It’s always pleasant to be able to write what I think of as “local boy makes good” stories. In other words, stories about people we know who are moving up the ladder. To be more jazz-specific, stories about people we go to jazz camp with who are launching CDs, appearing at big-time concerts and so on.
This brings us to Peter Liu, a talented singer who, since he first attended jazz camp in 2008, has worked hard to improve his technique and expand his repertoire. The hard work pays off at 7:30 on Friday night, Oct. 3 at the NAC Fourth Stage when Peter launches his debut CD, Bamboo Groove. He is accompanied by the group of the same name, which has been performing frequently with Peter over the last few years.
The members are: Peter Hum, piano, who also contributed the arrangements, Scott Poll, clarinet, Normand Glaude, bass and Tim Shia, drums. Peter Liu describes the music in a press release as “intriguing takes on jazz standards and jazz interpretations of Asian pop and folk songs.”
The jazz standards include East of the Sun, I Fall in Love Too Easily and Alec Wilder’s beautiful Moon and Sand. There are also two songs sung in Mandarin and one in Cantonese.
Peter Liu has sung at the Fourth Stage before, as well as at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, the Canadian Tulip Festival and Rideau Hall. He has also been a huge help to JazzWorks as co-ordinator of jam sessions a few years back.
That important volunteer effort reflects Peter’s strong connection with JazzWorks. He has attended jazz camp four times and is effusive about the contribution it has made to his growth as a vocalist.
“I would never have been able to be at this place in my musical path if it hadn't been for JazzWorks,” he writes, “everything from meeting Sharada Banman who became my jazz vocal coach, meeting and playing with so many friendly and talented musicians, all of the many jam sessions over the years, and of course the great learning at jazz camp. JazzWorks provides so much support, inspiration, and jazz learning to late bloomers like me, and I am deeply grateful.”
Well, we’re grateful to Peter too, for being a good friend of JazzWorks and an inspiration to many aspiring vocalists. All the more reason to catch his show on Friday night. You can find more details at Peter’s website: www.peterliuvocals.com
And don’t forget the jam session
The September jam session at the Carleton Tavern was extremely well-attended, as is usual for the first one after camp. The Cole’s Notes group, of which I was a member of the supporting cast, had a good time doing Cole Porter tunes. The three singers in the combo, Sue McCarthy, Phy Reading and Mary Moore deserve a lot of credit for the hard work they did putting together and rehearsing the program. They, in turn, would credit pianist and faculty member Steve Boudreau, who attended some rehearsals and offered valuable advice.
The October jam, Thursday, Oct. 16, deserves to be equally well-attended. The host band, Glebop is always well-rehearsed and always has an interesting repertoire of jazz standards and originals. Glebop's core members have been together for at least 15 years — John Haysom on trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone and perhaps various other brass instruments, Rick Moxley on tenor sax, Bert Waslander on piano, Howard Tweddle on bass and Christian Raquin on drums. They will play at 8 p.m. and the jamming starts about 45 minutes later. See you there.
Comments will be 'approved' before they are made visible. If you are leaving a comment, please sign it with your full name. Anonymous comments won't be published.
About this blog
Tune Up won't be a calendar of events — Ottawa Jazz Happenings takes care of that. But it will discuss events and issues of interest to the JazzWorks community. Journalist, author, trumpet player and a jazz camper since 1999, Charley Gordon is a former vice-president of JazzWorks.