Mood Indigo Giving Fans a New Project After Tremendous Community Support

By Michael Charlebois

One of the city’s busiest live acts is adjusting to the times. Mood Indigo, a jazz quartet featuring Mark Thibert, Anna Torontow, Glenn Jennings, and Paul Hessey, are releasing their first piece of recorded music in nearly a decade.

“We’re primarily doing this as a means of providing psychological support for all the people who can’t come to see us live,” says Thibert, the band leader. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has been doing a series of virtual projects, including a virtual Live at the Waterfront show which garnered over 7,000 plays online. Thibert says the virtual sessions have gone so well, they were encouraged to deliver something more to their fans. “We recognize the importance of our music for people to cope with the current situation,” Thibert says. “If anything, I think COVID-19 has provided us an opportunity to learn and embrace a different platform. It seems that this hasn’t caused any degree of impediment in terms of reaching our fans.”

The jazz quartet, which performed as a three-man group for the better part of the last 25 years, now features renowned local vocalist Anna Torontow, who joined the band in 2018. “Her professionalism, the recognition by the people of Thunder Bay, and her tremendous performance skills have really brought a new depth and dimension than we were already able to offer,” Thibert says. “There’s a certain element of her lyrics that people connect with.”

Thibert adds that the album, titled Mood Indigo: New Normal Jazz, is expected to be released in early to mid-January. He says the songs touch on a wide range of jazz styles, and feature music that was entirely written and recorded in Thunder Bay. “We have everything from swing, bebop, Latin music, ballads. […] For this record we really tried to reach the broadest spectrum of the likes of our fanbase.” During the holidays, the quartet also had a virtual 12 Days of Christmas event as another show of solidarity with the community. The videos are available to stream on Facebook and YouTube.

For more information and band updates, visit Mood Indigo Jazz on Facebook.