Magazine article International Musician

From Music to Politics, Taking Action and Adaptability Are Key for Louis

Magazine article International Musician

From Music to Politics, Taking Action and Adaptability Are Key for Louis

Article excerpt

Growing up taking classical piano lessons, Tim Louis of Local 226 (Kitchener, ON) got used to rules in music. But around the impressionable age of 15, he was exposed to a genre that opened up his world at a prime time in his musical development.

"All those years of classical piano lessons, of rules and technique, finding creativity in the boundaries," he begins. "Jazz was something different. It was someone telling you that you can break the rules. It's a different skill set to a degree, but a lot of it is still the same. Suddenly I had the freedom to interpret things this way. It was a freedom I gravitated to and it drew me in."

The sounds of Miles Davis with Red Garland, Local 802 (New York City) member Wynton Marsalis, and Bill Evans inspired Louis to pursue jazz at Rutgers University. Following school, he lived and worked in New York City. The keyboardist toured with the rock band Soul Engine, from 1991 to 1994. After the group broke up, Louis moved to Canada to be with his girlfriend, who is now his wife.

"I expected the pace of a city like New York," he says of the move to Toronto. "It was all I knew. Toronto is a bit slower, not as frantic, and there seemed to be more camaraderie among musicians. People help each other out It is refreshing. Plus, there's a lot more parking."

Louis has built a musician's life in Toronto, playing five or six nights a week with various groups, and though he's toured throughout Canada, the US, and abroad, he finds himself closer to home recently.

"The formula for a musician is more random these days," he says. "It's not as much record, release, tour, and promote, like it used to be."

Louis proves that random can work as he's currently got his hands into writing and performing, as well as radio, television, and even politics. He hosts a weekly radio show called Jazz Sessions that airs Sundays on Mix 88.1FM at 8 p. …

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