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

June 18, 2007

Local Musicians the Backbone of Calgary Jazzfest

Written by
cindy mcleod

jazz festivals, Canada

Local Musicians Take Part in Calgary Jazzfest

When summer festival season rolls around the local musicians are often overlooked by the media in favour of visiting international artists. It is newsworthy when greats such as American saxophonist Joshua Redman, Cuban pianist Chuchito Valdez, or Danish trumpeter Jens Werther visit our community and lend their names to our city’s premier jazz event.

Yet those musicians that keep the music alive throughout the year are the backbone of any scene, the contributions they make serve to build the foundation for a successful international event. If you are a festival goer, don’t forget there’s a wealth of talent right on your doorstep, and a variety of free and paid festival performances to attend.

A schedule of concerts featuring local musicians and their work is listed below:


F.U.J.A The Funked Up Jazz Ambassadors
The Auburn

Shannon Gaye and Kristian Alexandrov return from North Vancouver to re-unite the band for a night of smoking hot funk and grooves late into the night. Ben Harries (bass), Andy Erickson (drums)

Rollanda Lee and The Canadian Hot Stars

The original ‘Dixie Chick,’ Edmonton’s Rollanda Lee has entertained audiences all over the world. Her own seven piece Canadian Hot All Stars (including Calgary trumpeter Al Muirhead) swing with traditional 1920’s and 30’s jazz New Orleans style.

Community Performance Series with Mark Sonksen
Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association Hall

Chicago bassist and composer Mark Sonksen joins Calgary favourites Gerry Hebert (saxophones), Keith Smith (guitar), and Jon May on (drums) in this version of the monthly series for serious jazz listeners.

Tim Leacock and Kit Johnson host OPEN STAGE – The Jazz Version
The Ironwood

The co-hosts do jazz for this edition of the weekly tradition.


*The Polyjesters
The Ironwood & 9pm Friday, June 22nd at Southwood United Church

These guys put on the most entertaining show in Calgary! They fuse swing, folk, roots, jazz, country, bluegrass and ragtime. These local heroes have sold out shows across Canada, the US and Europe. To sample their music, visit their website. Sheldon Valleau (ukelele), Jason Valleau (bass, vocal), Dmitry Shapko (saxophone) Co-produced with Fish Creek Concerts

Cowie Scholarship Winners performance night with Spencer Cheyne and Hot Club
The Auburn

Spencer Cheyne and Ian Burleigh were both recognized by The Calgary Musicians Association and C-Jazz as winners of the Richard Cowie Memorial Scholarship, providing assistance to further the musical education of deserving Calgary artists. Drummer and bandleader Spencer Cheyne’s group is formed by Brent Mah(saxophones), JJ Soriano (guitar), Brendan McElroy (bass). Saxophonist, clarinetist and bandleader Ian Burleigh’s trio, Hot Club of Calgary, builds on the tradition of red-hot jazz music and swing of the 1930s and ’40s. Paying tribute to Django Reinhardt, they also incorporate bop, west-coast, and world jazz into their music. Victor Farrell, James Bailey (guitars).


The Polyjesters
Southwood United Church

* see Thursday, June 21


Prime Time Big Band Brunch
The Ironwood 2 pm

The ever popular bi-weekly performances feature the best players in Calgary under director Dave Jones.

Drummer Tyler Hornby hosts the Broken City Jazz Jam
Broken City

Dummer and composer Tyler Hornby’s debut CD Shadows of a Brighter Day received rave reviews and was recently selected the National Campus Compilation Dig Your Roots. He is also co-leader of jazz-fusion group Terrain. Tyler has toured North & South America and Europe, performing with such notables as Bob Mintzer, Ingrid Jensen, Frank Mantooth, Alain Caron, Randy Brecker, Hugh Fraser, Tommy Banks, Shelly Berg, Ralph Bowen, and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. A sought after teacher, he is part of the team at the Mount Royal College Jazz Diploma Program, and is the director of the annual Drumset Educational Camp in Calgary. This summer Tyler will be embarking on a European tour with the Maciek Crzywacz Quartet, as well as releasing a new CD with urban acoustic group Sillan & Young.

Urban Divide
The Auburn

A Calgary-based funk band with horns, Urban Divide performs a blend of covers and originals. Chris Nevile (keyboards); Andrew Cull (drums); Jay Stanley (trombone, bass); Amber Boucher (vocals); Michael Ibrahim (saxophone) and Scott How (guitars).

for more info visit www.calgaryjazz.com

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