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The STRANGER FRIENDS Orchestra is a 15-piece modern big band led by composer Dean Thiessen. The phrase ‘Stranger Friends’ evokes an awareness of the community that can be established through music and music making. The ensemble is comprised of some of the most creative and inspiring young voices in the West Coast music scene. The ensemble is grateful to rehearse, compose, and perform on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Thiessen’s original music for this band is rooted in curiosity, collaboration, inclusion, creativity, and diversity and explores a mixture of hyper-detailed compositions and spontaneous improvisation. With little resemblance of the ‘swing era’ big band sound, the STRANGER FRIENDS Orchestra explores a mixture of modern musical and cultural influences inspired by traditions of the great African American musicians who created 'jazz' as an art form and the youthfulness and innovation of the musicians in the ensemble.

"the Stranger Friends Orchestra, a 15-piece big band featuring some of the best young talent in the city. If you want to hear what the future  of the Vancouver jazz scene is going to sound like, this one is a can’t miss." - Tim Reinert (Infidels Jazz)

Saxophones

Brent Mah

Ardeshir Poukeramati

John Nicholson

Sofia Avelino

Trumpets

Rory Hislop

Feven Kidane

Thad Bailey-Mai

Trombones

Gregory Dent

Janine King

George McNally

Rhythm Section

Chris Fraser

Suin Park

Wynston Minckler

Todd Stewart

Jason Winikoff

Stranger Friends Orchestra

Stranger Friends Orchestra

Stranger Friends Orchestra
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Vancouver Jazz Fest - Stranger Friends Orchestra - Brent Mah's Solo

Vancouver Jazz Fest - Stranger Friends Orchestra - Brent Mah's Solo

01:50
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Vancouver Jazz Festival - Stranger Friends Orchestra - Rory Hislop's Solo

Vancouver Jazz Festival - Stranger Friends Orchestra - Rory Hislop's Solo

01:31
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PLACES - Stranger Friends Orchestra

PLACES - Stranger Friends Orchestra

10:46
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YELLOW - Stranger Friends Orchestra

YELLOW - Stranger Friends Orchestra

09:02
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All photos below are courtesy of Navreet Dhaliwal & Vincent Lim

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