A group led by former Comox Valley resident Trent Freeman received two Western Canadian Music Awards in St. John, N.B.
Freeman’s group The Fretless earned the Instrumental Recording of the Year Award and Ensemble of the Year Award for Waterbound. The violinist was also nominated for his solo album Rock Paper Scissors.
Daniel Lapp congratulated Freeman on Sunday night during a Georgia Straight Jazz Society presentation of Caravan at the Elks in Courtenay.
- According to Freeman’s website, his music “is artistic, inspired, edgy and beautiful as he and his quartet blur the lines between jazz and folk.” Freeman, who now lives in Vancouver, is a multi Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and a sought-after performer and recording artist.
- His versatility makes him a popular session musician and sideman, and he has played for projects ranging in style from funk, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, soul and gospel, to rock, classical, country, bluegrass and folk.
- Rock Paper Scissors is an all-original, folk/jazz instrumental album for piano, bass, drums and violin.
- While growing up in the Comox Valley, Trent took classical violin lessons from the age of five. At 10, he began fiddling, and was soon playing dances, shows and winning contests around the province. His teaching skills developed through his volunteer work teaching and directing the group Fiddlejam, a dance band and performance group made up of around 40 musicians that met weekly. In 2007, Trent was awarded the Comox Valley Mentor of the Year Award for his work with this group.
- Freeman went on to study Orchestral Instrument Performance at the University of British Columbia for a year before transferring to Berklee College of Music in Boston.
- While at Berklee, Trent represented the school on many occasions. He toured to New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. with the Berklee World Strings, played with the Berklee Bluegrass All-stars, and toured to Scotland with Berklee’s Transatlantic Collaboration.
- In his second year, he was the recipient of the 2010 Berklee String Department award for outstanding musical achievement.
- Over the past few years, Trent has toured and recorded with many bands and artists such as the Wailin Jennys, John Reischman, Jessie Farrell, the Griffins, Wyclef Jean, The Fretless and countless others.
Carly Rae Jepsen, whose grandparents live in the Comox Valley, won a Western Canadian Music Award for Pop Recording of the Year with Curiosity and Nanaimo guitarist David Gogo, a frequent visitor to the Comox Valley, earned the Blues Recording of the Year Award for Soul Bender.