As the city councillor responsible for library and culture, I was honoured to attend the formal kickoff for 50th anniversary ceremonies of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. We did so on June 22 at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium. A nice crowd was on hand to watch rising-star pianist Emie R. Roussell and her jazz trio perform the concert Quantum, featuring music from their critically acclaimed CD of the same title.
We also inaugurated the library’s new baby grand piano. We were able to acquire this gem of an instrument through various fundraising initiatives, including our heartfelt 88 Keys to Music Campaign, allowing us to honour donors’ names on a plaque we unveiled just prior to the concert. Since the piano will require upkeep, we are still taking $88 donations.
Winners of the Felix Award for Best Jazz Album 2015, critics and jazz lovers alike are unanimously referring to the Emie R. Roussell trio as “one-to-watch.” They performed for just about an hour and everyone at home enjoyed their excellent music. I spoke with Emie after the show. She was very complimentary towards our new piano. I reminded her that she made history, by becoming the first person to ever use it. As they packed up their equipment the trio was preparing for a musical trip to Japan. Upon their return they will be part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
Originally from the South Shore of Montreal and now an adopted resident of Rimouski, Emie discovered the fascinating world of music through her parents, themselves musicians and singers. She began studying classical piano at the age of five and continued lessons until she was 13. After a complete two-year break, she decided to follow her instincts and her love of improvisation to begin studying jazz with her father, jazz pianist Martin Roussel. He would be her mentor until she started studies at Cégep de St-Laurent college under the guidance of Lorraine Desmarais. She completed her diploma in jazz piano interpretation and was awarded the college’s “Very High Distinction” grant. In 2008, Emie made her entrance at Université de Montréal in jazz piano interpretation with Luc Beaugrand and completed her bachelor’s degree in May 2011. Since then, she has been a teacher and accompanist for the Jazz-Pop program at Cégep de Rimouski college in Rimouski, Quebec. In June 2015, she won the CALQ Award – Creator of the Year in Bas-St-Laurent.
The other members of her trio are Dominic Cloutier on drums and Nicolas Bédard on electric and acoustic bass.
Thanks again to Library Director Janine West and her staff, particularly Danielle Belanger and Justin Burnham. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein provided opening remarks. Councillors Glenn J. Nashen, Dida Berku, Ruth Kovac and Sidney Benizri joined us for this historic night.
This is much more than a library, for our staff coordinate a wide array of cultural events. Please take a look at our upcoming calendar.
You can always visit csllibrary.com or contact the library’s Programs Department at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205.