Heillig Manoeuvre

  • June 29
  • 7:30 pm
  • OLG Stage - OLG Grove
  • Free



  • Alison Young
  • saxophone
  • Stacie McGregor
  • keyboards
  • Henry Heillig
  • bass
  • Charlie Cooley
  • drums

Heillig Manoeuvre is a Toronto-based quartet whose repertoire consists of original instrumental jazz. Bassist/bandleader Henry Heillig describes what they do as thoughtful fun.

"I write songs, with melody and elements of my own character. They become jazz in performance with my musical partners." says Heillig, who is best know for his twenty+ years as musical director of Manteca, the nine-piece afrolatinworldbeatcalypsojazz ensemble. "Manteca was a great ride, much like an ocean liner. Heillig Manoeuvre , by comparison, is a sailboat that can change direction on a gust of spontaneous ideas. Our performances have form, but also room for novelty, and we push each other to be our very best. Audience reaction to our approach has been uniformly rewarding!"

The current version of Heillig Manoeuvre has been together since 2010. The group’s fourth recording, Nouveau Hip, came out in 2021 during the pandemic lockdown.

“Before the world changed, I was lucky to attend a house concert, listening to the Manoeuvre’s thrilling interplay on these brave new songs. This album captures that free exchange of ideas. It’s joyful improvisational jazz at its best!” -Nicholas Jennings, journalist, author, music historian

The members of Heillig Manoeuvre are:
Saxophonist Alison Young, recently included in a CBC.ca feature called "35 Best Canadian Jazz Artists Under 35". Alison has a musical personality that belies her young age. Her playing is soulful and energetic, and her compositions feel very natural. Alison is in great demand, leading her own ensemble as well as performing with jazzmasters Joe Sealy and Colin Hunter, and roots bands Big Rude Jake and Red Hot Ramble as well as Heillig Manoeuvre.

Pianist Stacie McGregor has been a Heillig favourite for many years for her ability to dig-in to a groove and also solo with abandon. She was MD for the late Archie Alleyne's hard-bop band Kollage, toured with bassist Brandi Disterheft, as well as holding down a weekly solo piano gig for over twenty years.

Drummer Charlie Cooley's career has found him touring and recording with many of Canada's top acts, from Amanda Marshall, the Guess Who and Sass Jordan to Prairie Oyster and Jimmy Rankin. However, his place in Heillig Manoeuvre is a result of his 25+ years as Heillig's rhythm partner in Manteca. The pair have an uncanny rapport which creates seamless confident grooving in support of Alison and Stacie's inspired melodies.

Bassist and composer Henry Heillig began his career as a singer-songwriter in Montreal. He learned stage craft in intimate coffee houses, and started playing bass accompanying his dad's favourite swing tunes in their living room. This combination leads directly to Heillig Manoeuvre's repertoire and communicative performance style.

Concurrent with his time leading Manteca, Heillig Heillig toured with Sharon, Lois and Bram and Eric Nagler, producing music for his children's television series. He has been a member of harmonica virtuoso Carlos del Junco's ensemble for over twenty years. From 2008-2019 he was involved as musical director and producer for a project called The Journey, which put vocal veterans such as Jackie Richardson and Alana Bridgewater together with young singers and actors in Regent Park, chronicling the ongoing redevelopment of their neighbourhood.