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Jeremy Gallant goes to the National Music Festival

by Heather Denning

Jeremy GallantWhen most children have a musical ability proud parents usher them to music lessons, which may last a few years until the complications of teenage call too loudly to be ignored, and the guitar strings go slack, the reeds unwet, the bow is unwaxed and suddenly music is something “I used to do as a kid.” Not so Jeremy Gallant.

Growing up in Saskatoon Saskatchewan, Jeremy first played the classical piano at the age of 7, moving to Charlottetown at the age of 11. Encouraged by the musical influences already within his family, Jeremy soon branched out into different styles of piano and added drums to his repertoire, no doubt inspired by the versatility of his father, whose guitar and vocals feature in the band Big Tilda.

Jeremy moved to Moncton to study classical piano at the University of Moncton. Tutored by Roger Lord, he was recommended for the National Music Festival in competitions in both New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, leaving him with a difficult choice, to represent his home or his alma mater. Jeremy chose New Brunswick—like most young artists he needed as much financial help as he could get to support him in his journey to Edmonton to the nationals. With three other musicians representing as well as Jeremy, New Brunswick has a larger budget. Another of PEI’s talented young pianists, Kathryn Ledwell, will represent Prince Edward Island at the Festival.

But Jeremy Gallant is no one trick pony; he is featured on the Rock The Row CD on drums with his band Sensitive Eyes, and enjoys rocking the ivories as well. With influences such as Dreamstheatre, Jeremy is too talented for any one genre to hold him, collaborating with his cousin from Kentucky in boyhood summers on the Island. Each writing their own songs, and then helping the other finish them in a manner reminiscent of The Postal Service, the twosome formed a group called Manifoles.

I asked Jeremy five quick questions:

1. So what’s your favourite song at the moment? “ The Punch Brothers: Hearts in a Cage.”

2. Whats the song that makes you the most annoyed, you know, the one that makes you angry? “I don't know, if I hear a song that I hate I turn off the radio!”

3. Who is the artist you would most like to meet? “Can they be dead? OK then, well John Bonham from Led Zepplin.”

4. Whats the best concert you have ever been to, one that made your heart race? “A mixed gig with Julien LeBlanc and Dion Mazerolle.”

5. Whats your favourite driving CD? “My stuff!”

And it looks like there will be much more Jeremy Gallant ‘stuff.’ Jeremy plans to release a CD of his solo music and then go where the wind takes him—next year however, it will be taking him to do his Masters of Music at Ottawa. Another province to conquer? I certainly hope so.

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