jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

February 22, 2006

Celebrated Jazz Organist Returns to Edmonton

Written by
cindy mcleod

Celebrated Hammond B3 master Doug Riley returns to the west this weekend to perform with a quartet gleaned from across the nation, with fellow Torontonians Ted Quinlan (guitar), and Ben Riley (drums), and from Vancouver, Campbell Ryga (saxophone). The quartet will play two nights at Edmonton’s Yardbird Suite.

Riley’s name is synonymous with Canadian jazz, as a composer, arranger, pianist, organist, recording and producer. He studied classical music and composition as a young man, and did postgraduate work in the music of the Iroquois. His foray into R&B began as a teen in Toronto, and by the time he was 20 was in demand as a jingle composer, eventually writing thousands of them. Through the 70’s he was active in television production, performing with various jazz and pop artists, and as the leader of the 16-piece vocal/instrumental ensemble Dr. Music. In the 90’s Riley began to focus more on live performances, forming a quartet with saxophonist Phil Dwyer in 1993.

His writing/arranging credits span from jingles to ballet, string quartet to feature films. He worked with Ray Charles in 1968. Riley’s band Dr Music made three LPs, the last largely of jazz compositions by Riley and band members Claude Ranger and Don (W.) Thompson. Riley’s own recordings include the contemporary jazz LP with Don Thompson, Claude Ranger, and tenor saxophonist Michael Stuart; an album of solo blues and jazz piano, a quartet recording with Phil Dwyer, a duo recording with Guido Basso, and a series of live recordings of pop music classics for CBC Radio.

In 2003 Riley was named a Member of the Order of Canada.

Doug Riley Quartet
Yardbird Suite / Edmonton
February 24 & 25th

For more information, visit www.yardbirdsuite.com

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.