Nelson’s Don Macdonald has teamed up with with an all-star band to create his new album Shifting Sands. Photo: Submitted

Nelson’s Don Macdonald has teamed up with with an all-star band to create his new album Shifting Sands. Photo: Submitted

Nelson musician and composer Don Macdonald releases new album

Shifting Sands will be available Jan. 7

Nelson musician and composer Don Macdonald will release a new album, Shifting Sands, on Jan. 7, when it will become available at Packrat Annie’s and on streaming services.

“This album takes its inspiration from, and honours, the brave and industrious students that travel from all over the world to study music at Selkirk College,” Macdonald says. “It’s a celebration of multiculturalism and I consider myself extremely fortunate to live at a time when I can teach and learn from people with such diverse backgrounds.”

Macdonald is an instructor of violin, composition, film scoring, improvisation, and computer applications at the Selkirk College music program. He is also an internationally recognized composer of film and concert music.

“It’s a rare but compelling combination of instruments and musicians that are at the heart of this music,” he says. “This groove-infused jazz fusion album puts fiddle and mandolin on centre stage with a traditional rhythm section of guitar, piano, acoustic bass, and drums.

“The meticulously composed songs offer plenty of surprises as they twist and turn the ear. It’s a meditation, then a celebration, a New Orleans bluegrass jam then a Ghanaian-inspired mandolin duet.”

The ensemble features Macdonald on violin, along with an all-star cast of Canadian musicians — Dave Restivo (three-time winner of the National Jazz Awards’ Pianist of the Year award), Mike Rud (Juno Award winner), and Rob Fahie (former band leader and bassist for Nikki Yanovsky).

Joining the group is Boston-based Jason Anick, “a rising star in the world of jazz violin and mandolin” (Downbeat Magazine). It also features Steven Parish (drums), Jill McKenna (upright bass), and Dylan Ferris (mandolin).

“This project was recorded completely remotely (due to COVID-19),” says Macdonald, “with each musician recording the material in their own home studios. Not an easy task. It was mixed and mastered by the brilliant Chris Gestrin.”