Each month we’ll feature a video from one of Guelph’s musical community members. If you’re a musician and have a video you’d like us to feature, please send a YouTube link our way along with a short bio.
While we always love to shine a spotlight on emerging Guelph talent, sometimes it just feels right to showcase someone who needs very little in the way of introduction, but just creates beautiful and interesting work. Jeff Bird is such an artist. Almost anyone who knows anything about the local music scene is familiar with Jeff, at least by name if not from his over-40-year-long body of musical work. From sideman to solo artist to producer, Jeff appears on over 100 recordings, working with a wide array of other musicians. His musicianship is on full display alongside stunning visual work in our featured video today for a song called “Happy Breath”. There is something particularly beautiful about instrumental pieces that lift us up and evoke strong feelings of hope, and this video takes that very music and pairs it with an equally moving visual sequence in a location that keen viewers might recognize. If it’s been a hectic day, we suggest sitting down with a warm beverage, putting this video on, and escaping into the magic that is Jeff Bird’s performance. We certainly hope you’ll find a happy breath or two as you take it all in.
Jeff Bird is best known for his longtime association with Cowboy Junkies. His multi-instrumental talents can be heard on the legendary recording The Trinity Session and many other Cowboy Junkies’ albums. He tours extensively with them throughout the world and has performed with them in such venerable venues as the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, [and] Massey Hall. Television appearances include Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson as well as Jay Leno and the contemporary The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. In 2019 Jeff with Cowboy Junkies was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. In 2015 The Trinity Session was awarded the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize for [the] decade of the 1980’s. Jeff is also a founding member of the renowned Canadian folk group Tamarack founded in 1978. Since 1980, Jeff has realized 17 recordings on his own and in collaboration. His latest project is Felix Anima, interpretations of the transcendent music of 12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen realized through his love of the harmonica.
If you’d like to know more about Jeff Bird or find out what he’s up to (aside from being a mentor in GAC’s Guelph Emerging Artist Mentorship Project), please visit www.jeffbird.com. There are at least two more months of “Bandcamp Fridays” ahead, so if you decide you love this video and want to purchase some of Jeff’s music, you may do so on that platform next Friday (November 5th) to ensure that he (and other artists you decide to support that day) will receive a greater share of revenues from those Bandcamp sales.And now, we are happy to share with you the video that received the prize for “Best Music Video” at the 2021 Paris Play International Film Festival, Jeff Bird’s “Happy Breath”.