Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble was born in the intense sweat and heat of a midsummers night, 2009. Brought together by bandleader Michael Dalton for a one-off at a local pub, What started out as a one night stand slowly reveled itself as a mysterious love affair. Dalton’s songs were lovingly embraced by the fervid arranging talents of accordianist Graham Scott and the impassioned melodic musings of violinst Donald MacLennan. This odd pairing of a classically trained jazz pianist with a violent gypsy jazz violinist rebeling from his celtic roots seemed like the perfect fit for such an eclectic songwriter. Fresh off a cross-Canada tour with gypsy-jazz quintet Mishra’s Dream that ended at the Sunseekers Ball Festival in New Brunswick this trio formed the nucleus of a group that began turning heads with their upbeat, unique sound that defies comparison.
Known for their elaborate stage setups and intense live performance TZE quickly carved out a spot for itself on the Nova Scotia music scene playing shows that attracted audiences of all ages in Antigonish, Halifax and Tatamagouche. Martin Davidson on sax, Steve Wilton on drums, and Ron Hynes on upright bass have added their enchantment to this septet and have turned their live shows into a mythical affair. In a matter of moments you are sailing down the Danube past a small Roma villiage chased by the percussive fire of an African sunset only to be instantly transported to the ancient ruins of an Ottoman village on the banks of the Bosphorus littered with sweaty, homeless tin pan alley rejects only to end up being tormented by the chaos of mardi gras on the pregnant streets of New Orleans punctured by an oasis of middle eastern flora and fauna.