Feels Like Healing

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Jesse Ryan

Season 1, Ep. 10

This week my guest is Trinidadian-born saxophonist Jesse Ryan. Jesse is a saxophonist and composer with a keen interest in the connections between jazz and Afro-Caribbean musical traditions and communicating transcendent ideas through his music. Ryan’s debut album Bridges (2020) was nominated for a JUNO award and he was the recipient that year of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Jazz Artist Award.


Ryan grew up in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago surrounded by a rich heritage of music and is the grandson of one of the islands’ calypso veteran, the late Clifton Ryan, aka the “Mighty Bomber”.

When he moved to Toronto in 2013, he had this unspoken fear of losing a loved one while he was away. That became a reality in 2017 when his mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on July 27, 2017. He was in Toronto when she passed away and couldn’t travel home in time to be with her. When that happened, he knew that one of the ways that he could deal with the trauma and process his grief was to write some music. That’s how the song 'The Night Before She Passed' came about.


You can find more information about Jesse via his website: https://www.jesseryanmuzik.com/

or follow Jesse on Instagram @jesseryansax


Music featured in this episode:

'The Night Before She Passed' by Jesse Ryan (Listen here: https://bit.ly/3CC54EJ)


Feels Like Healing is a show where I talk to creative people about how grief has shaped their art.


These conversations are here to show how those who have suffered loss have found comfort and solace through the act of being creative and how creativity can help us all better understand our grief and reach a place of healing.


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You can follow Feels Like Healing on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook @flhpodcast

Produced / Edited by Al Lewis

Theme music by Al Lewis

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