Breit – Rooke – Piltch

Kevin Breit and Don Rooke have been friends for decades, but their paths rarely
crossed, which is surprising because over the years when they did meet and talk,
it was always about the many things they had in common. Their similar, but not
identical, musical influences. The similar, but not the same, instruments they play.
A shared love of slide guitar. And the number one common factor that they often
discussed: how each of them consistently wrote and recorded music that refused to
be categorized. And the pitfalls of that pursuit.

Their long-term projects – in Kevin’s case, primarily The Sisters Euclid and Folk
Alarm, and for Don, The Henrys – boast a wealth of back catalogue and past
performances. For each band, the influence of roots music has been undeniable.
Most of the styles Breit and Rooke listened to growing up can be identified in
their original writing – blues, folk, jazz, rock, Americana. But for both, what keeps
them creating new music is the energy they get from exploring a blend of these
genres. They are constantly looking for textures, melodies that are novel but still
true to what they learned to love so many years ago, and the tones of good (if
uncommon) instruments.

They’re calling the music they wrote ‘urban folk,’ and the album Bloom. You can hear passages of film music here, early Americana, folk, the languages of blues and jazz, hints of Mingus, even a touch of classical. And everything was played on weathered, vintage, rare acoustic instruments, several of them 100 years old. The music was recorded together in a home, naturally, without compression or EQ, capturing the intricate, sometimes ornery loveliness of those old pieces of wood and steel. Listening to this you will hear the sound of experienced musicians working together on fresh compositions, playing off each other, exchanging ideas, comparing the notes of a common history, striving to make a new one.


“Truly a beautiful album— the compositions, the playing, and the recording quality are stunning.
What I love the most is how it captures the musical intimacy between these musicians.
One of the best guitar recordings I’ve heard in a long time.”
~ David Spelman, Artistic Director, The New York Guitar Festival


Kevin Breit is the leader of the quartet Sisters Euclid, comprising Breit, Ian DeSouza, Gary Taylor and Mark Lalama. Sisters Euclid formed in 1996, and have earned Juno and National Jazz Awards. In 2006, they released an instrumental jazz fusion album of Neil Young songs entitled Run Neil Run.[1]

Kevin and Cyro Baptista formed Supergenerous in 1998 and were signed to Blue Note Records.They recorded two records together.

Breit is a member of The Stretch Orchestra with fellow “quite tall” musicians Matt Brubeck and drummer Jesse Stewart. Their self titled recording won a Juno Award in 2012 for Best Instrumental Album. [2]

Kevin and Harry Manx have recorded three albums together, collecting a Maple Blues Award. He also performs as a solo artist, and as a member of the folk group Folkalarm.[3] Breit’s “Ernesto and Delilah” earned a National Folk Award.

Session work

Breit has performed on albums that have earned 13 Grammy Awards[4] recording with Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones, k.d lang, Hugh Laurie, Rosanne Cash, Holly Cole, Serena Ryder, Amos Lee, Carlos Del Junco, Molly Johnson, Marc Jordan, Natalie MacMaster, Michael Kaeshammer, Quartette, Ian Tyson, Malcolm Burn, Suzie Vinnick, Susanna Baca, Janis Ian, Jeb Loy Nichols, Jane Siberry, Yvette Tollar, Lynne Myles, The Wailin Jennies, the Barra MacNeills, Sylvia Tyson, Ruth Moody, Dal Bello, Steve Bell, Lynn Hanson, John McDermott, Lindy Ortega, and many others.


Don Rooke started and continues to lead the band The Henrys. They have 8 CDs.

The Henrys is a Toronto-based, “nearly instrumental” quartet. Their music features the sound of an antique slide guitar called a kona (and other slide guitars), along with various other instruments, including pump organ, conch shell, guitars, vocals (sometimes wordless), trumpet, drums, the sonar zombie, and steel drums. The band consists of leader Don Rooke along with a large cast of Toronto musicians that includes or has included Paul Pasmore, John SheardHugh Marsh, Davide DiRenzo, David Piltch, Jorn Anderson, Michael White, Joey Wright, Joe Phillips, Mike Billard, David Trevis, Monte Horton, Jonathan Goldsmith. Vocals have been contributed, over the years, by guest vocalists such as Mary Margaret O’HaraBecca StevensGregory Hoskins and Martina Sorbara.[1][2]

Rooke, the leader and composer, has recorded and toured with Mary Margaret O’Hara, Doug Paisley, Three Metre Day (with Hugh Marsh and Michelle Willis), Golden Country Classics (with Paisley, Bazil DonovanMike Belitsky and Chuck Erlichman), Art of Time Ensemble, and recorded with and James WilliamsonIggy and the Stooges, Sylvia Tyson, Maggie Keogh, Josefina Paulson (Sweden), among many others.

He played on the soundtrack to the Academy Award winning film “Ryan”. His was nominated for Achievement In Music – Original Score at the March 2013 Canadian Screen Awards for his work on “Still Mine”. He has played various guitars and slide guitars – lap steel, Dobro, Weissenborn etc – on many soundtracks. He played in the musicians’ movie September Songs and appeared on the TV show Night Music, with Ms. O’Hara.

As well as being featured on the soundtrack to “Ryan”, he’s worked on various TV series (co-composing two seasons of the CBC TV series Drop The Beat, and as featured instrument on two seasons of The Rez), and several feature movies. He co-composed the score for the feature film “Still Mine”, starring James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold, a May 2013 release. And most recently he composed the score to the Canadian documentary “The Lost Highway”.


David Piltch grew up in an artistic family. His father Bernie Piltch was a noted studio and stage saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist in Toronto from the late ’40s to the early ’80s. His older brother Robert is a recording guitarist, and his sister Susan plays flute and piano.[1]

Beginning at age 17, Piltch supported jazz musicians performing at Toronto’s Bourbon Street club, including Chet BakerArt PepperZoot Sims, and Mose Allison. He also accompanied his brother or father at recording sessions and gigs.

In 1979, Piltch recorded and toured with Blood, Sweat & Tears.

In 1983, Piltch formed the trio Strangeness Beauty with Ron Allen (saxophone) and Mike Sloski (drums). Before Piltch left the trio in 1983, they recorded one album: Back to Nowhere.[2]

In the 1980s, Piltch toured and/or recorded with Mary Margaret O’HaraHolly Cole, and k.d. lang.[2]

Piltch moved to southern California in 1993 to participate in more projects.

Piltch has written songs with k.d. Lang, and has produced recordings for Michael Kaeshammer and Emily Saxe.

In 2008, Piltch released the album Minister of the Interior, with guest artists k.d. langBill FrisellPetra HadenHolly Cole, and Perla Batalla.

Recent recording history only (there is so much more) 2015 – present