse Zubot has been up to. There’s not room, for instance, to discuss his recent visit to Tasmania as part of Tanya Tagaq’s band, to play the intriguingly named Dark Mofo festival.
“It was unreal!” the violinist reports from his home near Deep Bay, on Vancouver Island. “The scene is darkness, death, winter solstice, and weird shit. Yeah, it was fun!” But we can’t go into the particulars of British artist Mike Parr’s performance, in which he was buried in front of Hobart’s city hall for three days to protest the treatment of Aboriginal Tasmanians.
Nor can we dwell overlong on the success of Zubot’s score for Indian Horse, based on the novel of the same name by the late Richard Wagamese. It’s worth noting, though, that his atmospheric and often improvised film music won email praise from legendary producer Bob Ezrin. “I watched Indian Horse on a flight to London today and was so taken by the score that I scrolled back to get the composer’s name,” wrote the man behind the board for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, Lou Reed’s Berlin, and a hundred other classic LPs. “I just want to let Jesse Zubot know how compelling and relevant I thought the score to that film was. There was never a moment when it wasn’t appropriate.”
We can’t even list all the shows Zubot’s played during this year’s TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, although he still has weekend gigs remaining with Steve Dawson and the Lucky Hand String Quartet, Fond of Tigers, and American saxophone colossus Ken Vandermark.
And we can confirm that the last two will take place as part of Drip Audio Night, a tribute to one of Vancouver’s most prolific purveyors of strange and wonderful recordings. Did we mention that Zubot runs Drip, too?
It’s his way of honouring our genre- and culture-blurring improvised-music scene, which has nurtured his singular talents ever since he moved here from Saskatchewan just over two decades ago.
“It’s pretty awesome,” he says. “Vancouver has a massive amount of amazing, world-class musicians. Like, it’s quite mind-blowing. Ultra-creative, you know? It just never really ends, which is pretty… It is almost a miracle, really.”
In addition to the Zubot-Vandermark meeting and Fond of Tigers’ wide-screen neo-prog soundscapes, Drip Audio Night will also feature Peregrine Falls, featuring drummer Kenton Loewen and multi-instrumentalist Gordon Grdina, and SICK BOSS, whose beautiful fusion of psychedelic rock and fierce improvisation is helmed by Coastal Jazz and Blues Society programmer Cole Schmidt.
Unfortunately, the night also represents at least a temporary farewell to Drip Audio: collaborating with international heavyweights doesn’t leave Zubot much time for the day-to-day grunt work of running a record label.
“There was a while where I worked very hard on promotion and getting the word out,” Zubot says. “I really hit it hard with the label, and now that I’m so busy with film scoring and touring with Tanya and album production, which I’ve been doing a lot of, I have to set the label aside. I still want it to exist, but.…I feel like I might need to go on a bit of a hiatus so I can enter the next phase with it. So this is a nice way to do that.”
Drip Audio Night takes place at the Imperial on Friday (June 29), as part of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.