So many ensembles… where to start? Well, in the beginning there was one…
Dylan Bell Solo The One-Man Show
Solo piano? Solo a cappella? Folk guitar? Jazz? Contemporary improvisation? Take your pick… Dylan does them all. Fluent on multiple instruments and multiple styles, Dylan can create a program that crosses boundaries without missing a beat. Variety is the spice of life, and Dylan’s performances effortlessly combine elements of jazz, pop, world music and contemporary improvisation, from Bach to Bird to the Beatles. As engaging as he is versatile, Dylan gives the audience an entertaining and exciting experience.
And then there were two:
Dylan joins forces with the multitalented Suba Sankaran to create the FreePlay Duo. Described as “inspired eclecticism”, Dylan and Suba will take you from the concert halls of Europe, to the jazz clubs of Manhattan, to the temples of India, and back to the cultural mosaic of Toronto… all without leaving your seat.
Both vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, Dylan and Suba combine and re-combine styles and configurations to give a sound far larger than two people might suggest. A wide-ranging repertoire and a genuine desire to connect with people mean that the FreePlay Duo can create a program to engage any type of audience.
Autorickshaw’s music lies on the cultural cutting edge, as contemporary jazz and funk easily rub shoulders with the classical music of India. Dylan plays multiple roles in this band depending on the lineup: sometimes six-string bass, keyboards (sometimes simultaneously!), and vocal percussion.
For pure acappellatude, look no further than Retrocity. Eight totally rad singers electric boogaloo their way through your favourite tunes from the 80s and beyond, without a Casio or drum machine in sight. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard “One Night In Bangkok” or a shreddin’ guitar solo a cappella. Dylan sings tenor/alto/vocal percussion and secretly dreams of being Stuart Copeland… or Ferris Bueller.
From the creative minds of Autorickshaw, Bollywood Rewind takes you back to the heyday of Hindi films, when the gangsters were really gangsterish, the heroines incandescently fabulous and the music completely over the top. Dylan is the “octopus man”, covering massive horns, shrieking strings, creepy organs, wacky synths and the occasional surf guitar, all with 88 keys and 10 fingers.
Dylan sings tenor in this SATB a cappella quartet. A spinoff of the award-winning Hampton Avenue, HA4 specializes in swinging big-band style jazz, and the luscious sounds of vocal groups like Singers Unlimited and Take 6.
There’s an awful lot of them! To see who else I play (or have played) with, check out my C.V. (the stuff about other bands is on page 3).