Ojibwe jazz trumpeter Chuck Copenace is back from a half decade hiatus with a new experimental jazz fusion project — the Chuck Copenace Group, which has been described as soulful, original, beatdriven, jazz funk.
The talented Winnipegbased musician – who also happens to be a youth social worker – has either toured, recorded or performed with groups like Moses Mayes, Burnt Project 1, Wab Kinew, Nathan, and most recently Vince Fontaine’s Indian City.
He’s toured across Canada and the US, in festivals far and wide, including the jazz festivals of Montreal, Vancouver and Victoria — as well as the Winnipeg Folk Fest.
Growing up in Kenora, Copenace began trumpet in middle school, and showed great natural musical talent straight away, garnering standing ovations for his school concert performances. The trumpet quickly became a symbol of worth and validation for the young student.
Reemerging from a five year hiatus from music, Copenace assembled a groovebased jazz quintet in the spring of 2015: Ashley Au on Bass, Brendan Kinley on drums, Victor Lopez on Guitar, and Eric Bachmann on Alto Sax. The ensemble performs Chuck’s original, R’nB, funk, hip hop and classicallyinspired music and also delivers reworked renditions of tunes by Roots Manuva, Wayne Shorter, Radiohead, Arvo Part and Freddie Hubbard.
As a youth worker, Copenace shares his story with youth on reserves, talking with them both about his journey through addictions recovery and spirituality, and hopes to inspire young people to consider pursuing their passions for playing music.