The Liberté Big Band is a 17-piece big band based in NYC (and newly in Montreal, more on that below), and formed in 2013. Led by Liberté-Anne Lymberiou, this modern, multi-generational ensemble plays compositions by Lymberiou and her contemporaries.
As it’s name would indicate, the band’s broad mission is to constantly perform new works while maintaining the all-encompassing creativity and communality of the jazz tradition. You’ll hear pieces ranging from afro-latin to free-jazz, bebop to funk, and lots more that even the bandleader has yet to anticipate.
Greatly influenced by Charles Mingus, Lymberiou captures the spontaneity and unpredictability of jazz through extended compositions. The moods of the music swing as much as the rhythms do, and inevitably move her audiences, both inside and out.
Liberté-Anne Lymberiou spent nearly 5 years in New York City since 2012. However, in a strange and unfortunate turn of events, after paying a quick visit back to family in Montreal, she was forced by US immigration laws to remain in her native land. Having said this, the bandleader has managed to find a silver lining in this shocking and absurd situation, and is now taking up the challenge to build a Montreal edition of the Liberté Big Band, which already performed to a numerous and welcoming audience in May 2017.
For the time being, the New York band is continuing its development and performances under the watchful gaze of Ms. Lymberiou, and led practically by drummer Zack O’Farrill, who has been in the band since its’ inception.
Lymberiou plans to eventually return to the States, but for now is focusing on growing the Montreal Formation, as well as developing new works through a research and development grant provided by the Canada Council for the Arts.
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Montreal Formation is the Canadian equivalent of the Liberté Big Band (therefore formally called Liberté Big Band:Montreal Formation). This ensemble is born out of the necessity for bandleader Liberté-Anne Lymberiou to have a big band “live” in Montreal. The reason being that, at the moemnt, she is forced to go through long and arduous immigration procedures for a return to New York City, which had been her home for nearly five years, and the birthplace of the Liberté Big Band.
Despite the geographical locations/placements, the goal is and will be to maintain both big bands so that the repertoire can always be performed and experienced live to multiple audiences, and to hone the culture that is becoming of it. And it may always expand further, all dependant on participation and enthusiasm. Anything is possible!
The repertoire is largely the that of the NY band, since one of the great assets of Lymberiou’s composititons is that they are extremely versatile. Though they were written with specific individual voices in mind, they also contain a universality that suites almost any skilled and open-minded instrumentalist. Such has been the demonstration through the Montreal Formation and other performing ensembles and musicians in the US.