By KIRSTEN BOLTON
With a name like Oktopus, it comes as no surprise this award-winning Montreal-based world music ensemble consists of eight virtuoso musicians. The tentacles extend to the clarinet, bass trombone, flute, tenor trombone, piano, drums and percussions, trumpet and violin.
What might surprise is the “k” in Oktopus is a nod to klezmer, the musical heritage of Eastern European Jews and the style to which the group is primarily devoted. Combined with components of classical, Quebecois, and jazz and Balkan accents, its novel approach has put the eclectic octet on the map with over 250 performances at home and abroad. Oktopus performs at ArtSpring for the first time Wednesday, Oct. 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
In their tours, the musicians have become known for their festive, high-energy shows, occasionally melancholic and profound, but always sprinkled with humour and multicultural storytelling, where original compositions and finely crafted arrangements compete with tangents of spirited improvisation. Although their live performances invariably have audiences dancing in the aisles, the band’s recorded output is also hailed by fans and critics alike.
Oktopus recorded its third CD, Créature, last year and was nominated for Best Instrumental Music Group at the Canadian Folk Music Awards as well as earning an Album of the Year: World Music nomination for an Opus Prize.
Described as “an absolute blast” by RateYourMusic, the rollicking Oktopus guarantees a night of uninhibited musical delight. There will be a talkback with the artists after the show.
Tickets are available through ArtSpring here.