Jennis delivers more sound, variety and fun than one would think could fit into a single touring vehicle. The duo brings together award-winning Guelph-based Dennis Gaumond’s decades of experience writing and performing original blues and folk and the diverse musical experiences of veteran Toronto indie-scene multi-instrumentalist Jen Gillmor www.jengillmormusic.ca. The unique blend of cello and dobro is also augmented by unusual sounds, such as didgeridoo, custom-tuned harmonicas, flute, wah-guitar, jaw harp and wazinator. This vast palette of sound is presented by the dear friends with energy, passion and humour, as they draw on their vast performance experience to engage audiences.
A new collection of original songs is in the works toward a second album. After their rewarding first Western-Canada Summer Tour this year, many new fans and booking contacts were made. The duo hopes to bring the new repertoire to its new-found supporters and to new audiences across the country in the 2017 Festival Season.
Jennis’s rootsy sound is at times bluesy, at times funky, jazzy or folky, with a hint of exotic ethnic influences. Dennis’s compositions, while rooted in blues traditions and inspired by the likes of JJ Cale and Ben Harper, hint at his love of Middle Eastern and African music. Jen, brought up by a musicologist father, infuses the duo’s sound with her passion for many styles and traditions ranging from rock and reggae to funk, celtic and African music. Her well-worn role as bass guitarist ignites the groove and she cooks it up with a good dose of the “chopping” bow technique from the world of roots fiddling.
Their debut album, The Current, was released in June, 2014 and has charted at college radio stations across Canada. The Current received notice from The Toronto Blues Society who nominated them as finalists in their 2015 Talent Search Contest. They were invited to showcase at the 2017 Toronto Blues Summit. Since the album’s release, Jennis has been performing regularly at bars, house concerts, festivals, cafés, community centres and private parties all over Ontario and reaching west as far as Northern BC. The duo has three sets of material, mostly original with some jazz, reggae, funk, R&B and blues classics reinterpreted in the Jennis style. Adding to that a sprinkling of early American jazz and African chants, Jennis is set to entertain diverse audiences.
A new album is in the works and plans are underway for a second western-Canada tour for summer 2017.