In Conversation – Patricia Deslauriers, Part II

Patricia Deslauriers is the Quebecois jazz contrabassist spearheading the Patricia Deslauriers Trio, whose recording debut is a reverent tribute to the songs of beloved Quebec songster Richard Desjardins (read the Voice review here). Recently she took the time to answer Wanda Waterman’s questions about her mentors, her new album, and her upcoming career plans. (See the first part of this interview here.)

?Bass players are always the intellectual kind, but nobody knows it.?

Stanley Clarke

Beacons of Knowledge

Patricia’s passion for music was nurtured by some very effective teaching. She attributes her current virtuosity to her school music teacher, Alain Gravel, and later, to drummer Richard Provençal, who ran the music program at the University of Montreal. Other key influences were Jacques Beaudoin, a double bass player at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and a teacher at the University of Montreal. She also credits Normand Brathwaite with having given her ?the chance to be a musician and musical director for TV.?

But the highest honour goes to her husband, Guy St-Onge, her multi-instrumentalist musical collaborator and, in her words, ?the best musician, composer, arranger, conductor, and human being!?

In spite of boasting a stellar roster of collaborative efforts with important figures of the jazz world in famous venues, Patricia insists that the most amazing jazz musicians She’s ever worked with are the two other members of her trio, Paul Brochu and husband Guy St-Onge: ?they’re amazing, personally and musically; they could have had bigger careers in the United States and be known all over the world. they’re well-known for sure, just not as well-known as they’d be if they were in LA or NY. But they chose to stay here. Lucky us!?

Why the Songs of Richard Desjardins?

Patricia says, ?I saw Michel Donato and Karen Young record their album in a live show 23 years ago; they performed ?Lucky Lucky? by Richard Desjardins, and I fell in love with his music and lyrics. Ever since then I’ve wanted to play his music the way I was hearing it . . . so for me it was normal to do my first album with his music.?

Richard Desjardins’s environmental activism is well-known, especially in the province of Quebec, where he’s done much to help protect the boreal forest and to bring awareness to the claims of First Nations peoples. Does Patricia share his views?

?Totally! It’s vital that we change our priority as a society; our planet and our environment should take first place, for us and for the coming generations.?

Feeding the Artistic Soul

Her busy schedule sometimes precludes the consumption of edifying art, but she makes time: ?I don’t have time to read and watch movies as often as I’d like, but I love L?art du bonheur by the Dalaï Lama. For the movies, I liked The Dead Poets Society, Dancing in the Dark, La vie est belle, and Café de Flore.?


What’s next for Patricia Deslauriers? ?For the short term, I’m finishing a television season at the end of February, then I’m going on tour in Russia with Notre Dame de Paris, Le Concert, with a symphony orchestra. Then I’ll be acting as musical director of Cabaret, directed by Denise Filiatrault.?

She’s also hoping to find time for ?growing as a person and a musician and trying to find a balance between that and my family life; I have three children that I love so much (three, six, and nine years old)! Also continuing to express myself with the music!?