Happenings from the beginning of the New Year

February 3rd 2015

We are only a month into the new year and I have already been involved in some great shows and am looking forward to many exciting things that are in the works for 2015! My first few gigs of the new year were a blast and they are definitely going to be hard to top. It started with a huge show at Maws Beer Hall with DCBB. It was brutally cold out that night (aprox -34C) but that did not prevent people from coming out and having a good time with us, the dancing started from the first down beat and kept going until close! Playing for an enthusiastic crowd like that is a big reason why I play music. The next gig I did was the inaugural performance of the Dig! Big Band. This is a newly formed group directed by Derrick Gardner that consists of alot of Winnipeg's best jazz musicians (including the entire U of M Jazz Faculty) and was formed with the intention of being a workshop band. For more info on the band and its concept check out this interview with Derrick - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj9Ovx-vYz8. After that I got in a car and traveled 6 hours north west to Swan River, MB to work with some of the schools jazz band students. This marks the 3rd consecutive year I have been involved in this jazz weekend and I always have a great time working with these kids. They are so enthusiastic and ready to give improvising or new improvising concepts a try. I directed a younger small group this year and was pleasantly surprised to get grade 7 students who had only been playing their instruments for less then 6 months to improvise! After a 6 hour drive back to Winnipeg on the Sunday of the jazz weekend I went straight to sound check for a show with the Winnipeg Jazz Collective at the Park Theatre which was part of the Nu Sounds Series put on by Jazz Winnipeg. We played an all Canadian program which included many original compositions from members of the band as well as compositions from out of province Canadian composers. Although the music was fairly challenging, I feel the group played very well and brought out the beauty and intention in every piece. It was a very rewarding performance to be apart of. Thanks for checking in! Click on the event page if you want to know where you can see me playing next. Photo credit to Matt Duboff , check out more of his awesome work at http://www.mattduboff.com/