Summer adventures

September 26th 2015

Making music in Manitoba is so great, and is extra special in the summer! All of the hard work put in during the cold months comes to fruition at all the outdoor festivals, concerts, and events that take place and it almost makes you forget what it’s like to play indoors. I pretty much lived outdoors with my trumpet all summer, which is why I haven’t posted in a while. I have been playing places like The Cube for The Winnipeg Jazz and Fringe Festivals, The Forks for Canada Day with DCBB, The Lyric Theatre with the Ron Paley Big Band, the Assinaboia Horse Race Track as “Bugler Andrew”, at the Red River Ex or a Winnipeg Goldeyes game with the “B” Side Champs, and playing at the Blue Bomber home games with DCBB.
This summer was a little different from previous summers as I was fortunate enough to get asked to be a jazz trumpet instructor for both the International Music Camp (week 5) and the University of Manitoba Jazz Camp. Both were extremely rewarding experiences in so many different ways. It was great to be part of some incredible progress and musical improvement from many of the students in both camps after just one week. Both camps also gave me the opportunity to play with some of the other instructors who are all great musicians and many who are colleagues in the province. While at IMC I played with a very fun group comprised of musicians who I have played with for many years but never all together like this. The group was Greg Gatien-Tenor Sax; Jeff Presslaff-Piano; John Barron - Bass; Graydon Cramer-Drums; Myself-Trumpet/Flugelhorn. There was a comfort with a high level of communication happening all the time…I hope this group plays again soon! The University of Manitoba Jazz Camp also had some great musicians that I have known since moving to Winnipeg in summer of 2010 (how 5 years can fly by). Playing with the faculty at U of M is always exciting and swinging!
A couple gigs that stick out the most for me this summer have to be, in no particular order, playing a Michael Jackson Tribute show at the Goodwill. That was a great band of locals players, choreographed dancers, an arsenal of singers (like 10 or something), and we played tracks from “Off the Wall” and “Thriller”. Ironically that was a rare indoor party, and it got sweaty! Playing the Trout Forest Music Festival in Ear Falls, ON with DCBB also a highlight for sure. This was a smaller but very kick ass music festival! The food was amazing, the audience was appreciative and full of great listeners, and the river just steps away from my tent was also pretty great. Lastly, but certainly not least was the Harvest Moon Festival in Clearwater, MB that happened just this last weekend. I played with both DCBB and the Hot and Dirty Dance Party to a SOLD OUT crowd of 1500. Playing for a crowd with that much energy and interest keeps me in the moment yet time seems to moves faster, which then seems to always elevate my playing to a new level. The Northern lights were even out on full display dancing in the sky for a majority of the night! Music is amazing! What a way to say goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall.