A life in music seems to have been destined for Artem Ramsay. Better known as Muhammad Abdul Al Khabyyr, the renowned trombonist and fixture of Quebec’s music scene for more than 40 years started out behind the piano at age 5. After playing French Horn at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Hull, he picked up the trombone at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal where, at age 15, he graduated with a prestigious diploma (Concours en Solfège).
After dabbling in different instruments in high school, he picked up the trombone again in 1976 to audition for the Vanier College music program, where he earned a DEC in 1979. By then, his professional career was already in full flight, with recording and television studio gigs and performances six nights a week with The Paul Notar Orchestra in Montreal. In 1987, he joined his father, a highly-accomplished musician for hire, as First Trombonist and Soloist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, where he would hone his skills and nurture his creativity as a composer over the course of seven years of touring.
His career is highlighted by performances with the likes of Tony Bennett, Henri Mancini, Julio Iglesias, Daniel Lavoie, Barry White, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Diana Ross, Gregory Charles, and many more, while contributing to the big band sounds of orchestras led by Vic Vogel and Denny Christianson. He has toured with some of Quebec’s most notable artists, left his mark on the bright lights of Broadway, and served as a distinguished jury member for the Canada Council of the Arts in 1994, 1996, and 2001. Artem also teaches trombone at the college and university level.
Today, at age 60, Artem Ramsay is embarking on a new chapter with his first solo release, Still Life Tone Poems – Book I (Justin Time Records). Each of the piano compositions captures a unique moment in time, providing listeners with musical insight into some of life’s simple wonders via layers of driven, continuous melody that transports them on a sonic journey. With a professional career that has spanned a multitude of genres from around the world and back again, he perceives multiple musical influences as dialects of a single language, comprised of harmonic overtones, shapes and forms, and variables and constants that straddle the world between science and ‘Art’.