Concordia University

Sage Reynolds

Part-time Instructor, Music


Office: S-GM 500-42 
Guy-De Maisonneuve Building,
1550 De Maisonneuve W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4727
Website(s): Sage Reynolds
Sage Reynolds / myspace
Life in Winter
Life in Winter / bandcamp
Life in Winter / youtube
Availability: Available to teach private study.

Biography for Sage Reynolds

Bassist and composers Sage Reynolds is highly active on the Montréal music scene performing and writing in a variety of musical styles and contexts (including: jazz, world music, folk, pop, and rock.) Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, he moved to Montréal in the mid-nineties to pursue his studies and make a life for himself as a professional musician.

Sage has performed, toured, and recorded with many different musicians and groups, as a double-bassist, electric bassist, vocalist, and/or guitarist, such as:  Sage Reynolds- The Long Drift, Sage Reynolds Quartet, Life in Winter, Thomas Hellman, Jordan Officer, Notre Dame de Grass, Alejandra Ribera, Rob Lutes, Courtney Wing, Laurel Sprengelmeyer, Marcus Paquin, Brad Barr, Andrew Barr, Ben Shemie, Matt Lipscombe, Julian Brown, Jade McNelis, Stars, Land of Talk, Sarah Neufeld, Amon Tobin, Ismail Fencioglu, Shtreiml, Kaba Horo, Arboreal Quartet, Sean Craig Quintet, Gabriel Lambert Trio, André Leroux, François Bourassa, Guy Bélanger, Rick Haworth, Rita Chiarelli, Harry Manx, Bella Fleck, Rodney Brown, Sienna Dahlen, and Andrea Revel. Other musical activities include regular freelance gigging, the instruction of private students, jazz combo coaching at The McGill Conservatory of Music, bass instruction at Concordia University, and studio session work  (with performance and composition on Sean Craig Quintet- Under Glass (Ora Records), performance on Amon Tobin- Foley Room (Ninja Tune), and performance and arranging on Stars- “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” Single (Arts & Crafts), among others- see “Discography” for more info.) 

In March of 2007 Sage founded the Indie Folk band Life in Winter in which he is the primary songwriter, as well as lead vocalist, bassist, and guitarist. Life in Winter has played many shows in Montréal (including dates at POP Montréal), a couple shows in Toronto, and have recording their material with such engineers as Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, The National, Stars, Torngat, Little Scream), Vid Cousins (Amon Tobin, Moondata) and George Massenburg (Beck, Toto, Frank Sinatra, Journey.) In 2011/13 Sage received Research and Creation grants for this project from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Life in Winter's self-titled debut album was released independently on October 29, 2012 and they are currently working on a second album.

Sage was awarded the “Prix Étoiles Galaxie de Radio-Canada” at the 2005 Montréal International Jazz Festival for his compositions “Saturday Afternoon” and “On the Wall”.  In October 2005 his quartet opened for John Scofield at the famous Spectrum.  Sage Reynolds Quartet played a second and third concert at the MIJF in 2006 & 2008 and performed at both the Ottawa International Jazz Festival and l'OFF Festival de Jazz de Montréal in June of 2007. “On the Wall”, Sage's first full length CD as a composer/band-leader/producer, was released in September of 2006 on Effendi Records (Mtl, FND067.)

In addition to his work in the Province of Québec, Sage has performed elsewhere within Canada’s borders, including concerts and festival appearances in Toronto (including NXNE & Planet IndigenUS), Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Red Rock (Live from the Rock Folk Festival), Owen Sound (Summerfolk Music Festival), Winnipeg (Folk Fest), Vancouver (International Jazz Festival), and Edmonton (Folk Music Festival, performing with Alejandra Ribera.) He has performed internationally in locations such as Alaska, Central America, South East Asia, New York, NY, Merida, Mexico (at the 2005 Merida Jazz Festival Internacional), Austin, Texas (at the 2006 Folk Alliance Conference), and France (performing with Thomas Hellman at the 2012 Marathon des Mots literary festival and touring the country with Jordan Officer in October 2014.)

The bulk of Sage’s musical training occurred while completing his Bachelor of Music Degree, Majoring in Jazz Performance, at McGill University (2000). Other training has included several years of private study (w/ Jordan O'Connor, Michel Donato, Alec Walkington, and others) as well as participation in numerous masterclasses and seminars, including bass masterclasses with Mark Dresser, Drew Gress, & Larry Grenadier, and participation in The International Jazz Workshop at The Banff Centre for the Arts (1999), where he played and studied with Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, and Kenny Werner.

Press/Quotes for Sage Reynolds

Staying Warm for the Winter 
by nickb · November 2, 2012 
Montreal Band Life in Winter Explores Familiar Themes in Self-Titled Debut 

With a band name like Life in Winter, one almost expects a sound evoking imagery marked with Cohen-like duality and contrast—hardships and the beauty of survival, the blizzard and the serenity that might follow, or the search for warmth on the coldest days. The eponymous debut from the Montreal three-piece founded by songwriter Sage Reynolds delivers subtle and endearing textures that manage to comfort in a similar way a glass of Scotch—or hot chocolate—would during a snowstorm; the record’s themes, however, are about more than just escaping winter doldrums, and the longing is more than just seasonal. 

Sonically nestled in between singer/songwriter folk and an indie-rock-pop backdrop, Life in Winter embraces a landscape that reflects the season it wishes to depict, resulting in production that plays to the band’s strengths: strong musicianship, quality songwriting, and live-like dynamics that seem to mimic the ups and downs of searching for love and purpose in a cold, cold place. 

Likely intended as a concept record from its very beginning—the band’s name may have served as some sort of unavoidable self-fulfilling prophecy in that respect— the end result is a clear and unified theme dragging its boots through the sleet, while longing for winter’s bluest skies. On Full Blue, Reynolds sings ‘Now my heart’s wild fire, white hot, clear desire/ I found the real thing, with mittens on, Winter Lady, warm sapphire’, capturing both the longing and the contrast this records seems to bring forth so strongly. 

The debut album was launched at Casa del Popolo last Monday as Hurricane Sandy swept over the East Coast, and although Montreal only caught some leftover gusts, it almost seemed fitting for Casa to play the role of port in a storm for the occasion. Joined by four additional musicians on stage, the band played the album in its entirety, front to end. With songs such as Wood Fire—already a highlight on the record—reaching even more palpable highs when played in front of an audience, Life in Winter proved to be a worthy live band—one worth seeing more than once. ‘I’ll make the fire again with wood a little drier/ We’ll walk the land tomorrow with hearts a little lighter,’ sang Reynolds, inviting the listener to come along. And it made you want to go along. By seeing its shadow this week, Life in Winter reminded me that there are only six weeks left until winter. More importantly, it reminded me that this is not necessarily such a bad thing. 

Nick Backovic 

Life In Winter – S/T (Independent) 

Montreal based Life In Winter seem perfectly aligned with the hugely popular alt. folk-rock genre, originally initiated (and latterly influenced) by groups like Crosby, Stills and Nash, and now best exemplified by million-sellers such as Fleet Foxes and their ilk. The five-piece, led by songwriter Sage Reynolds, have been honing their craft since 2007, and all those years spent rehearsing and practicing have paid dividends on their debut collection, an enthralling nine track effort, dripping with luscious harmonies and spirited, accessible tunes. 

In fact, pretty much the first thing you’ll hear on their debut is blended vocals. The trio of singers,

Reynolds, Sheenah Ko and Rich White have all the rich compatibility of a sibling troupe, and while wordsmith Reynolds is usually to be found at the front of the mix, it’s the interaction between the three where much of the magic happens. To reiterate, opening track “Flight” begins with a harmonious sweep of voices, and the effect is almost choral, before guitars and keyboards add ‘rock’ structure. It’s an elegant launch to a record that repeatedly hits polished highs. One of those is the outstanding “Lone Rider”. Delivered with pace, it’s propelled by a combination of needle sharp guitar and Reynolds’ uncompromising vocal. I could listen to it all day, and may just do so. 

Phil S. (for Leicester Bangs)

On the Wall ****  - Sage Reynolds (Effendi)

The first CD from Montreal bassist Sage Reynolds is better than most debuts have a right to be.

It's nine varied compositions distinctively blend accessible melodies and grooves with jazz sophistication. Reynolds' quartet bandmates – trumpeter Bill Mahar, guitarist Kenny Bibace and splashy, dramatic Ottawa-raised drummer Stef Schneider – are all their own men, eloquent, lyrical and powerful as needed. The horn-guitar combination floats pleasingly over the heavier groove of Reynolds and Schneider, and together, the four musicians display a real sense of purpose.

The Sage Reynolds Quartet plays June 29 at 6:30pm in Confederation Park.

-  Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen, June 2007

Sage Reynolds, who last year won the Étoiles Galaxie award and, this year, is nominated for the Grand Prix du Jazz General Motors award, is not the furious type. His universe is made of subtle mixtures of colours, screened interactions and very beautiful melodies. Welcoming and accessible jazz. Every ingredient leading to popularity is there. As for me, I have a liking for his song Meat Cove, where the trumpet has kind of an oriental twist.

-  Alexandre Vigneault, La Presse (Montréal), July 2nd , 2006 (translated from French)

“...great bass-playing.....beautiful tone and ideas!"          
“...(I) really enjoyed your writing and, especially, your bass-playing..."

-  Drew Gress, bassist/composer, re: Sage Reynolds- On the Wall, May 17th, 2006

This is the fourth year that the all-music network of Radio-Canada – Galaxie – has been associated with the Grand Prix de Jazz de General Motors. This year's Prix Étoiles Galaxie de Radio-Canada is going to Sage Reynolds composer of the pieces “On the Wall” and “Saturday Afternoon,” considered by the jury to be the best compositions presented in this year's contest. The prize includes $5000, plus the visibility Galaxie can offer through its cross-Canada all music network, as well as in its magazine which is distributed to thousands of readers. Supporting rising stars like Sage Reynolds is among Galaxie's top priorities.

Discography for Sage Reynolds

Discography for Sage Reynolds

- Katie Moore & Andrew Horton- Six More Miles (independent, produced by Warren Spicer) 2017
- Andrea Lindsay- Entre le Jazz et la Java (Les disques de la cordonnerie, produced by Jordan Officer) 2016
- Franco's Jazz Mofos- 2 Years in the 'Mak (independent, self-produced) 2016
- Baron Tymas- Montréal  (tymasmusic, self-produced) 2016
- Sussex- Parade Day (independent, self-produced) 2015
- B's Bee- S/T (independent, self-produced) 2015 
- Jordan Officer- Blue Skies (independent, self-produced) 2015
- Thomas Hellman- Rêves amériains, tome 1: La ruée vers l'or (Productions Onimus, self-produced) 2015     
- Jesse  Speed- Shepherd's Call (independent, self-produced) 2014
- Jordan Officer- Victor Sessions (Spectra Music, self-produced) 2013
- Thomas Hellman Chante Roland Giguère (l'Hexagone, self-produced) 2012
- Life in Winter- Life in Winter (independent, produced by Sage Reynolds, co-produced by Marcus Paquin) 2012
- Robin Ranger- The View From Seventh Sky (independent, self-produced) 2012
- Émergences- Centre-du-Québec (Centre Emmaüs, produced by Francis Rivard) 2011
- Sevens Project (Dare to Care, produced by Vid Cousins) 2010
- Courtney Wing- Bouquet of Might and Fury (Proxenett, self-produced) 2010
- Vlada Tomova- Balkan Tales (Kuker Music, produced by Vlada Tomova and Paul Ruest) 2009
- Michel Berthiaume- Departure (XXI, self-produced) 2009
- Vincent Stephen-Ong/Tom Eliosoff- Winding Path (Bagarap Records, self-produced) 2008
- Amon Tobin- Foley Room (Ninja Tune, self-produced) 2007
- Bruce Hansen- Controlled Burn (Bruce Hansen Music, produced Danny Johnson) 2006
- Sage Reynolds- On the Wall (Effendi, Montréal, FND067, self-produced) 2006
- Lenya B. (Nathalie Matteau)- Clues and Lies (independent, self-produced) 2006
- Sage Reynolds- Clear Sight EP (independent, self-produced) 2006
- Moondata- Satellite: LABprojects '03-'05 (Moondata Productions, self-produced) 2005
- Stars- “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” Single (Arts and Crafts, self-produced) 2005
- Naëco- Les 5 Saisons (independent, self-produced) 2005
- Robin Ranger Quartet- On the Shortest Day of the Year (independent, self-produced) 2003
- Sean Craig Quintet- Under Glass (ORA, self-produced) 2003

Current Projects (select)

- Thomas Hellman (singer-songwriter/chanson/folk)
- Jordan Officer (blues/jazz/western swing/rock n' roll)
- Sussex (folk/blues/pop)
- Lambert-Reynolds-Wheaton (jazz)
- Life in Winter (indie folk)
- Sage Reynolds- The Long Drift (world/folk/jazz)
- Sage Reynolds Quartet (jazz)

Previous Projects (select)

- Eaubansan (folk/pop/chanson)
- Ismail Fencioglu Ensemble (Fenci's Ensemble) (turkish classical/folk)
- Alejandra Ribera (singer-songwriter/folk/blues/Latin)
- Courtney Wing (indie/folk/orchestral)
- Arboreal Quartet (world/jazz)
- Canto & Damon Dowbak Trio (DDT) (folk/jazz/world/cabaret)
- Rodney Brown (folk/singer-songwriter)
- Sienna Dahlen (jazz/folk/pop)
- Land of Talk (indie rock)
- Matt Lipscombe (folk/pop/soul)
- Lee Mellor & The Mudhounds (folk/alt-country/bluegrass)
- Nathalie Matteau (cabaret/folk)
- Andrea Revel (folk/pop)
- Sean Craig Quintet (jazz)

Teaching activities

Sage is currently teaching private study (bass, double-bass) at Concordia, jazz combo at The McGill Conservatory of Music, and private lessons (bass, double-bass, theory, composition, song-writing) from home, as well as at the homes of students.

Artistic performances


For performance listings for Sage Reynolds please visit the public section of Sage's Facebook page, Life in Winter's Facebook page, or Life in Winter's website:

You can hear Life in Winter's debut self-titled album here:

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