The Artistry of… Dan McCarthy

Can where you live influence how you create and sound? Does it get into your blood and soul? Is it something that is subconscious and that is simply passively recognized? I think cities influence how and what artists reflect. Experience is the obvious, but navigation is deeper. How you travel through on a living-there level.

Dan McCarthy is a Toronto-based vibes player. He is a composer and a teacher, too. He has been based in New York, but his sound, I think, belies that adventure in that super city. The sound of his music-making sings stories of Toronto — an urban lyrical musical soundscape that weaves and turns and glides at times, like the glide after the kick and push on a board or a late-night cruise in a not-too-often open expressway lane.

It reflects the people in the city in their rush and sometimes in their unique ability to also slow down and enjoy the people-scale places to take refuge in. It is also how the light breaks through and how the cycles make a day pass. It is the way this city sounds. Beautiful, lyrical, daring and breathtaking.

The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.