Recent Listening: Harry Vetro’s Northern Ranger
A generation of Canadian musicians is coming to prominence in their youth and making substantial impressions. One is drummer Harry Vetro. After he was graduated from the University of Toronto Jazz Program, the 23-year-old spent much of last year exploring his country as it celebrated its 150th year of nationhood. He visited what he calls Canada’s six indigenous cultural areas—Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains and Eastern Woodlands. He gathered impressions of his native land and converted them to music, then assembled thirteen other young artists to help interpret his ideas. The directness of Vetro’s writing has much to do with the music’s effectiveness, and so do the talents of its players.
Pianist Andrew Downing begins the title composition, “Northern Ranger: Air Borealis.” then we hear Vetro’s cymbals and drums, Lina Allemano’s trumpet, and the string section composed of violinists Jessica Deutsch and Aline Homzy, violist Anna Atkinson and bassist Phil Albert.
Vetro has announced that proceeds from Northern Ranger will go toward a program called “Northern Ranger Outreach” to help young people who need assistance with their musical education. That’s a nice bit of giving back.