A whirlwind of optimism, energy, and passion is coming from Annie Avery and Grant Simpson regarding their new album, Two Piano Tornado. After playing music together for years they finally decided to go to the studio together, following a particularly successful Arts in the Park concert in Whitehorse last summer.
They’ll be celebrating the accomplishment with a series of four CD release parties: Feb. 6 in Whitehorse, Feb. 7 in Marsh Lake, and Feb. 8 in Mount Lorne.
Simpson remembers the time they first played piano together.
“Annie said, ‘It was the most fun I ever had with my clothes on,'” he says.
“It’s a good communication that we have with each other and we laugh a lot,” she says. “We have playing together for a long time, and people always asked us, ‘Why we don’t you record a CD together?’ And here it is.”
Avery and Simpson, who have lived in the Yukon since the 1980, included old time jazz classics like “Bei mir bist Du schoen” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” on their new enterprise.
The result produced a new experience for Simpson.
“I usually don’t like listening to a CD I have recorded,” he says. “Because I think I could have done it differently, or better. But I like listening to this one because it was so easy to play together. It was just like floating.”
After the album’s release they will tour through B.C. and the prairies, but their goal is Europe.
“I have never been on a tour in Europe,” Avery says. “Italy would be my dream. I can imagine how inspiring it would be to make music in an old place with a lot of history.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with home.
“I have a lot of ragtime inside of me, and it made a perfect fit for me to be (in the Yukon)” Avery says.
Simpson also finds plenty to be pleased about here.
“The local music market in the Yukon is growing,” he says. “And the next generation is helping it grow. I am happy for my kids, who are both musicians.”
Riding on the momentum they’ve generated with this album, Avery and Simpson are planning to record another.
“We already think about recording a second CD, maybe after the tour with the first one,” Avery says.
In the mean time, Yukoners will have three opportunities to catch their energy and enthusiasm live at the CD release concerts.
“We will play songs from the CD but also other songs from our repertoire.” Simpson says.
Annie Avery and Grant Simpson are celebrating the release of their first CD Two Piano Tornado on Thursday, February 6 in Whitehorse at The Old Fire Hall; on Friday, February 7 at the Marsh Lake Community Centre; and on Saturday, February 8, at the Mount Lorne Community Centre.
For ticket information email TwoPianoTornado@gmail.com.