Jean-Michel Blais has been a celebrated figure in the post-classical piano world since the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album II in 2016. He attended Quebec’s prestigious Trois-Rivières Music Conservatory but left after two years of study, exhausted by the restraints of the traditional music curriculum. Blais then travelled widely before retraining as a special education teacher. Whilst working as a teacher, he returned to music on his own terms, rediscovering his passion through improvising on the piano. These improvisations formed the basis of a recording career that has earned him two Polaris Music Prize nominations, a #1 on the Billboard Classical chart and a Time Magazine top ten album of the year.
aubades, the new album from post-classical piano icon Jean-Michel Blais, marks the Montreal-born musician’s transition from pianist to composer, as he writes for an ensemble for the first time in his career. Written during the pandemic and following a breakup, Blais has used his distinctive musical voice to create a defiantly uplifting record with glistening instrumental textures and warm major tonalities. The album’s title refers to the “aubade”, a Middle Ages morning love song about lovers separating at daybreak, a dawn serenade.