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DoomCannon

DoomCannon (aka Dominic Canning) is a London-based composer, producer, arranger, pianist/keyboardist, and educator. His work melds organic and synthetic sounds in a collision of jazz, from neo-bop to contemporary to modal jazz, with copious intersections between drums and electronic beats alongside textures from classical and film music as well as from West African and Caribbean styles. Canning spearheaded several forward-thinking, jazz-inspired outfits on London's vitally creative scene, including the Steam Down collective, Project Karnak, and Triforce. He also served as musical director for neo-soul singer Celeste. DoomCannon's first single, 2021's live "Amalgamation," wed progressive jazz, skittering beats, and South and West African harmonics. He signed to Brownswood and issued a dramatic studio version of the track with an octet in early 2022. He followed with the singles "Times" and "Black Liberation." Alongside six others, all three tracks appeared on the full-length album Renaissance later that year. Born Dominic Canning in South London, his musical education began in public-school outreach program SMS (Southwark Music Services). He learned to play flute at eight and went on to learn alto/tenor saxophone and classical piano. From the time he studied flute, he also developed an abiding -- and ultimately dominant -- interest in jazz piano. He was so enamored with the instrument, he taught himself to play and improvise. At 16, he began taking formal jazz lessons at Kingsdale Foundation School with Adam Glasser. Canning auditioned at Middlesex University and was accepted on scholarship. There, he formed Triforce along with Mansur Brown, Benjamin Appiah, and Ricco Komolafe. They sent a demo to Jazz Re:freshed, which signed them. Their 2016 debut single, "Free Your Mind," featured vocalist Vanessa Jamie. The full-length Triforce 5ive followed later that year. The track "Walls" was later selected for the seminal 2018 Brownswood compilation We Out Here. Following his departure, Canning created the jazz-influenced drum'n'bass production outfit Project Karnak. Their self-released debut single, "Fellowship," appeared in February and won notice across the globe, allowing them to travel to Brazil and perform as part of a package tour booked by production company British Underground and Jazz Re:freshed.  Upon their return, the group issued the five-track Equinox EP. In 2018, Canning met saxophonist Ahnansé (aka Wayne Francis). They began playing together, and Canning became a founding member of the Jazz-FM Award-winning Steam Down producers and musicians collective. While playing at one of the organization's weekly Wednesday night gigs -- among the most consistently sold-out gigs in London -- he was approached by British-American neo-soul singer Celeste to join her band as musical director. He spent almost four years with the singer and songwriter, recording her breakout single, "Both Sides of the Moon," in 2018. The Lately EP appeared the following year to rave reviews internationally. The group toured incessantly. Canning left that gig after a late-2020/early-2021 jaunt across Europe. At the end of 2020, he graduated from Middlesex and began assembling a band to record under his alter ego, DoomCannon. Jazz Re:freshed released the live single "Amalgamation" in February 2021. Already well acquainted with Canning via his other projects, Brownswood Recordings signed him. In February 2022, the label issued a re-recorded studio version of "Amalgamation" showcasing an octet version of DoomCannon. His quintet included saxophonist/electronicist Kaidi Akinnibi, bassist Immanuel Simelane, guitarist Daniel Rogerson, and drummer Oscar Ogden. On the recording, they were buoyed by a string quartet (violinists Marsha Skinns and Saskia Horton, violist Natalia Senior Brown, and cellist Wayne Uquhart). The track won radio and club airplay across Europe, Asia, and South America. DJs and critics tried to outdo one another with effusive praise. In March, this expanded incarnation followed with "Times," featuring London rapper/DJ Lex Amor. DoomCannon had also added double bassist Thea Sayer to replace Simelane. In May, the provocative "Black Liberation," an eight-minute track with a spoken-word prologue, appeared to laudatory reviews. In July, DoomCannon issued the nine-track full-length Renaissance on Brownswood; it was supported with an international tour.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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