Electronic / DJ / Jazz. Offering a unique blend of electronic DJ wizardry combined with acoustic improvised Jazz for a one-of-a-kind musical experience.


What do you get when you bring together the best of the Electronic music wave with the technical skill and finesse of Jazz Improvisation?

Formed in 2009 from the desires of Ottawa musicians Marlen Zuyderhoff-Grey, Brent Hultquist, Alex Mastronardi, and Kelly Craig to pursue new musical avenues – Fresh Air delivers a balance of improvised electronic and acoustic music. With this group we can bring you everything from Flute and Piano to Electric Bass and Trumpet layered over selected Drum Loops to create an incredibly fresh and unique experience – every time.

In the early years of the project Fresh Air was hindered by the limitations of computer processor speeds and mobility – requiring a desktop tower, monitor, mouse and keyboard . Now technology has caught up with the musical vision. The technology now allows us to use drum loops, samples and improvised on-the-fly recordings. Using control surfaces to create real time changes to the musical experience allows the musician to regain the natural feel lost when using a mouse and keyboard.

With prerecorded electronic music one major criticism is that the DJ has a limited ability to re-imagine the songs through improvisation and interaction with the audience. This leads to a somewhat stale experience with listeners feeling like they might as well be listening to a Jukebox. On the other extreme – Jazz improvisation is very intimate with the musicians feeding off each other and the energy of the audience – but often they each wind up playing the same few bars dozens of times in a row to keep the groove going for the other instrumentalists.

Fresh Air seeks to solve both these challenges – by catching loops on the fly the DJ frees the musicians up to stop and listen or test out a variety of potential chord progressions and transitions. As the night progresses it leaves behind a range of one-off shots and loops for the DJ to use while the musicians interact with the crowd or sit back and enjoy the creation as it unfolds.

With a few open microphones for singers and guests we occasionally open up the stage for the audience to be part of the experience and help create truly original works of performance art. Perhaps you’ve written a song and haven’t had a chance to work it out with a band – the musicians can set you up with a relevant chord progression and rhythm for you to perform with. Maybe you have a spoken word poem you’ve thought could use a rhythmic backdrop and want to test it out. Or you might just want to listen to some live jazz in the market while you enjoy a drink.

So keep an eye out for “Fresh Air” through Facebook and on posters in downtown Ottawa. We’ll be setting up bookings with various venues over the next few months for events we know you’ll love.