Our new record STEPPIN' UP is OUT !!!!

Steppin’ Up is a follow up to the group’s previous albums Obsession and Melodia, which have received rave reviews and awards, including a Western Canadian Music Award (WCMA) and Juno nomination for Obsession and another WCMA nomination for Melodia. To celebrate this new release, we will be hosting a no-admission CD LAUNCH PARTY at Bellamy’s Lounge in the Chateau Lacombe Hotel! Members of our octet will be present to mingle and share the new album with attendees, something that we rarely have the opportunity to do as we are usually busy playing. The event is free of charge with a cash bar available. Please bring your family and friends to celebrate with us!

Steppin’ Up CDs will be available for purchase at the launch giving you the opportunity to start your Christmas shopping early. This CD is a unique gift sure to be enjoyed both friends and family. Pick up an extra one for your secret Santa gift or for your musically inclined co-worker. If you wish to listen to some musical samples, please go to MUSIC section of this website. Below the player controls on this page is the name of each album. Select Steppin' Up and then choose the track(s) you wish to listen to.

Looking forward to spending the evening with you on November 1st!






We are thrilled to let you know about the  Fall 2016 release of our 3rd album Steppin'Up on Tuesday, November 1st, 7:30 pm at Bellamy's Lounge in the Chateau Lacombe Hotel with a social event.


"Kent Sangster’s Octet recording “Steppin'Up” is full of Explosive and Creative music ...This unique ensemble has a sound all of it’s own…. Bravo !!! "
Blue Note Recording Artist  - Joe Lovano 2016

“ Kent Sangster’s Obsession Octet continues their unique journey on their 3rd release Steppin’ Up, again finding that sweet spot between jazz and classical. The music is highly arranged and creative as well as being incredibly listenable”
Brad Barker, Music Director/On-Air Host, JAZZ.FM91

"This recording is another feather in their collective cap, which is fully bristling with feathers already. Kent Sangster’s creative compositions and orchestrations present great opportunities to demonstrate first-rate ensemble playing and wonderfully musical solos across the board".
Tommy BanksCanadian Jazz Icon

"Steppin' Up", the latest release by the Obsessions Octet, is a triumph from beginning till end! Every aspect of this CD, from the writing, to the performances and the recording, puts them on par with the best chamber ensembles in country. “
Allan Gilliland, Composer and Chair of Music, MacEwan University

"As a composer, Kent is extremely talented, and I’ve found his original compositions astoundingly proportionate, interpolating carefully structured imaginative passages and forms, with longer more developed sections, which let loose the improvisational capabilities of his talented octet.
Tommy Smith, Professor & Artistic director of Jazz - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ECM Recording Artist

"That rare marriage of jazz band and classical string quartet, swing and tango known as Obsessions Octet has settled into an expansive, confident, singular groove with this third release, which marks their first decade together, complete with an electronic twist.”
Roger Levesque , Edmonton Journal

Oh Canada ! Series...

June 25, 2016 6pm & 10 pm Rochester International Jazz Festival - Rochester Club, NY, USA 

We are back from the amazing Rochester Jazz Festival and we had a wonderful time!! The festival in Rochester, now in its 15th year, has a similar buzz to The Fringe in Edmonton. The venues are all centrally located, streets are closed off, and food trucks and street performers and crowds are everywhere! This year, festival presented more than 1500 artists from 14 different countries in venues and concert halls which 6 of them had 1600 capacity. There were also 4 outdoor stages with one of them presenting music to 50.000 people!  Most performances have lineups around the block prior to the opening of the venue, and our two performances in the elegant Rochester Jazz Club (formerly a ballroom) were full to capacity, with many patrons standing at the back of the room for the duration, since all the seats and tables had been taken. 

We were filmed for national broadcast (some time in the fall) by a PBS crew which was easily twice the size of the Octet! Back at the hotel, where shuttle buses were arriving and departing every 15 minutes loaded to maximum with every imaginable configuration of musicians and their instruments, the octet gained the dubious distinction of being the Band that Closed Down the Newfie-run Hospitality Suite, several hours after the late night jam session had ended. We were very honoured to represent Alberta both on and off stage, and we are deeply grateful to Rochester International Jazz Festival for inviting us to attend, and to the Canada Council for its support.
                                                                                                                                                                       RONDA and JOANNA

On Monday, June 20th,2016  we played  Edmonton Send Off Concert in Yardbird Suite, before we take off to Rochester(NY).
It was as usual great fun to play in the Suite for our favourite and loyal Edmonton fans! Thanks for  your on going support!! 

Next report will happen from our mini tour.  

Dear Friends,

We are excited to let you know about Obsessions Octet “Oh Canada! Series” Edmonton Send Off Concert. This concert represents the beginning of the journey the octet will take to represent Alberta at the Rochester International Jazz Festival 2016 taking place in Rochester, New York. Please join us on, Monday, June 20th, 7:30pm at the Yardbird Suite.

The Canada Council for the Arts, and the Rochester International Jazz Festival, teamed up together to bring the “Oh Canada!” showcase across the border to the Rochester Club. Each province throughout the country will be represented by a musical group to show off the best in Canadian music. The Obsessions Octet has the prestige to officially represent Alberta.  “This is a very honorable opportunity for us, to represent our province”, says Joanna Ciapka, violinist and wife of Sangster. The group’s performance will be held on June 25th at the Rochester Club, and will be recorded by PBS for future broadcast.

For more information, visit  http://rochesterjazz.com/artist_lineup/?artist_id=159  

Hope to see many of you there!
Obsessions Octet

Read our

Preview: Upcoming Events for Kent Sangster's Obsessions Octet


(St.Albert Gazette) "Obsessions Octet are musical ambassadors to the Rochester International Jazz Festival as part of the inaugural Oh Canada! Series, a joint program created by festival artistic director John Nugent and the Canadian government "...


The Obsessions Octet is Heading to Calgary

The Obsessions Octet's performance - part of JazzYCC Illumin8 on Saturday, May 21st at 8 p.m.
at the Ironwood Stage and Grill 1229 - 9th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta. 

On May 21st- during the Victoria Day Long Weekend we had  a real pleasure to perform for the first time in CALGARY. We were guests of JazzYYC which presented our concert in the Ironwood Stage and Grill , located in a trendy Inglewood neighbourhood. It was a fantastic musical experience which we performed to a sold out room, full of a new audience.Their reception was unbelievably warm as we were treated to a standing ovation (a rare appearance in the place- as we were told) and an encore!  The special thanks go to the organizers: Jazz YYC Series, the great Ironwood Club, really enthusiastic audience and…to all our musicians! Concerts like that make us play better and enjoy playing together …more and more.

Obsessions Recording Project!

Over the September long weekend, the Obsessions Octet went to Calgary, where we were sequestered in OCL Studios for three days and nights and recorded our third CD!  Recording sessions require exceptional focus and endurance. When musicians perform from the stage, we project our music several hundred feet out to the audience, with the purpose of reaching every set of ears in every corner of the venue. In a recording studio, it is as though the opposite has occurred, and one enormous set of ears has climbed right inside each instrument and is listening from there! This allows us to hear details which are usually not even audible, never mind enhanced and captured for posterity... In the octet, we are seated physically close in order for each of us to be able to hear ourselves and each other with the fixed attention this requires.  Typically when we make a recording, some of us are separated into individual booths and we listen to each other through headphones which allow us to adjust the sound levels for individual voices. For this recording, we also employed an extra pair of extra-large ears, those of our endlessly patient recording engineer and producer Paul Johnston, who helped us keep track of all 8 strands of sound.

Just like in the film industry, it can take hours to capture those few minutes of recorded material which meet everyone's satisfaction. In our previous recording projects, we would go to our separate homes at the end of the day, and return the next morning to pick up where we had left off. This can be challenging when the details of daily life transport us pretty far away from the task at hand. At OCL Studios, because we were accommodated right on the premises, we would break for a meal, listen to playbacks of what we had recorded, and jump straight back into the process.
In case this is starting to sound a little relentless, I need to clarify that no matter how intense things got in the studio, just like on our European tour, we never stopped laughing and enjoying ourselves! One of the gentlemen of the ensemble, who unwisely fell asleep during a listening session, was subjected to an involuntary pedicure, a giant Inflatable Nemo found its way from the swimming pool into the house and started ambushing unsuspecting band members, and together we further developed what we are starting to recognize as our own peculiar Octet Subculture. We also watched weather systems come and go across the Rockies, saw two different and spectacular full rainbows and spent hours witnessing a truly breathtaking display of Northern Lights in the middle of the night. We left the studio feeling very pleased with the huge amount of work we had done, and very excited about what we had managed to accomplish.


Yardbird Suite Presents...

10th Anniversary Concert

To celebrate this milestone is performing a concert featuring music from both CDs as well as new pieces by Astor Piazzolla and Kent Sangster. Join us at the Yardbird Suite, on Monday, June 8, 2015th at 7:30 p.m. 

The 10th Anniversary concert will feature some of Edmonton’s finest musicians: Kent Sangster (director/saxophones), Joanna Ciapka-Sangster (violin), Neda Yamach (violin), Rhonda Henshaw (viola), Ronda Metszies (cello), John Taylor (double bass), Chris Andrew (piano), and Jamie Cooper (drums). 

Tickets are $25 at the door - $20 in advance - $17.50 students/seniors 65+ (plus service fees) and can be purchased through TIX on the Square at 780-420-1757 or online at www.tixonthesquare.ca.

Read the full press release here.

We're Back From Our Tour!

We are back from our tour in Europe and are very anxious to see you all, play for you again, and share our stories from the trip!

"The Obsessions Octet performed as part of the 10th Annual International Festival of the Aegean on the Island of Syros (Greece) July 2014 in two appearances-----it was a great and impressive success.  These extraordinary, virtuosic and creative visiting artists brought an elegance  and uniqueness to the Festival which which was simply amazing.  They are world-unique and we look forward to having them return soon."


—Peter Tiboris, General Director & Music Director MidAm International Inc., Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece

With this in mind, we are very happy to invite you to a concert organized by the Polish Culture Society of Edmonton (TKP) as a part of their Annual Festival of Polish Culture.

The event called CLASSICAL-TANGO-JAZZ will take place on OCTOBER 5th at 3:00 pm on the lower level of the POLISH HALL at 10960-104 Street in Edmonton.  During this concert we will perform some of the highlights from the tour – new and old compositions by Kent Sangster, as well as music by Astor Piazzolla, Chucho Valdes, Cole Porter and Frederic Chopin!

Tickets are $20 general admission and $10 for seniors/students.  They can be purchased through TIX on the Square at 780-420-1757 or online at www.tixonthesquare.ca as well as at the door.  Please note:  TKP members are free

More information can be found in English on our website at www.obsessionsoctet.com or in Polish at www.tkpedmonton.com.

Attached to this email is a poster announcing the concert.  Feel free to print it for yourself, post it in your community and/or pass it on to friends and family who would enjoy our music.  Also attached is surprise from Greece…

We hope to see you all on October 5th and until then we hope you enjoy the beautiful, warm autumn weather.

Yours, with best regards, Obsessions Octet


Obsessions Hits the Road to Europe 2014

It is  with a great pleasure that we would like to announce amazing news…. 

Kent Sangster's OBSESSIONS OCTET will be " Hitting the Road" for their first ever TOUR OF EUROPE!

After a great success , followed up with raving reviews of their debut performance at the Carnegie Hall in October 2012,they have received invitations to play at Festivals, Concert Halls, Jazz Clubs and other venues in Greece, Poland and Czech Republic. After over 18 months of hard work of planning, negotiating, organizing and fundraising, they are proud to hit the road in the middle of July, 2014  for 20 day's Tour with 12 planned concerts!

Please come and join us on our EDMONTON SEND-OFF Concert where we will be able to present to you the music we will play across" the big POND"  and when we will be able to tell you all about our upcoming 12 concerts in EUROPE! The “Hit the Road to Europe” concert in Edmonton will feature some of Edmonton’s finest musicians:  Kent Sangster (director/saxophones), Joanna Ciapka-Sangster (violin), Neda Yamach (violin), Leanne Maitland (viola), Ronda Metszies (cello), Chris Andrew (piano), John Taylor (double bass), and Owen Howard (drums). Obsessions Octet will be performing the music of Kent Sangster, Astor Piazzolla, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, Chucho Valdes and more!

Join us on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Edmonton Petroleum Club to hear the music of Kent Sangster, Astor Piazzolla, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, Chucho Valdes and more, music which we will play across "the big POND".  At this time we'll also share about our upcoming 12 concerts in Europe!  Appetizers and drinks will be available for purchase to add to the enjoyment of your evening with us.

Tickets are $25 at the door - $20 in advance - $15 students/seniors 55+ - (plus service fees) and can be purchased through TIX on the Square at 780-420-1757 or online at www.tixonthesquare.ca.

Salute to Excellence Performance Award

We are proud to announce that "Obsessions Octet" received a City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence Performance Award on Monday, November 25th, 2013, at City Hall.  

The City of Edmonton Performance Awards honour local individuals, groups, organizations or teams who have gained outstanding recognition at the national or international level in sport, or have received significant recognition for furthering artistic practice in arts and culture.

We're Back From New York!

Our concert in New York surpassed our greatest expectations.  Surrounded by fans from Edmonton and warmly welcomed by local New Yorkers, we couldn't have played in a more satisfying venue to a more enthusiastic audience.  We will never forget this experience and the support we received from all of our fans both on the road with us and back home in Edmonton. Read more...

Kent Sangster’s Obsessions Octet


Kent Sangster, Director/Saxophone
Joanna Ciapka-Sangster, Violin
Neda Yamach, Violin


Rhonda Henshaw, Viola
Ronda Metszies, Cello
Chris Andrew, Piano


John Taylor, Double Bass
Jamie Cooper, Drums



Obsessions Octet channels emotions into something more romantic. It’s not romance in a sugary, predictable style, but with a robust sound that supports a flood of musical communication. ~ Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

More Reviews


Kent Sangster and his Obsessions Octet has released a self-titled debut album which is followed up with their second recording called Melodia. Other albums from Kent Sangster are also listed below. Have a listen and a look - albums can be purchased online through Indiepool. Sample recordings from both albums are available by clicking the link below.

Listen & Buy

Obsessions Quartet

The Obsessions String Quartet plays a unique variety of classical string repertoire ranging from the Baroque Era through tangos by legendary Astor Piazzolla to music by more Contemporary composers and arrangers.