Here’s a round-up of what some of the JazzWorks faculty are up to these days. I sent a note out recently asking them what they are up to and the responses have been coming in. One of the interesting things to me is how many JazzWorks people, both faculty and former participants are involved.
Nancy Walker finished off 2013 on a 10-day jazz cruise led by trumpeter Guido Basso, which she describes as “a cushy gig.” She was in good company too, sailing to warm places in the company of Guido and her husband, Kieran Overs, along with Mike Murley, Barry Elmes and Heather Bambrick.
Nancy has just finished recording and mixing her new CD, ’Til Now Is Secret, which is coming out next month on Addo Records (www.addorecords.com). All of the material is original and the personnel includes Kieran Overs on bass, Shirantha Beddage on saxophones and bass clarinet, Ted Quinlan on guitar and Ethan Ardelli on drums. The CD is being released with a live performance at Gallery 345 in Toronto on Thursday Feb. 27th at 8 pm. http://www.gallery345.com/performances.php
Rémi Bolduc has a concert on March 21 at l'Astral, in Jazz en Rafale, Montreal. His quartet includes Parisian pianiste Baptiste Trotignon, New York drummer Ari Hoenig and Montreal bassist and former Ottawan Fraser Hollins. “Playfulness and complicity will be the guests of honor to this unique evening in which virtuosity serves music,” Rémi writes.
Steve Boudreau has been active locally, both teaching and performing. He has been piano for a monthly open mic for jazz singers at Caffe La Grotta (262 Preston St.) that a few JazzWorks singers have been coming to. February was booked for Valentine's so March 14 is the next one, 8-10:30 P.M.
Also coming up is an IMOO concert of the Keys2Drums trio on March 2, featuring Steve and two drummers, Jeff Asselin and Michel Delage. They will play some Ornette Coleman tunes and some originals based on Indian ragas.
Steve also plays The Options Lounge at Brookstreet once or twice a month with Jazzworks alum Rebecca Noelle. The next one is February 8.
Steve adds, “I have been doing a weekly session where we sight-read tunes in the Real Book exactly as written and end with a transcription or obscure tune that I lift.” This happens Saturdays at GigSpace from 2-3 p.m. It's called Reading Chops. The drop in rate is $10 or $15 for three.
Kevin Barrett is playing in (and is also musical director for) a project called Symphronica. It's the brainchild of pianist Ron Davis. Originally a recording with Ron's trio plus the Windsor Symphony, it has morphed into an ongoing series featuring a jazz quartet (piano/bass/drums/guitar) plus a string quartet. Upcoming Toronto gigs include: Feb. 8 at Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue, Feb. 19 and the third Wednesday of every month at Toronto's Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St. W.).
In early March, Kevin travels to Russia to perform with Daniela Nardi's ESPRESSO MANIFESTO, a project featuring jazz re-interpretations of the music of Italian singer-songwriter Paolo Conte. Later in March, he does a teaching tour — leading music workshops in various locations around the Northwest Territories, with violinist Victoria Yeh and drummer Trevor Maybee. “Victoria and Trevor are former Jazzworks participants,” Kevin points out. “They were in my combo for my first time on the Jazzworks Faculty, in 2002.”
Jim Lewis has just released a CD with a trio including Andrew Downing on bass and David Occhipinti on guitar. The CD is called Bristles. The trio plays Saturday afternoon at Beaches United Church in Toronto, a jazz vespers at 4:30
Jim, who teaches in the Jazz Studies program at the University of Toronto plays Sunday with Andrew Downing, Christine Duncan and Evan Cartwright (whom jazz campers will remember from last summer) at the university’s New Music Festival. Christine's Element Choir is also performing, as is another JazzWorks alum, trumpeter Emily Denison as part of a free jazz and improvised student music group.
Jim plays in Montreal March 15 as part of the FONT festival, featuring trumpet players all weekend then comes to Ottawa April 12 to play at the Fourth Stage with John Geggie, Christine Jensen, Joel Miller and Jim Doxas. That same group plays in Kingston the next day.
When more faculty members weigh in with news of their happenings, I’ll do an update.
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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.