MUSICAL YEAR IN REVIEW
Another wonderful year of music in my life and I feel so blessed to have the many opportunities to play and present this music. It always has the potential to be a long blog post when I look back over the year (I’m a busy guy) so I have done my best to whittle it down as much as I can however it doesn’t mean that these are the only significant things that happened. These are the ones that popped out however.
January 10 – Jericho Sailing Center
Bill Coon – guitar, Russ Botten – bass, Joe Poole drums, Cory Weeds – tenor saxophone.
This was a Celebration Of Life for my dear friend Barb Fudge who passed in December of 2014. It was an amazing event and it went exactly how Barb would’ve wanted. It was a bit nerve racking because in Barb’s last moments she trusted me with the music for her service and told me not to screw it up!
January 31 – P.A.L. Theatre
Seamus Blake – tenor sax/EWI, Geoff Keezer – piano & Rhodes, André Lachance – bass, Jesse Cahill – drums
Always a huge thrill having Seamus in town and this was a fun gig with Seamus playing the music of Eddie Harris. It was also my first presentation under Coastal Jazz and my first presentation at the wonderful P.A.L. Theatre.
February 6 – Blue Frog Theatre
Cory Weeds – tenor sax, Vince Mai – trumpet, Miles Black – piano, Adam Thomas – bass, Jesse Cahill – drums.
Was my first gig as a leader at Blue Frog Studios and we were playing the music of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers for the Lee Morgan / Hank Mobley era. It was an amazing gig.
February 14 to 22 – multiple venues in New York
The 5th Annual New York With Weeds as the best yet and I got to share it with one of my closest friends. John Oulton. Too many stories and good times to write here but it was most definitely a highlight of 2015.
March 1 – private residence
Russell Malone – guitar, Russ Botten – bass, Joe Poole – drums
I have worked at getting Russell at this house party for the better part of 5 years and it finally happened. It was an amazing experience and Russell was as gracious as can be. He has been a wonderful cat to get to know.
March 28 – FOX Cabaret
Night Crawlers Soul Party with Jesse Cahill – drums, Dave Sikula – guitar, Chris Gestrin – organ, Cory Weeds – alto sax, Steve Kaldestad – tenor sax, Dawn Pemberton – vox, Jim Byrnes – guitar & vox, Paul Pigat – guitar/vox
My first gig at FOX Cabaret and a full house. This was a memorable night of music. Greasy organ jazz with some of Vancouver’s finest
April 19 to 21 – Unknown Studio in Los Angeles
Recording for This Happy Madness featuring The Jeff Hamilton Trio: Jeff Hamilton – drums, Christoph Luty – bass, Tamir Hendelman – piano and Cory Weeds – tenor sax.
The thrill of a lifetime! A five-hour, intense rehearsal followed by 2 long days of recording resulted in my 10th record as a leader, which was released in November. Without question the record that I’m most proud of. The guys were so wonderful to work with.
May 1 & 2 – Shadbolt Center For The Arts
Spike Wilner – piano, Joe Magnarelli – trumpet, Peter Bernstein – guitar, Grant Stewart – tenor saxophone, Michael Glynn – bass, Julian MacDonough – drums
My first presentation at Shadbolt and a gathering of 4 of my favorite musicians and people from New York City. Spike Wilner is the owner of Smalls and Berns, Mags and GStew make regular appearances at the NY hotspot
May 15 – Bellingham, North Bend, Burnaby Presbyterian
Harold Mabern – piano, Adam Thomas – bass, Julian MacDonough drums, Cory Weeds – tenor saxophone.
It doesn’t get any better than hanging and playing with the great Harold Mabern. He is simply the greatest human being I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Mabes!
May 29 – Federico’s Supper Club
Mike LeDonne – b3 organ, Oliver Gannon – guitar, Jesse Cahill – drums and Cory Weeds alto sax.
A release celebration for Condition Blue, The Music Of Jackie McLean my most successful album to date and one of Cellar Live’s most successful. It appeared on many Top 10 and appeared in Jazz Week’s Top 100 albums of 2015. Having LeDonne in town is always a lot of fun and this gig at Federico’s was fantastic.
June 22 – Pyatt Hall
Scott Hamilton – tenor sax, Tony Foster – piano, Russ Botten – bass, Joe Poole – drums
One of my favorite tenor players ever. So swinging and the chance to play with him is always a huge thrill.
June 26 to 28 – Pyatt Hall & private residence
Jimmy Heath – tenor & soprano saxes, Jeb Patton – piano, Adam Thomas – bass, Julian MacDonough – drums.
An amazing 3 days hanging out with a true legend of jazz in Mr. Heath. So many great stories. His wife Mona was also wonderful. The jam at the private house concert was a lot of fun as well with Jimmy soaking up every minute of it. I was told that Jimmy had been having some health issues and was feeling quite down and this little trip helped him a lot.
July 1 – Pyatt Hall
The Jill Townsend Big Band CD Release
The end of a what was long, arduous and emotional project. The concert could not have gone any better. The 12-minute documentary off the top was a huge success and the band played wonderfully despite the heavy hearts of all of us.
July 18 – North Coast Brewing Company, Sequoia Room
Cory Weeds – Larry Vuckovich – piano, Doug Miller – bass, James Gallagher – drums
In the middle of a wonderful holiday with the family I got to do a gig at the famous North Coast Brewing. Doug and Deborah Moody are two of my favorite people in the world and are HUGE friends of jazz were amazing. It was a great experience
August 4 – Coastal Jazz
My first official day as Programming Manager, Clubs & Special Projects at Coastal Jazz & Blues
August 10 to 13
Had the extreme honour of being on a Peer Assessment Committee for The Canada Council for the Arts Touring program. I got to work with 3 incredible people and it was a wonderful experience.
September 18 to 28
I had the great fortune to manage a tour by the great Louis Hayes & The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band that included a huge educational initiative that has led to many more great educational initiatives. It was so much fun hanging out with this band, all guys that I love dearly. It was especially rewarding hanging with my man Vincent Herring!
October 8 to 10 – Frankie’s Jazz Club
David Heseltine – piano, Chris Davis – trumpet, Ken Lister – bass, Jesse Cahill – drums, Cory Weeds – tenor sax
The opening of Vancouver’s newest home of jazz and blues. My employment at Coastal has been basically been based around the opening of this club and it was a pretty exciting weekend and its continued to be an amazing experience. I didn’t think I’d be back in this business but here I am and I love every minute of it. I also got to fulfill the dream of collaborating with David Hazeltine. We will record an album in New York City later this year.
November 16 – Afterlife Studios
Recording with Leora Cashe – voice, Luigi Bonafede – piano, Russ Botten – bass and Julian MacDonough – drums
From the second I had a rehearsal with Leora and Luigi I knew this was going to be a great project. It was so much fun getting to know Leora, Luigi and their music and this record is going to do very well!
November 22 – ACT Theatre, Maple Ridge, BC
Featuring Jeff Hamilton – drums, Tamir Hendelman – piano, Christoph Luty – bass, Cory Weeds – tenor saxophone.
The last night of a 4 night run with one of the hardest swinging trio in jazz. It was a huge thrill to not only record this cd but to actually have the opportunity to play the material live was an even bigger thrill.
December 4 & 5 – The Annex
Featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith and The Jill Townsend Big Band.
This was a project of epic proportions and it was such a great experience to get the opportunity to work with the good Dr. again. The band sounded great and everyone had a really good time.