James McGowan, piano
Alex Moxon, guitar
JP Lapensee, bass
Jamie Holmes, drums
Modasaurus is a quartet based in Ottawa, Canada. It brings together a vast array of stylistic influences from funk to ECM free-jazz to Latin rhythms to sounds from the Middle East into an impressively rich and dynamic jazz fusion. Recently formed in 2016, the ensemble consists of the HML Trio—Jamie Holmes, Alex Moxon, and JP Lapensee—with pianist and composer James McGowan, whose music is primarily featured in Modasaurus. They plan to release an album in mid 2017.
The HML Trio formed in 2009 at Carleton University, where all three members attended the Carleton University Music program. They have been a working unit ever since, performing a unique blend of classic and modern jazz. Known especially for their versatility, they easily transition from playing restrained corporate engagements to playing big gigs with big bands on big stages. As a rhythm section, they notoriously perform as members of the Chocolate Hot Pockets, and have backed up many other acts including Canadian songstress Rebecca Noelle, the Capital Youth Jazz Orchestra, and Israeli reggae sensation Michael Greilsammer. They are comfortable in any musical situation. Since 2013 they have been the house band at the Brookstreet Hotel, where they host a jam session every Thursday evening.
James McGowan is a professor of music at Carleton University where he teaches music theory and composition, and was privileged to teach and learn from each member of the HML Trio. He is a passionate educator and has been recognized with four university-wide awards for his teaching. An active pianist, he is equally at home in many genres of music. Finding the hybrid space within jazz and contemporary improvisation, James has given performances in North America and Europe, and has performed with ensembles including the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, University of Toronto Jazz Ensemble A band (with Phil Nimmons) and James Madison University Jazz Ensemble, as well as locally with Jesse Stewart, Ian Tamblyn, Wayne Eagles, and Peter Woods. As an award-winning composer and arranger, he has composed in most genres including choral cantatas, orchestral music, chamber music, songs (singer-songwriter, jazz, and art songs), and compositions for jazz ensembles.