The Mike Downes Quartet has been performing since the mid-90s. The original quartet toured Canada and recorded their first album Forces to great acclaim. The Jazz Report stated “Bassist Mike Downes is one of Canada's immensely talented young giants." Forces was followed by Then and The Winds of Change (“Top 10 CDs of 2004” - JazzFM91). Mike formed a new trio/quartet in 2012 and released Ripple Effect which won a JUNO award in 2014. His next recording In the Current, featured compositions for an 11-piece chamber jazz ensemble, and his latest quartet recording Root Structure won a 2018 JUNO for Jazz Album of the Year.
The quartet features four of Canada’s top musicians - Mike Downes (JUNO award winner 2014), Robi Botos (JUNO award winner 2016), Ted Quinlan (JUNO nomination 2003) and Larnell Lewis (Grammy award winner with Snarky Puppy 2017), and joined by saxophone guest Shirantha Beddage (JUNO nominee 2012 and 2016).
“Mike has produced a beautiful new record that shows the great playing of these heavyweights but also Mike's tremendous compositions.” JAZZ.FM91 First Listen
“Simply beautifully-written repertoire. Downes’ traversal of the ten songs is spellbinding…” Raul da Gama, Toronto Music Report
“The music soars with melody and lush solos along with powerful rhythmic foundation”... Jazz versions of classical tunes are common, but this group’s interpretation of a Chopin’s Prelude shows how such a crossover should be done…” Keith Black, The Winnipeg Free Press