Interview with Tyra Jutai on Champagne and Fries

Champagne & Fries - Live at Cafe Shaika Champagne & Fries - Live at Cafe Shaika

Written by Bérengère Roure

Tyra Jutai is waiting for me in a café near the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Though she’s only 22, Tyra has been performing for many years. She started as a classical soloist and now sings locally in Ottawa and Amsterdam. I talked to her about her next show Champagne & Fries playing this Wednesday in La marche d’à côté in Montreal.

Bérengère Roure (BR):
Hi Tyra, can you introduce yourself?

Tyra Jutai (TJ): I was born in Toronto and I started singing when I was a little girl. I also play piano, guitar and flute. I just moved to Montreal in October. I’m so happy to settle here. It’s a great place for artists. At the beginning, it was hard to find my niche in this town so I tried out a Jazz club and met some great people during our jam sessions.

BR: Where have you meet Nick Di Giovanni (guitar)

TJ: I met him in the Dièse onze jazz club. It wasn’t our idea at first to play together but our friends told us we sounded great and should do gigs together — so we did. Nick is an amazing guitarist and we love playing just the two of us. Jazz is a conversation: the more players there are, the more it gets complicated. Together, we keep it simple and mentally connect through the music.

BR: Tell me more about why you have chosen to call the show Champagne & Fries?

TJ: It was kind of a joke, since jazz can be snobby, champagne is a bit pompous, but fries are cool. This show is made to be accessible to anyone. You don’t have to be a jazz fan to come. It will be a mix of our songs and of reinterpreted jazz songs, along with improvised solos. I want it to be fun-a nice relaxed evening. We will do two or three sets, talk to people. The venue is great: cute, cosy, there is a long bar, a lounge area, the stage. This gonna be cool. I’m delighted to play for an audience.

BR: How much is it to see the show ?

TJ: The show is free, with a suggested donation of $7. I am still new on the music scene; we’ve only played together for a few months and are just getting our name out there. You should come. Live music is awesome.

BR: What are you doing next?

TJ: We are playing Sunday April 23rd in la Drinkerie Ste Cunégonde. We are also working on our album with our songs and arrangements. We will be accompanied by a bass, trumpet, and drums. I’ve been busy writing lyrics!

Tyra and Nick play Champagne & Fries at La marche à côté 5043 rue St Denis on April 5th at 9 p.m. No tickets required, entry is free. Suggested donation $7. You can catch them on April 23 at La Drinkerie Ste. Cunégonde