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SUSSEX - The Ocean Wide

2021 Nominees


Sussex invites you to cross The Ocean Wide

Featuring renowned songwriter and performer Rob Lutes, with vibraphonist Michael Emenau, the genre-defying Montreal roots project, Sussex, unveils its new album, suitably titled, The Ocean Wide.

Following the success of the group's first record, Parade Day (2016), and extensive touring, Sussex is back with a second album that will transport you to an equally extraordinary and singular musical universe.

With Emenau on vibraphone and pianica and Lutes on guitar, banjo, and vocals, The Ocean Wide is an eclectic, exhilarating journey — at times joyful, at times melancholy — that takes us improbably right to the very heart of American roots music.

Featuring special guests Ivanhoe Jolicoeur on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Bruno Lamarche on clarinet and saxophone, and recorded and mixed by renowned Montreal engineer Rob Heaney (Cirque du Soleil, Patrick Watson), The Ocean Wide features 13 new original songs, and  a superb reinterpretation of Steve Goodman's gem, “Lookin’ for Trouble.”



"When Michael and I made Parade Day, we looked at it as a well needed break in our busy musical schedules. We were just having fun playing together after many years, and we loved the blend of vibes and guitar. But the album did so well that we ended up being picked up by a great agency in Montreal and touring it pretty extensively. We had so much fun tweaking the sound and bringing new tunes to the show and the audience reaction was so off the charts, we felt a momentum to get back into the studio and make a second album. This time, we stepped outside any normal musical boundaries we had had and just tried stuff. A slide guitar/pianica minor blues (Train #7). Some bebop horns and vibes over a guitar and banjo-driven folk tune (The Ocean Wide).

Some nods to Tin Pan Alley and Leonard Cohen and Ragtime and Dixieland. And some cool folk roots tunes that found a home in this album's particular sound. The beauty of Sussex for Michael and me is that we can take the music wherever it needs to go. There are no stylistic limits. This outing is quite different from the first, a little more intimate with just us and Ivan and Bruno on horns, but a little broader musically. A little more adventurous. Michael's got a whole new palette of sounds on his vibes and this band has pushed my playing to lots of new places on guitar and banjo. This music does not represent a logical step anywhere. It's pure in that way. Just music. And that's a lot of fun."



Michael Emenau - vibraphone, pianica, percussion
Rob Lutes - guitar, banjo, vocals

Special guests:

Ivanhoe Jolicoeur - trumpet, flugelhorn
Bruno Lamarche - clarinet, saxophone


About Sussex 

Sussex is the brainchild of Michael Emenau and Rob Lutes. The two renowned musicians were childhood friends and high school bandmates in New Brunswick. After graduation, they went their separate ways — Michael to Tokyo, San Francisco and Paris, where he made a name for himself as a world-class jazz vibraphonist and composer; Lutes to Montreal, where he has recorded six albums and earned a reputation as one of Canada’s finest songwriters and roots performers.

Reunited in 2012, the pair began to write together for the first time in 20 years. Encouraged by the results, they decided to make a record. Enlisting the services of some of Montreal’s finest players, including guitarist Benoit Charest (Les Triplettes de Belleville), violinist Josh Zubot (Patrick Watson), bassist Sage Reynolds (Jordan Officer) and trumpeter Ivanhoé Jolicoeur (Les Cowboys Fringants), they went into the legendary Studio Frisson in Montreal in Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 and recorded their debut album Parade Day. The Ocean Wide is their second album. 



Kimberly Sinclair | cell: (902) 350-3968 email:

Marie-France Privée (Quebec) | cell: (514) 814-7844 mail:


Noemie Azoulay - Agence Resonances 514-521-4445 |