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Trevor Tchir

Trevor Tchir [cheer] unites the sounds and images of Canada’s rural and urban spaces. Over the past fifteen years, he has played his original songs to audiences across the country. His music tells stories of the people who work and love in its pulsing cities and austere hinterlands. In reviewer Mary Christa O’Keefe’s words, "Tchir's lyrics are populated with characters who are both universal and intimate…In Tchir's hands place, time and relationships become characters, too, with their own agendas and idiosyncrasies...His allegiance is to the time-honoured art of evoking emotion through storytelling."

Trevor released his fourth album, Sky Locked Land, in 2009. It finished at #7 for the year on CKUA, Alberta's flagship listener supported radio station. Many of Edmonton’s finest musicians are featured on the album, including his brother, Stephen Tchir, Lane Arndt, Jordan Faulds, Bramwell Park, and Shannon Johnson. It also features long-time friends and collaborators Pierre Chrétien, of Ottawa’s Soul Jazz Orchestra, on organ, and Peter Webb, helping with harmonies. Other contributors include, Volya Baziuk, Allyson Rogers, Steve Badach, Mickey Vallee, Kristy McKay, and Al Bragg. Sky Locked Land was recorded by Terry Tran at Riverdale Recorders.
Trevor was born in St. Albert, Alberta, where, as a teen, he first heard the music of Bill Bourne, who was an early inspiration and, over two summers, his guitar teacher. Trevor left Alberta at seventeen to work as a page in the House of Commons and to study politics. In 1997, he began playing regularly at Sandy Hill's Dunvegan Pub, site of Bill Barnes' open stage. These were years of fruitful creative exploration and collaboration, spawning Trevor's first release, The Way I Feel Today, recorded in March 1999 by Peter Webb in his Nelson Street basement studio-apartment. Trevor continued to play Ottawa area venues such as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Black Sheep Inn, Cajun Attic, National Library Auditorium, and the Ottawa Tulip Festival, sharing bills with Drums and Tuba, Garnet Rogers, Jacob Two-Two, Richard Wood, Emm Gryner, Julie Larocque, Peter Webb, and Purple.

In 2001, Trevor released November, whose songs center on themes of devotion, ecological responsibility, and the place of spirituality in a world increasingly bent on economic and technological efficiency. Trevor often returned to his Western home, playing with groups like Five O'Clock Charlie, a band featuring his brother Stephen on guitar. From 2001-04, Trevor co-hosted Ottawa's popular Café Nostalgica weekly open stage with poet Kristy McKay, now his wife. These Thursday nights helped to spring the careers of notable Canadian acts like Soul Jazz Orchestra, John Carroll, Purple, Rozalind MacPhail, and Melissa Laveaux. In September, 2003, on the second anniversary of the open stage, Nostalgica recorded a live collection of music and poetry: Thursday Heroes - Live at Café Nostalgica. During his tenure as host of Nostalgica, Trevor completed his Master's in Political Philosophy, focusing on the cultural theory of the influential Canadian writer, Charles Taylor. He continued to play regularly around Ottawa, backed by Webb and members of the funk-jazz fusion band SoulJazz Orchestra.

In 2005, Trevor released Wooden Castles Fall. Its closing song, “Athabasca,” was recently featured in Leslie Iwerks' film, Downstream, shortlisted for the 2009 Academy Award for short documentary, about the environmental health hazards of Alberta oil development. Trevor returned to Edmonton in 2005. In the spring of 2006, he embarked of his first Canadian tour, a 25 show journey by car, bus, ferry, and jetplane from Edmonton to St. John's, Newfoundland, hooking up with old bandmates in Ottawa, sharing bills with Webb in Ontario and Alberta, and Amelia Curran in Halifax.

Trevor is now writing songs for the next album, and playing shows with long time members of his band, Stephen Tchir (guitar/mandolin), Steve Badach (bass) and Michelle Sabourin (violin).

Trevor is a father of a boy and a girl, and holds a PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Alberta, where he wrote his thesis on Hannah Arendt’s analogy between performing arts and political action.

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