Atlas Revolt at Markham Jazz Festival August 21, 2016

3 months, 2 weeks ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

Bret Higgins’ Atlas Revolt will be performing at this year’s edition of the Markham Jazz Festival.  Come join us on August 21 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm where we’ll be playing on the Varley Patio Stage off of Main Street in Unionville.


Thomastik Infeld Strings

6 months, 3 weeks ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

In 1997 I began using Thomastik Infeld strings on my upright bass and have since used nothing else. Absolutely delighted that Thomastik has included me in their family of endorsed artists. I choose Belcanto or Spirocore strings for my upright, and Jazz Flatwound strings for my electrics. Stringing up my basses with Thomastik-Infeld strings always makes my instrument sound exactly the way I want it to.

photo by Asli Alin.


Atlas Revolt CD reviewed in Downbeat Magazine

7 months, 3 weeks ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

Really Excited that my Tzadik Record ‘Bret Higgins Atlas’ Revolt’ was featured in the March edition of Downbeat Magazine. 4.5 of 5 Stars, and very favourable review!
Downbeat Magazine Review.pdf

New Releases

10 months, 3 weeks ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

A couple of recent records that I had the pleasure of playing on.  The first is a compilation put out by Polaris Music of past Polaris Prize nominees performing other past nominee’s songs.  Here with Great Lake Swimmers we dug into Sarah Harmer’s ‘I’m A Mountain’.

The second is from Joshua Van Tassel, drummer to all things groovy and his new release ‘Understar’ which I contributed some upright bass to.
And lastly, a new record from Ozere, a really fun folk-world music project that I have been a part of for a few years now.



understar Ozere - Finding Anyplace

Atlas Revolt Reviews

11 months, 2 weeks ago Blog, Uncategorized 0
A few nice reviews about my latest CD ‘Bret Higgins’ Atlas Revolt’.  Thanks to Frank Alkyer (Downbeat Magazine), Dan Bilawsky (All About Jazz), and Raul da Gama (Jazz Da Gamma) for listening to the record and sharing their thoughts.

Tzadik CD Release

1 year, 2 months ago Blog, Uncategorized 0
Bret Higgins’ Atlas Revolt - Selftitled - (2015, Tzadik)          atlasposter
Pretty excited that my Atlas Revolt project’s record is finally released!  The record is available through the Tzadik Records website TzadikAmazon or iTunes.
If you are in Toronto, come grab a copy after you hear me and the band rip through most of it (and other tunes) live on August 13th at The Burdock Music Hall, where I’ll be joined by dear friends/accomplices Aleksandar Gajic, Robbie Grunwald, Tom Juhas and Joshua Van Tassel. 
More info here – Facebook Event
It would be an honor if you would join us!

Atlas Revolt

1 year, 8 months ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

I am incredibly honoured and excited to announce that my new instrumental project ‘Atlas Revolt’ will be releasing our first CD on John Zorn’s New York based label Tzadik Records in the summer. Major thanks to bandmates Aleksandar Gajic, Tom Juhas, Robbie Grunwald, and Joshua Van Tassel for all their hard work bringing my compositions to life.

I first discovered the music and art of John Zorn’s almost twenty years ago when a friend introduced me to recordings of his Masada project. I was floored to say the least, and subsequently began investigating Mr. Zorn’s numerous projects and incredibly prolific output (Naked City, Painkiller, game pieces, orchestral works….etc, etc, etc), and additionally a ton of the music that he was, and continues to curate vis-a-vis his Tzadik record label; all of which left an indelible impression upon me – challenging, changing, and expanding the way I think about art.

It is an absolute dream come true to have John Zorn find my project worthy of the Tzadik stamp, and I can’t wait to share this music with folks interested in hearing it.

More to come!

Canadian Touring, Dan Lanois, New Great Lake Swimmers Record and Zebrina`s Tzadik CD Released

2 years, 1 month ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

August has been a whirlwind! I have had the privilege of spending the first part of the month traveling and performing across Canada at a couple of the major folk festivals (Vancouver Folk Festival and Calgary Folk Festival), and then out east to perform in Dartmouth for their Natal day celebration. However the crown jewel of the summer performances was being invited out to play at the Shaw Amphitheatre in Banff to co-headline a show with Dan Lanois and his amazing trio.

Mid-August had me hunkered down with Tony Dekker, Joshua Van Tassel and Justin Nace, tracking drums and percussion, upright and electric bass, piano, guitar and vocals on what will eventually be the 6th Great Lake Swimmers album. Working with these fine and talented gentleman has been one of the most intense, inspiring and rewarding musical experiences of my entire life, and I can’t wait for this music to be released and to perform this new repertoire in a live situation.

John Zorn’s Tzadik label has released the new Zebrina CD, Hamidbar Medaber. I played electric bass and co-produced the project with Jonathan Feldman, and I am extremely proud of this project and happy that it is being released. Recorded at Canterbury Music Company, with beautiful cover art provided by Asli Alin. The CD release on labour day weekend at the Ashkenaz Festival at Toronto’s Harbourfront was a fantastic success.

Massey Hall

2 years, 3 months ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

It was the site of the legendary Charlie Parker-Dizzy Gillespie concert, recorded as Jazz at Massey Hall, in 1953 (Mingus!). Rush recorded All the World’s a Stage (a record that I wore out from listening to so much in my youth) and Neil Young performed and recorded his Live at Massey Hall 1971 there. Countless other names; Maria Callas, George Gershwin, Glenn Gould, Enrico Caruso, and so many more.

It was an incredible honor to linger in the shadow of these giants and perform with some of my closest friends and musical colleagues in Great Lake Swimmers on the Massey Hall stage this past week. I am so happy to be a part of it all, and so proud of what we’ve accomplished together as a group; our show at Massey Hall was the band firing on all cylinders, thanks to a great team around us, and an unbelievably enthusiastic and loving audience.

Drinking in the audience, the space, and simply being in the moment at the end of the show as we left the stage for the last time was one of the most spectacular moments of my life.

Special credit / thanks to Malcolm Cook – Massey Archives for the photos.

See an edited version of the concert here.

Zebrina with Ben Goldberg

3 years, 5 months ago Blog, Uncategorized 0

I am extremely honored to be taking part in an amazing weekend of music making coming up at the end of the month. The inimitable San Francisco based clarinetist Ben Goldberg (Tin Hat, New Klezmer Trio) will be traveling up to Toronto for 4 days at the end of May to perform a concert at the Music Gallery (Thursday May 23rd) as a special guest fronting instrumental band Zebrina, with whom I will be playing electric bass. Additionally, special guest David Buchbinder (Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Odessa-Havana) will be joining the band for a number of songs as well. And, if the concert wasn’t enough, we’ll be heading into the studio; Ben Goldberg and Zebrina for 3 days to record a CD for fall release on John Zorn’s Tzadik record label.