Jazz standards with adventurous arrangements, trancy moods and compelling grooves!
Courage4 plays off-the-wall arrangements of funk, pop and folk-infused jazz standards.
The quartet features Martine Courage’s creative, lush vocals and stripped back piano stylings, Laura Nerenberg’s nimble and warm violin tones, Rob Frayne’s jazzy harmonic bass (and sometimes tenor sax) and Mike Essoudry’s groovy and inventive drumming.
From the rollicking “If I Only Had a Brain”, and the funk-inflected “Just Friends” to the atmospheric “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to,” a set of the quartet’s music hits all the right notes.
Their debut CD, Things Are Looking Up!, released in July 2021, amps up the musical adventure with top-notch guest artists, including Scott White (bass), Zakari Frantz (alto sax), and Alvaro de Minaya (percussion), plus track guests Dave Bignell (guitar), Petr Cancura (tenor sax), Chris Bartos (slide guitar), Liz Hanson (shaker) and Ross Murray (percussion). Expertly and patiently recorded, mixed and mastered by Ross Murray.
Three Courage4 members met at JazzWorks Jazz Camp in Perth, Ontario in the early 2000s, and have played together in different formats over the years.
News & Updates
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Gigspace Jazzin' the Holidays 2021 concert
We're pleased to announce that Courage4 has been invited to perform at Gigspace's annual holiday fundraiser, Jazzin' the Holidays on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. Very limited in-person and unlimited virtual tickets will be announced on their website. With a selection of songs from our recent album plus some of our favorite Christmas and Hanukkah songs, we're getting our bells on to celebrate with you!
Courage4 at 2021 Ottawa Jazz Festival
Courage4 played Sparks Street on August 22 at high noon, braving the 38 C heat. C'était du hot jazz! We enjoyed playing for a friendly and supportive audience and also had great support from the jazz festival folks.
Video: Courage4 plus guests in concert
Vocals and piano
Martine Courage has performed in various Ottawa and area venues, including twice at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, at Montreal's Downstairs Club, and at Kingston's Baby Grand Theatre. She has played at Gigspace, the Almonte Jazz ‘n House concert series, Vineyards, Perth’s CC’s on the Rideau Ferry, Beckta and Zola’s with jazz musicians such as Garry Elliott, Vince Halfhide, Roddy Ellias, Mike Rud and Mark Ferguson. Martine works as a communicator by day, pursuing her love of music and creative jazz in her spare time.
She studies piano with Steve Boudreau and voice with Amanda Mabro. She also studied voice with Montreal jazz singer, Ranee Lee.
Bass & Tenor Sax
Rob Frayne is an Ottawa jazz stalwart, having done more than 20 concert tours, including international jazz festivals in Ottawa, Montreal, Boston, Washington, England and Norway as well as famous jazz venues such as New York’s Blue Note. Rob led the award-winning Chelsea Bridge and was a longtime member of the Juno-nominated Angstones. He played with major Canadian artists, including the Shuffle Demons, Mary-Margaret O-Hara, Mary Ann Price (Dan Hicks, Kinks), the Cuban Fence Climbers, Gil Evans Orchestra, Fred Stone, Kenny Wheeler. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Rob mainly holds down the bass end of things in Courage4, bringing out the tenor sax for a few choice pieces.
Mike is a sensitive, active and responsive drummer-composer with strong musical intuition. This in-demand musician performs in many different musical settings, from folk to musical theatre, from jazz to rock to 20th century classical percussion. Mike plays with the Megan Jerome Together Ensemble, the popular New Orleans-tinged Bank Street BonBons, the grooving Bumpin' Binary duo, and many others. Mike toured Canada with the Mighty Popo and the Megan Jerome Trio.
Laura has performed chamber music, orchestral music, jazz, pop, folk and improvised music across the National Capital region, as well as in Montreal, Newfoundland, California, Tanzania. Laura is a founding member of Ensemble Prisme, Courage4, the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, the Triptych Piano Trio, the Frond Duo and the Algonquin Ensemble. Laura is the director of the Rideau Falls Violins and an active Suzuki Violin and Creative Ability Development (improvisation) teacher. Laura blends her musical influences into a unique style, expressing a voice that ranges from deeply intimate to furious to cheeky.
Twinkly lights, sparkling drinks and great music -- Courage4 can add a special touch to an event, play a concert at your house or liven up a street party. To learn more about Martine Courage, Courage4 and our music, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Ottawa, ON, Canada