After more that 20 years as Artistic Director, John Geggie announced his resignation just before Christmas. Citing a “need to balance various aspects of my professional and private life”, John goes on to say:
“From its beginnings at Christie Lake and its development and expansion, it has been a privilege for me to participate in the blossoming of this unique jazz education resource. It is a tribute to the dedication of the board as well as the staff that JazzWorks has grown to its present position with a solid and position reputation. As director of Artistic and Educational Programming for many years, I am proud of the high artistic standards and the innovative educational approach that has been developed. This past year was particularly inspiring for me with the inclusion of guest faculty as well as well-planned workshops and activities for the participants. It is gratifying to know that we can keep attracting new interest as well as returning participants. It is also inspiring and humbling for me to work with the fantastic faculty - they share with me a common vision about JazzWorks is about"
Indeed, John presents very large shoes to fill, and the transition will require much reflection and planning from our Board of Directors. The JazzWorks Board will unroll our 3 Year Strategic Plan by the end of January. This will keep you, our JazzWorks community, informed as to what we are planning over the next 3 years. Plans for camp 2016, and upcoming events and workshops are currently underway and will soon be announced, so please stay posted.
JazzWorks hopes to continue our relationship with John at camp and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Charley Gordon, a former board member, past President (acting), has honoured us with a wonderful article expressing the feelings that we all share about the artistry and direction of John Geggie. <click here>
The next JazzWorks Jam, Friday, January 15, will feature members of the SRO Big Band. Called the SRO Snippets, these musicians will have you swinging and swaying, guaranteed.
SRO (Standing Room Only) is a classic big band with 14 instrumentalists and a vocalist. Band members live in the Almonte area and in Ottawa. The band is best known for its popular Tea Dances, which it organizes and for which it provides the music. The Sunday afternoon tea dances - now in their 10th season - are held monthly from October to March in the historic Almonte Old Town Hall, a beautifully preserved venue with a clean and spacious wooden dance floor, natural lighting, and wonderful acoustics. On Jan. 17 (i.e. 2 days after the jam session) SRO will be hosting its first Ottawa Sunday afternoon tea dance, the “Beat the January Blues” big band dance. This will take place at the Glebe Community Centre from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
The SRO Snippets was formed to provide music for dance lessons that occur before full band dances and it usually only gets to play small snippets of songs before the dance instructor stops the music to move on to the next part of the lesson. They include:
John Haysom - trumpet
Alan Wilkinson - tenor sax
David Somppi - piano
Howard Tweddle - bass
Chris Thompson - drums
Alf Warnock - guitar
Bring along your instruments, charts and Real Books and join in the fun! The show starts at 7:30, with the jam starting at about 8:30. JazzWorks Jams are held on the third Friday of the month at the Georgetown pub. For details <click here>
I'd like to put in a word about our Jazzworks mentored jams, especially our upcoming jam on Sunday, January 10 from 2:00 to 4:00 with Tim Bedner.
The jams offer an opportunity for novice and experienced jammers both to benefit from the advice of our seasoned, professional jazz musicians. The format is quite informal, and there is no definite blueprint for each session. Instead, jammers are exposed to the specific style and experience the mentor brings to the stage.
This month's mentor, Tim Bedner, is well known as a superb jazz guitarist, and an incredible teacher and coach. Tim brings a generosity of sharing his deep knowledge - not only of guitar but any instrument. His wealth of experience allows him to coach all members on stage towards a better approach, sound and arrangement. Ask him anything! He will be there to answer your questions and give jammers and audience alike the credit of his advice.
I have had the privilege of both performing and studying with Tim for the past few years. He is thorough, methodical, kind and generous. I hope you can make it out this Sunday - to continue this series we really need your support!
For details, <click here>