Jean-Denis Bélanger, aka J.D. Slim, is a songwriter, singer and one of the most versatile guitarists in Québec. Though he broke onto the scene with his former band, Blue Rocket Special, and in gigs alongside Nanette Workman, JD wowed critics with his eponymous double album released in 2012: one record sung in French and the second in English, backed by a stellar crew of fellow musicians. That album is considered a seminal work, containing 31 original songs (including four instrumentals) firmly ensconced in the traditions of blues, rock and pop. A major work.
In July 2015, J.D. released J.D. Slim & The Kool Cats, a stimulating project that flirts with the legendary Blue Note sound made famous in the ‘60s by the label of the same name. The original "cool jazz" instrumental material featuring Michel St-Pierre on guitar, Daniel Labrosse on double-bass, J.F. Paradis or Bernard Deslauriers on drums, is the repertoire for the tour dates: COOL BLUES, COOL JAZZ!
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As a self-taught guitarist, J.D. listened to (among others) B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and Eric Clapton for the blues. George Harrison, Lowell George, Ry Cooder and Johnny Winter for slide guitar. Also (among others!) Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell for jazz. Early on he was lucky to get acquainted with the golden rule: "Less is more".
Since 1984, J.D. Slim has performed many times in all the major jazz & blues festivals in Quebec. He is also a singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. Artists he has work with include Stephen Barry, Jim Zeller, Bob Walsh, Rick L. Blues, Pat Loiselle, Michael Jerome Browne, Nomad O Swing and Barbara Diab.
Among recording projects with other artists as a record producer and studio musician, he’s also working with the Kool Cats on the follow-up album to be released in 2018.
1984 Labatt Blue Blues contest winner (Montreal).
1985 Montreal Int. Jazz Fest.
1990 St-Étienne Blues Tour (Lyon, France).
1995-1996 Nanette Workman's Rock & Romance Tour (Quebec).
1998 Blues Guitar Summit at the Montreal Int. Jazz Fest.
1999 Album release: "Slide Guitar Man". Radio play: Commercial radio (CBC Radio, CHOM-FM, community radio (CKUT FM, CHAA FM, CIBL FM).
2002 Canadian Forces Station Alert Tour
2006 Festiblues International de Montréal.
2010 Educational DVD - Blues & Rock Guitar Rhythm Patterns and Solo Improvisation.
2010 Summer festivals guitar seminars.
2012 Album release: "J.D. Bélanger A.K.A. J.D. Slim". Radio play: Commercial radio (CBC Radio, CHOM-FM), community radio (CKUT FM, CHAA FM, CFIX FM)
2012 Lys Blues Awards winner (Quebec): Musical Performance, Album Of The Year nominee.
2012 Festiblues Internatinal de Montréal.
2015 Album release: "J.D. Slim & The Kool Cats". Radio play: Commercial radio (98,5 FM, CBC Radio, CHOM-FM), community radio (CKUT FM, CHAA FM, CFIX FM).
2015 Tremblant International Blues Festival.