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

March 26, 2010

Jazz Guitarist Bill Coon in Calgary

Written by
cindy mcleod
Bill Coon

Bill Coon
Fri & Sat, March 26 & 27
Beat Niq, Calgary

Renowned Musician to Perform with Calgary Musicians

Juno nominated jazz guitarist, composer and arranger Bill Coon performs in Calgary this Friday & Saturday, March 26 & 27 at Beat Niq.

Presented by Jazz Is Society, Coon will be supported by RAEJIS (Resident Artists Ensemble Jazz Is Society) members, Allistair Elliott (trumpet), Pat Belliveau (saxophone), John Hyde (bass) and John De Waal (drums).

One of the nation’s most regarded jazz musicians, Bill Coon has nearly three decades of professional experience. As leader of his own all-star quartet with Ross Taggart, Dave Robbins and Oliver Gannon, Coon released the acclaimed CD, Speakeasy, and amongst their many high-profile appearances, opened for Dave Bruback at the Orpheum during the Vancouver Jazz Festival.

Bill has shared the stage with notables such as Jimmy Heath, Chuck Israels, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Campbell Ryga, Brad Turner, PJ Perry and Dee Daniels, and is also member of the Jill Townsend Big Band, Wow Jazz Orchestra and the Brazilian Choro group Gostosinho. Bill’s sixteen year musical partnership with internationally renowned jazz vocalist Denzal Sinclaire has produced several recordings, including Mona LIsa and I Found Love.

His performing and writing has been documented on over two-dozen CD’s to date, while big bands and orchestras throughout the world have performed his arrangements, including among them the National Arts Centre, Norwegian Radio, Vancouver Symphony, CBC Radio, Dal Richards and John Krsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestras and the Woody Herman Jazz Band. Coon recently teamed up with guitarist Oliver Gannon for the Cellar Live release, Two Much Guitar.

Coon spent his formative years in Montreal, where he was member of the Andre White Band, Phillippe Hudon’s Montreal Jazz Big Band and Altsys Jazz Orchestra, writing arrangements and performing with the ensembles. He studied improvising, arranging and composing with Art Roberts and Al Baculus in the early ‘80’s at Vanier CEGEP, and continuing his studies in performance and composition at Concordia University, Bill began writing for large jazz ensemble under the guidance of Charles Ellison, Don Habib and Andrew Homzy. Upon graduation he became a faculty member at Concordia, where he taught jazz guitar and jazz arranging.

Bill’s compositions can be heard on numerous television specials, radio shows and in dozens of arrangements for the singer in a variety of musical formats.  He conducted and performed with the 23-piece Bill Coon Orchestra featuring Denzal Sinclaire in a musical tribute to Nat King Cole. Commissioned to compose a four- movement suite for the Jill Townsend Big Band, Coon’s work was premiered in 2004.

His recent association with hip-hop artist K-os has resulted in several string recording projects including a collaboration with the Vancouver CBC Radio Orchestra. The process of creating and recording the six-minute piece resulted in a CBC television documentary, ‘Burning to Shine,’ and his arrangements featured on the Juno award-winning CD, Joyful Rebellion.

As recipient of numerous Canada Council Arts Awards, Coon studied improvisation and composition with legendary guitarist Jim Hall and has traveled to Dublin, Ireland in order to study with renowned jazz guitarist, Dr. Louis Stewart. Canada Council awards have also enabled him to study composing and arranging with Montreal’s Neil Chotem and more recently with the Toronto based arranger Rick Wilkins.

  In addition to a busy performance and recording schedule, Bill is in high demand as an educator. He is an adjudicator and clinician at music festivals and workshops throughout Canada and presently teaches jazz guitar and composition at Capilano College in North Vancouver.

for more info visit www.billcoon.com

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.