MAZ

Biography

With 13 nominations to their credit, including 8 for their latest album, Chasse-Galerie, MAZ have set themselves apart with their unique blend of acoustic trad and electric jazz. Inspired by one of Quebec’s most famous legends, the group’s concert has been praised by audiences and critics alike, owing to MAZ’s vibrant stage energy.

With its debut, Télescope, the band laid the groundwork of its unique style, which combines traditional Québécois music, modal jazz, and electro. Through this album, often described as futuristic, MAZ already began to reveal their modern take on Québec’s past and present instrumental culture, earning them five award nominations, including one for the JUNO of best instrumental album.

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Marc Maziade (electric guitar, banjo, foot percussion and programming), Pierre-Olivier Dufresne (violin, mandolin and foot percussion), Roxane Beaulieu (keys) and Hugo Blouin (double bass, violin) invite you to hop on a wild flying canoe and journey through their unique musical universe. On stage, these brilliant musicians form a deeply palpable connection, offering trance-inducing grooves, engaging sound textures, and frenzied foot stomps at each of their intense performances.

Since their beginnings, MAZ have presented their concert at various show­case events throughout Canada (Pacific Contact, OCFF, Mundial Montréal, RADARTS, ROSEQ, and Rideau) and in the United States (FAI—2012, 2013, 2015 and APAP). This visibility has enabled them to share their music with audiences all over Canada. To this date, MAZ have several tours and over a hundred performances under their belt.

History

MAZ today

Our story started back in 2011 with the Telescope tour. A journey that took us from Carleton to Vancouver, from Petit Fribourg in St-Jean-Port-Joli to the Folk Alliance International in Memphis, before placing us in one of the strongholds of traditional Québécois music, the town of Joliette for the recording of our second album: Chasse-Galerie.

The road brought many wonderful encounters. Our host at the Petit Fribourg, Madame Deschênes, let us immerse ourselves in the act of creating together. In the spirit of parties of olden days, the gatherings where musicians from different villages shared their tunes, we discovered each other’s strengths and musical baggage. Recording at Studio du Chemin 4, we had the chance to meet Mark Busic, whose sharp observations and exceptional ear helped bring out the best of ourselves.

For us, the legend of the Chasse-Galerie invokes the duality between sincere dreams in which we invest body and soul, and the mirages created by today’s frenetic lifestyle. Society often proposes shortcuts that can make us lose sight of what’s essential to our happiness. You need a fine sense of balance to fly a canoe. By soaring on favourable winds while avoiding the traps of appearances, it’s possible to pursue our quests without losing our roots.

Hugo Blouin double bass
Pierre-Olivier Dufresne violin, mandolin, feet
Roxane Beaulieu keys
Marc Maziade tenor banjo, electric guitar, feet and programming

Our roots

MAZ’s origins go back to February 2007. At that time, Marc Maziade was given carte blanche to create a musical project for the Festival Ste-Rose en Blanc. He put together a show called Projet Trad with Olivier Hébert, Louis-Joseph Cliché and Robin Boulianne, who shared his passion for traditional music and jazz.

Over the years, Projet Trad got together for various projects (soundtracks for dance or short films, competitions and corporate contracts) with different lineups, including Lévy Bourbonnais, Jean-François Debellefeuille, Gabriel Godbout-Castonguay, Blanche Baillargeon and Philippe Leduc.

In 2009, Marc Maziade (composition, electric guitar, tenor banjo and foot percussion) officially established the group MAZ and in 2011 launched the album Télescope with Robin Boulianne (composition, violin, mandolin, foot percussion), Olivier Hébert (bass), Gabriel Godbout-Castonguay (keyboards) and Jean-François Debellefeuille (Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Moog).