Biography

Aaron Dolman is a drummer, composer and bandleader born and based in Montreal who is rapidly establishing himself as an exciting voice in the city's diverse music scene. Having performed with many notable North-American Jazz musicians, including André WhiteSasha BerlinerJean-Michel PilcKevin DeanMike RudYesseh Furaha-Ali and Josh Rager, as well as members of Canada’s folk music scene, such as Connie Kaldor and Folle Avoine, he is equally at home performing in contemporary Jazz and experimental contexts as he is in folk, Pop and Rock settings.

Aaron leads the trio "Dolman / Rossy / Jobin", in which he is joined by vocalists Sarah Rossy and Eugénie JobinAre You Here to Help?, The group's first album—Aaron's second as leader, composer, and now lyricist—was released on March 18, 2022. The album is a journey into the uniquely evocative qualities of drums and the human voice—brought into sharp focus by the group’s strikingly minimalistic instrumentation.  Aaron’s compositions and original lyrics blur the line between notated and improvised performance, and probe the expressive power of taking and giving Space. In his own words: “This is music about space. The space between each note, each word, each breath. Between what was, what is, and what could be. The gentle potency of silence. This is music about the spaces that hold the ones we love and that are left empty when they are lost.” LISTEN to the album or WATCH the album trailer to learn more about the project.

Aaron's debut album, Nostalgia and Other Fantasies, was released in November of 2019. Inspired by the feelings of nostalgia that are stirred up when sifting through old family photos or driving through the Canadian prairies, Aaron weaves together two of his great musical loves—Folk and Jazz—to create songs that sway between evocative melodies, engaging improvisations and delicate soundscapes. The album features his 5-piece chamber-folk ensemble, which includes Caitlin Smith on viola, Zacharie Bachand and Marcus Savard-Lowry on acoustic and electric guitars, and Mathieu McConnell on bass. LISTEN to the album or WATCH the album trailer.

Between 2021 and 2022 Aaron lived in Basel, Switzerland where he was a member of FocusYear, a unique year-long music residency that assembles an 8-piece international ensemble that works and performs with a remarkable roster of visiting artists, under the musical direction of acclaimed Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel. These include many of today's most pre-eminent Jazz musicians and composers, the likes of Aaron Parks, Kris Davis, Larry Grenadier, Guillermo Klein, Linda May Han Oh, Jorge Rossy, Becca Stevens, and many others. During that year, the ensemble also released Tiny Windows, a collective album of their own compositions, under the German Neuklang label. Tiny Windows can be heard HERE.

Aaron has been the recipient of a number of awards and accolades, most notably the Lou Williamson Jazz Award (2017), The Schulich School of Music Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance (2017) and three Schulich School of Music Scholarships 2016, 2017 and 2018. He also holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from McGill University, where he was a member of the school's flagship ensemble - the Jazz Orchestra 1 - led by Juno-winning composer Christine Jensen. Alayne McGregor of ottawajazzscene.ca praised Aaron’s “powerful drumming” as a driving force of that “hard-swinging” and “vibrant” ensemble. In his final year of studies, he was invited to share the stage with McGill’s 2019 Catherine Thornhill Steele Guest Artist, acclaimed trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire.

 

Aaron’s EPK can be found HERE.

Photo: Evan Shay

Photo: Pipa Jones