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Volume 14 - Issue 7 - April 2009

YouthPerformances by

YouthPerformances by young peoplepop up in interesting places thismonth, beginning with the TorontoSecondary Schools MusicTeachers Association annualshowcase on April 2. The TorontoSymphony Youth Orchestrahas a dynamic month, with twoconcerts, one on April 17, thesecond on May 2 and a third withthe Toronto Symphony Orchestraon April 25. Students from Torontoand area Suzuki schools areperforming in honour of Dr.Suzuki on April 19; and on April24 the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestrais joining forces with theCanadian Brass, who, as weknow, got their start doing schoolconcerts.Other collaborations betweenadults and children will be theMasterworks of Oakville Chorusand Orchestra with the OakvilleChildren's Choir, also on April24 and the Upper Canada Choristerswith the Allenby JuniorPublic School Choir on May 1.Distinguished VisitorsOn April 28 the National Philharmonicof Russia, conductedby Vladimir Spivakov, with pianistDenis Matsuev, is performingat Roy Thomson Hall; and May3 the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra,conducted by BramwellTovey, with pianist Avan Yu,brought to us by the TSO, is performing,also on the Roy ThomsonHall Jim GallowayApril-FullWho is 90 years old, male but known as "mother",brought new meaning to the word vibrato,can hear a wrong note from fifty paces, has moreyarns than a knitting store and still plays a sexysaxophone?The answer is Gordon Evans, one of the greatmusicians in Canada who celebrated his 90thbirthday last month. We had a party for Gordonand rarely has a room been more filled with loveand good vibes. Musicians, friends and admirerswere there - young and old - all with livestouched by Gordon Evans.Gordon grew up in downtown Toronto onDundas Street just east ofParliament, and at that time onthe corner of Berkeley andDundas there was a little musicstore. One day Gordon's brothercame home with a ukulele andafter they had fooled around abit on it his brother said, "Youshould have a saxophone and wecould play together."So on Gordon's next birthdayhis father took him the Whaleyand Royce music store onYonge Street and bought him analto saxophone - not anexpensive one, for this wasduring the depression and theywere not a wealthy family. Withthe saxophone came ten freelessons from a teacher onOntario Street, and that was the beginning.By age 15 Gord was playing at the Silver Slipper,one of the top nightclubs in town and thatwas the beginning of a 75-year career that takesus up to last month's celebration.Not that it was plain sailing all the way. Duringthe war years, not the Crimean as we sometimessay to tease him, but the 2nd World War -(the one after the war to end all wars), he wasinvalided out of the Air Force with pleurisy and acollapsed lung. He was told he couldn't play aJOE SEALYQUARTETTribute to Hoagy CarmichaelSunday May 3 - 2pmRoyal York RoadUnited Church851 Royal York RoadEtobicokeI '..I•BEAT BY BEAT: JAZZ NOTESwind instrument any more. Abitter blow, you might say,and it sidelined Gordon forsome months. But eventuallyhe did sit in one night with aband and everything seemedto be O.K. so he started takingengagements again, ofwhich there were manyduring wartime, and eventually ended up in one ofthe top bands in the country, the Ellis McLintockband.Fast forward a few years and in 1954 Gordonhad the opportunity to join the Sam Donahue band,one of the best bands in the United States at thattime. After that stint he returned to Toronto wherehe re-established himself as one of the busiest musicianson the scene. He frequentlyplayed for visiting stars at theO'Keefe Centre and Royal York Hotel.One of the great storiesconcerns the time he was in the RoyalYork orchestra when the headlinerwas Don Rickles, who made a careerout of insulting people. At the timeGord's wife Joyce was heavily pregnantand came to the show one nightwith friends. They had a front rowtable and during Rickles' act one ofthe men at Joyce's table had to go tothe washroom. Mr. Ricklesimmediately siezed on the moment andsaid to Joyce, "I suppose you thinkhe's coming back?" Joyce respondedby saying, "Oh, he's not myhusband. My husband is playing in the orchestra."Rickles turned to the band and said, "All right,which one of you guys is responsible for this?",whereupon the whole band stood up!For once in his life Don Rickles was at a lossfor words. Gordon Evans entered my life as one ofthe founding members of The Wee Big Band andfor 30 years has held the lead alto chair.He is, in my opinion one of Canada's musicaltreasures. So, happy birthday Gordon. We all loveyou.azzves ersFeaturing some of Toronto's best jazz musicianswith a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers ClergySunday, April 5th at 4:30 p.m.THE MARK EISENMAN QUARTETMark Eisenman - piano; Steve Wallace - bassMike Murley - sax; Brian Barlow - drumswith the combined choirs of Christ Church Deer ParkSunday, April 19th at 4:30 p.m.Ron Davis - piano and Brandi Disterheft - bassSunday, April 26th at 4:30 p.m.THE BRIAN BARLOW ORCHESTRADuke Ellington TributeChrist Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street(north of St. Clair at Heath St.) 416-920-5211Admission is free.An offering is received to support the work of the church, including Jazz Vespers.WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM APRIL 1 - M AY 7 2009

Looking AheadI have mentioned in earlier columns the emergence of The Old Mill as asignificant player on the jazz front. This year's Ken Page MemorialTrust fund-raising Jazz Party will be in the dining room there, May 21 .I'll be hosting some of Toronto's top jazzers - Al Kay, Lorne Lofsky,Neil Swainson, Kevin Turcotte and Don Vickery. In addition The Galawill introduce a new young talent to Toronto, 15 year old pianist AlexEinewein, whose first CD was recorded last year and reviewed in lastmonth's WholeNote. And from Italy, Rossano Sportiello, one of themost brilliant pianists to take the international jazz scene by storm, willmake his first Canadian appearance.It promises to be a very special evening of jazz that swings. And it isfor a very good cause. In 2008 the KPMT gave financial support toThe 1000 Islands Jazz Festival, the TD Canada Trust Toronto JazzFestival, the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival and the Markham JazzFestival, and to workshops and master classes at Humber College andthe Uof T Faculty of Music. It also assisted three young Toronto musiciansto take part in the Jazz Series Programme at The Banff Centre -and that is a partial list of the KPMT achievements.May April shower you with music - at least some of it live! Happylistening.BEAT BY BEAT: JAZZ IN THE CLUBS"Spring-a-ding-swing! "By Ori DaganTo celebrate the breath of spring, the threebreathtaking LaBarbera brothers will playa concert at the Humber CollegeLakeshore Auditorium. All born inupstate New York in the 1940's, saxophonistPat, drummer Joe and trumpeterJohn have each enjoyed a lucrative careerand rarely have the opportunity to performtogether. This highly anticipated eventtakes place on April 8th at 8:00pm, withgeneral tickets at and for seniors.A noteworthy CD release this month isthat of contagiously groovy guitarist, Dr. ~Andrew Scott. His third record, Nostalgia, Pat LaBarberais devoted to bebop heads derived from hits of the AmericanSongbook. Americans Dan Block on tenor sax/clarinet and Jon-ErikKellso on trumpet are featured alongside Dr. Scott, with the rhythmsection rounded up by Canadian all-stars: pianist Mark Eisenman,bassist Pat Collins and drummer Joel Haynes. Arrive early at ThePilot Tavern on April llth from 3:30 to 6:30.This month The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar welcomes a plethoraof out-of-towners, including New York City's Rudder, OrenNeiman and Dan McCarthy; Rochester's Madeline Forster; SnarkyPuppy from Texas; San Francisco's Transit Collective; Montreal'sViva Nova, Bharath Rajamkur and Joel Miller and Frenchman PhillipeLejeune. Dates and details are available at page 46During April's Gibson Gu itar Month.Vis it any Long & McOuade location for details.l:J Long & McQuad;w w w. Ion g -m c quad e. co mBEAT BY BEAT: BANDSTAND & PODIUMby Jack MacQuarrieBrass band, silver liningPreparing to write this month's column, no fewer than three announcementsfor significant events featuring Silver Bands landed onmy desk. In order: the Hannaford Silver Band's 6th annual Festivalof Brass; the Weston Silver Band's Concert with special guestDouglas Yeo (bass trombone of the Boston Symphony); and theMetropolitan Silver Band's 75th anniversary celebration. My editorseemed to find this more significant than I did, so I took to the internetto find out if there were important distinctions between SilverBands and Brass Bands."Silver Band" entered into Google produced tens of thousands ofvendors of wedding rings. Searching "Brass Band" was more useful.If you didn't already know, you'd have learned, inter alia: thatwith the exception of the trombones all of the brass are conical-boreinstruments, which gives the British-style brass band its distinctivebright, mellow sound (as opposed to a dark symphonic sound); thatthe 1930s were the heyday of the brass band, with around 20,000brass bands in the UK alone; that the modern form of the brass bandin the United Kingdom dates back to the 19th century, with a vibranttradition of competition based around local industry and communities;and that The Stalybridge Old Band was formed in 1809, wasthe first civilian brass band in the world, and is still in existence;and that 'Silver Band' and 'Brass Band' don't carry the nuancesthat my editor was hoping to find . Personally, I have always beenunder the impression that many players preferred silver instrumentsin the belief that, since silver was a soft metal, the instrument wouldproduce a more mellow tone.While these coming weeks are certainly Silver Band weeks, theyare also very much trombone weeks. The Hannaford Band's Festivalof Brass includes three solo trombone performances; two from theyouth band ranks and one by none other than Joe Alessi of the NewYork Philharmonic. To top thatz off the guest conductor for the< Alessi performance will be Alain·· ~ Trudel.If that weren't a good helpingof trombone, two weeks laterDouglas Yeo, bass trombone ofthe Boston Symphony will appearas both conductor and soloistwith the Weston Silver Band.As icing on the cake, that will befollowed with a master class thenext day at Long and Mc­Quade's main store. Doug Yeo'swebsite has a wealth of information,not just for trombone aficionados,but anyone with broadmusical interests. Do yourself afavour and visit it last month's column wecontinues next pageBrass - Woodwind -String Instruments · GuitarBuy direct from the DistributorAUTHORIZED DEALER FOR:Armstrong, Artley, Besson, Buffet,Conn, Getzen, Holton, Jupiter,Keilworth, King, Noblet,Selmer, Vito, YanagisawaJune 27 - 2 pm@St. Lawrence CentreCall (416) 366-7723'/~HARKNETT,Musical Services Ltd.MUSIC BOOKSBEST SELECTIONOF POPULAR&EDUCATIONAL MUSICPiano - Guitar - Instrumental905-477-11412650 John Street, Unit 15Oust North of Steeles)www.harknettmusic.comAPRIL 1 - M AY 7 2009 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 23

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