Huu Bac Quintet mixes western jazz with traditional eastern music for pro series concert

A group of musicians sit on steps with their instruments.
The Huu Bac Quintet performs at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall on Thursday, Nov. 9 (Photo by Johanna Katarina)

East meets West as the Huu Bac Quintet brings an eclectic mix of contemporary jazz and the traditional music of Peru, China and Vietnam to Brandon University’s (BU’s) Lorne Watson Recital Hall on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Featuring compositions inspired by leader Huu Bac Quach’s travels to Asia, Europe and South America, the pro series concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. The concert will also provide a unique opportunity for a BU student, as Esteban Seunarine, a fourth-year drummer in the School of Music’s Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music Performance Program, will fill in for the group’s regular drummer, Etienne Mason. Other members of the quintet include Guillaume Martineau, piano, Olivier Babaz, bass, and Zoé Dumais, violin.

“Huu Bac plays jazz like you’ve never heard before,” said Greg Gatien, Dean of the School of Music at BU. “The unique interplay between cultures and instruments in his group’s performances make for a memorable and mesmerizing experience. Our community is in for a treat when they bring their invigorating mix of musical styles to the Lorne Watson Recital Hall on Thursday.”

Born in Vietnam to parents of Chinese Descent, Huu Bac moved to Canada with his family at the age of two. He is a master of a wide range of instruments, having studied jazz guitar at McGill University and later delving into the Vietnamese monochord (dan bau), the Chinese fiddle (erhu) and the Andean bamboo flute (quena). Rounded out by Guillaume Martineau on piano, Sébastien Pellerin on bass, Etienne Mason on drums and Vanessa Marcoux on violin, his Montreal-based quintet has toured Canada, the United States, China and South Korea, drawing rave reviews. Huu has collaborated twice with Cirque du Soleil and renowned artistic director Robert LePage.

“Huu Bac plays jazz like you’ve never heard before.”

Greg Gatien, Brandon University Dean of Music

Tickets for the Huu Bac Quintet, on Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, inside the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building, are available at the door. Tickets are $20 for adults and seniors, and free for School of Music and Conservatory of Music students.

The School of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Manitoba Arts Council.

Please note that seating in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall is limited and that programs are subject to change. For an up-to-date listing of pro series and student performances, please visit

Please contact the School of Music at with any accessibility considerations.


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