Tag Archives: Tony Bauer

It’s A Jazz Weekend For Local Fans

by Bill Monahan

With the annual Jazzmania series of concerts happening in Thornbury and a special jazz concert by Patricia Wheeler in Meaford, it’s a special treat for jazz fans this weekend.

Start the weekend early at Bruce Wine Bar with the hot jazz of Toronto based iSpy Trio.  Led by singer-songwriter  Rebecca Everett, the band plays a style inspired by the 1940’s gypsy jazz of Quintette du Hot Club de France, with a mix of vintage and original tunes.  Lead guitarist Tak Arikushi is well known for his virtuosity and trademark Django licks.  The trio is rounded out by Chris Kettlewell, an accomplished double bass player and Humber Jazz College alumni who has performed with  jazz ensembles such as The Rachelle Courtney Quartet and The Cam Britton Collective and has toured extensively in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

There are two dinner shows, one at 6:45 and the second at 9 pm.  Reservations are recommended.

Down the street at the harbour, well-known Simcoe county musician and educator Louis Lefaive performs at Maiolos, starting at 7:30 pm.  In addition to gigs with his family band performing Celtic and French folk music, Louis has performed in a Beatles cover band and a band that features original French music.  An accomplished composer, arranger, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he has numerous albums to his credit and has his own recording studio.

Also starting at 7:30 on Friday, The Mike Grace Quintet will be performing in the small hall at the Beaver Valley Community Centre.  In addition to being a director at Southampton’s Summer Music Camp, Mike has played around the world, from Texas road houses to world tours and has played with many jazz greats, including Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Peter Appleyard and Randy Brecker.  He is also a highly respected educator, recipient of the University of Michigan Musical Society’s Educator Of The Year.  The quintet will be performing classic jazz standards, including tunes to dance to.

Things really get swinging on Saturday with a pair of big bands playing at the Beaver Valley Community Centre.

In the afternoon, starting at two, it’s the Georgian Sound Big Band.  This is the band that started it all in Thornbury, way back in 1998 when it was formed by the late Bob Cringan.

“Bob Cringan was an incredible music educator,” says Tony Bauer, “He moved up from Toronto to Meaford and we started the Georgian Sound Big Band. 

“He did so much for music.  He put on concerts, and Bob had the idea to start a Big Band festival and we ran it for twenty years and it was very successful.  We brought five big bands up here.  I was very much involved with it and when he died we still ran it.

 “We added Jazzmania. In the heyday we had three day festivals, with bands in the restaurants in Thornbury.  We had two shows on Saturday and we had a big jazz brunch on Sunday”

The band, currently under the leadership of trumpeter Don Doner and conducted by trombonist Brad Crawford, covers numbers from the swing era to the present and includes a wide variety of danceable music including waltz, tango, and Latin rhythms using many of Bob’s original arrangements.

After a dinner break, head back to the Community Centre for another big band treat.  The Skyliners Big Band, formed in 1993, performs the big band era favourites by Miller, Shaw, Herman, Basie, Ellington, Kenton as well as more contemporary hits.  The band features the inspired vocals of Maria Branje.

There’s still more jazz in store if you head over to Meaford on Sunday where Christ Church Anglican is presenting the first in a series of monthly concerts.  This concert features the Patricia Wheeler Quartet with jazz interpretations of both standards and popular songs form catalogues as diverse as Henry Mancini, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles.

The concert is something of a homecoming for Patricia, who got her start in music attending Grade 7 at Meaford Elementary School.  The music teacher at Georgian Bay Secondary School, Charlie Strimas, is now the musical director at the church and it was at his request that she agreed to come to Meaford for this special concert.

The Patricia Wheeler  concert runs from 3 to 5 on Sunday afternoon, with wine and cheese served at intermission.

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Rockin’ For The Food Bank 2017

There is going to be a huge benefit for the Food Bank tonight Thursday, Dec. 28th at Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound.  Starting early, with the doors opening at 5 pm and the music starting at 5:30, it will present several hours of live music with an all-star lineup.

Trevor McKenzie has put together a special band for this show.  Maple Blues winner, leader of the hot jam band most Wednesdays at Ted’s Range Road Diner, guitarist on everybody’s record and sales and rental guy at Long & McQuade, you can bet Trevor can put together a crack band.

All of the money raised by this concert goes to the Owen Sound Salvation Army Food Bank which serves more than 500 clients every month.

Come early to catch vocalist and coach Kelda Mikalson with Ryan Gable.  Check out the Silent Auction with donations from thirty local businesses. Get a caricature drawn by Sam Gorrie and she’ll donate fifty percent to the Food Bank.

Rob Elder has been working on an album.  For this benefit he’s getting together with Mike Weir, Sylvie Annette Kindree, and Josi Elder to perform as The Shoeshoopers.  Sylvie Annette Kindree, and Josi Elder, with Lauren Jewell, form the vocal trio that is featured on the great Kreuger Motel CD.  Sylvie was swept out of town last year by My Son The Hurricane and she’s been deposited back home after a long trip down the yellow brick road.

Don Buchanan recently sold out the Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg with his band backing jazz singer Mary-Catherine Pazzano.

 “Don Buchanan lives in Owen Sound,” says Tony Bauer, who organizes many of the Thornbury and Clarksburg jazz events, “He’s the most underrated musician in my opinion.  He’s a composer, arranger.  He plays clarinet, he plays tenor, piano; he’s a wonderful musician.” 

In the past five years or so, Don has been doing duets with Jamie Smith, a Scottish tenor originally from Oban, Scotland.  They’ve agreed to be part of the show for the Food Bank.

Thornbury Rotary Club Brings Who’s Who of Toronto Jazz to Marsh Street

The Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary Club has a special Christmas gift for local jazz fans this Saturday.  A group of some of the most celebrated jazz players in the country are presenting a special Christmas concert at The Marsh Street centre as a fundraiser for Beaver Valley Outreach.  Along with the concert there is a silent auction happening all week long and running through the night of the concert. (www.christmasjazz.ca).

These players have been coming together once a year since 1984 to celebrate Christmas with seasonal favourites done up in their own style.  Their names are familiar to jazz fans. Each of them has spent many years teaching students the art of jazz.

Pat LaBerbera has been on the faculty of Humber College, arguably Canada’s best music school, turning out generations of sax players, for many years.  After his studies at the Berkley College of Music, and work with luminaries like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and many others, he relocated to Toronto in 1974 and became one of the most influential musicians on the Toronto jazz scene.

Brian O’Kane has performed and recorded with artists such as Rob McConnell, Dave Brubeck, Barba Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall and Paul Anka.  In addition to his jazz work, he has performed with has performed with the Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestras, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and True North Brass.

Jazz At The Library Caps Season With Mary-Catherine Pazzano

The Jazz At The Library series in Thornbury caps this seasons offerings with the return of popular jazz singer Mary-Catherine Pazzano this Friday.  This special concert at The Marsh Street Centre celebrates the release of her debut studio album “You’re Gonna Hear From Me”.  She’ll be backed by Don Buchanan on piano, Jason Hunter on saxophones, Pat Collins on bass and Steve James on drums.

Based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Mary-Catherine holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Waterloo.  Having gone on to complete a degree in education, she operates a voice studio in Waterloo where she teaches lessons to children and adults. With bass player Mike Grace she has created a series of weekly jazz education workshops in high schools for students in Grades 9 to 12.