Eli Chalmer - Trombone, effects
Nick Kirshnit - Trumpet, Slide Trumpet, Synth, Computer, Chaos
Gregory Burton - Keyboards, Synth, Euphonium
Josh Dodds - Bass, Upright Bass, Didgeridoo
Ben Dodds - Drums
"...from movement to movement you never knew what you were going to hear but you always liked it..." -Mcgill Tribune
"...their performances are utterly intoxicating." -The Concordian
"Panacea's powerful songs can stand alone, but together they send out a decree; they force a reformation of thought, and their sets become musical narratives."-The Concordian
" You can't label them; they have too much creativity and too much power..."-Ronald Nurse (Grimskunk/Indica Records associate)
These five musicians came to Montreal seeking to develop a unique outlet for musical expression.
Twin brothers Josh and Ben Dodds, who studied jazz in Edmonton, Alberta, arrived in Montreal in 2003, having performed extensively in their home town and on tour for the past three years with the recently disbanded "Cool Blue Method". The goal of that emigration was creating new music.
Hailing from Montpelier, Vermont, Eli Chalmer, a trombonist in the throes of classical studies at McGill University and having also acquired an insatiable appetite for experimentation and composition, responded to an ad posted by the Dodds twins. The three soon met, happy to begin developing ideas for this original instrumentation.
Very soon afterwards joined keyboardist Gregory Burton, a young energetic musician from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Also a long-time classical student and aspiring composer, Burton came to Montreal to learn jazz and found his niche with the band after answering the apparently effective call for musicians from the Dodds.
Throughout the following nine months, semi-regular, yet prolific rehearsals produced a solid repertoire and sound. Through a chance connection with a friend named Armand (booking agent at the up-and-coming show bar 1221 Crescent St. Pub) Panacea performed for the first time with the now-deceased Dissonants at the Crescent Street Pub. That night proved more successful than the group had ever expected as nearing the end of the closing set, bar owner Ronee Nurse (successful Montreal modern hip-hop artist, and frequent associate of the well-known eclectic/hardcore organization of Grimskunk...) embarked the stage to jam with the band, and in approval announced to the audience that the band was being installed immediately as the Thursday
night in-house band.
Panacea held that slot for the following seven months straight, making a sizeable effort to produce a new show every week. Panacea also played their first show abroad in September of that year playing at the Black Door music venue in Montpelier Vermont. This was also Panacea's introduction to trumpeter Nicholas Kirshnit (better known as DJ Thatguy; check him out on myspace). An Juliard School of Music alumni and a Manhattan School of Music droppout, Kirshnit saw an opportunity with the foursome and a relationship evolved which would not be beaten back (no matter how hard they tried...). That relationship reared it's ugly snout every Thursday night at 1221 Crescent and a few more times in Vermont's capitol city, culminating in Panacea's last show of '05-'06 at the Crescent St. Pub. They were joined for this concert with the now familiar chaos pad/laptop wielding Kirshnit, and a brilliant avant-garde brass quintet from the Schulich School of Music at McGill.
Panacea has founded a movement tentatively dubbed "Montreal Renaissance." Panacea regularly teams up with new classical ensembles playing in between sets at their shows in efforts to promote a renewed appreciation for instrumental Art music (new and old) in a relaxed and open environment.
Check out the myspace page at www.myspace.com/odetoanuglypig