Looking for a truly unique blend of the old and new in classical guitar? Jasmin Lacasse Roy's consummate musicianship draws on a wide range of inspiration: from Hendrix to Debussy and back. As a composer of startling originality, his style plays with the boundaries of expectation, reimagining the repertoire in fresh and surprising turns. As both a composer and performer, Jasmin's work features hints of Glass and Rachmaninov, though he's a firm believer that neoclassical music isn't only for the keyboard. His eclectic mix of vintage aesthetics and modern flavours do away with old Edwardian sentiments in favour of imaginative contrasts that evoke a vibrant cosmopolitan scene. You won't be finding his work in your local record store's dusty pile of classical guitar vinyls anytime soon. His musical aesthetic is a sumptuous combination of ease and activity that invites both attentive listening and immersed contemplation.
Aside from his career on the guitar, Jasmin is also a notable scholar. As a graduate from the Montreal Conservatory of Music, followed up with a doctorate from the University of Montreal, he's practically a scientist on strings. For him, music is not merely a theoretical matter; as a performer, he's been celebrated on numerous occasions for his artistry on the instrument. Here are just a few of the competitions that he's had the great fortune of winning one of the top prizes: the Montreal Grand Prize of Guitar, University of Louisville Guitar Competition, Road Island guitar Competition, IFA Altamira Competition of China and Canadian Music Competition. Notably, in 2008, Jasmin was honoured with the laureate of a grant from the Council of Arts and Letters of Québec. Despite these accolades, he remains grounded to his craft via a career as a teacher, including professorship at the University of Montreal and the Montreal Conservatory of Music in 2014, with many other teaching opportunities prior to these. His authenticity and passion for music, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for sharing his art with the public, is what keeps Jasmin coming back for more with every new recording and performance.
Influenced by the blues as well as impressionism, Jasmin's musicality vibrates at a unique timbre. His prime motivation for creating new music is in order to try something new, something different. It's true what they say that you shouldn't let your schooling get in the way of your education, and that's why his classical training only adds to his sense of freedom on stage, informing his celebration of the classical canon with his sense of obligation to the contemporary.
What's the point of evoking the past if it can't reverberate in the present? Jasmin wants his audience to feel and see the story as he does. Even when there's a slightly eerie touch to his tone (an inspiration he draws from the stories of Edgar Allen Poe), his style of performance is delivered with stoic charm—a la Buster Keaton. He sees the beauty in classical traditions of the past as something that has a right and vivid place in the present, albeit with a modern twist.