Nick Fraser

Nick Fraser (drums) has been an active and engaging presence in the Toronto new jazz and improvised music community since he moved there from Ottawa in 1996. He has worked with a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Canadian jazz and improvised music including Justin Haynes, Mike Murley, Rich Underhill, PJ Perry, Phil Dwyer, Michael Snow, John Oswald, Andrew Downing, Jean Martin, Christine Duncan, Joe Sorbara, Lina Allemano, Quinsin Nachoff, Dave Restivo, Jim Vivian, David Braid, Ryan Driver, David Occhipinti, William Carn, Nancy Walker, Kieran Overs, Kelly Jefferson, Mark Eisenman, John MacLeod, Ken Aldcroft, Scott Thomson, Marilyn Lerner, Lori Freedman, Jean Derome, Ron Samworth, John Stetch and Kirk MacDonald. In addition, he has had the opportunity to perform with such international artists as Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Joe McPhee, Michael Moore, Jean-Luc Ponty, Bela Fleck, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Wynton Marsalis, Mick Beck, David Binney, Steve Turre, Matt Welch, Bill Carrothers and Bill Mays. Nick’s recorded works as a leader include ‘Owls in Daylight’ (1997) and ‘Nick Fraser and Justin Haynes are faking it’ (2004). He has worked extensively with Rob Clutton and Ronda Rindone in the cooperative trio This Moment whose debut album ‘Beautiful Line’ was released in 2002 on the 9Winds label. He also co-leads the co-operative group Drumheller with Brodie West, Rob Clutton, Eric Chenaux and Doug Tielli who released their self-titled debut CD on the rat-drifting label in 2005 and ‘Wives’ in 2006. Other projects that occupy Nick regularly are The Christine Bougie Band, The Gulf Port Island Trio, the Lina Allemano 4, Deep Dark United and The Bill Grove Quartet. Nick is a founding member of The Association of Improvising Musicians of Toronto, a non-profit organisation dedicated to advocacy for the Toronto improvising community. ‘Fraser not so much plays the drums as hurls himself whole body and soul against skin and metal… truly talented.’ -Bill Stunt, CBC Radio. ‘The young Toronto drummer is perhaps a little too progressive for the hidebound Canadian scene… Fraser is a deft and sensitive percussionist with a hint of an enigmatic streak, a feeling for economical gestures, and an innate sense of form.’ -Mark Miller, The Globe & Mail ‘Fraser can swing hard when necessary, but hes equally a colorist with all manner of unusual tricks up his sleeve. Placing cymbals on the drums and pushing on them while striking them created a sound akin to a water gongs. His brushwork was impeccable, asserting time while, at the same time, creating richer texture, and his solos were clearly focused on the musical rather than macho displays of dexteritythough in order to do what he does, its clear that he possesses all kinds of technical facility.’