7 years ago

Volume 19 Issue 5 - February 2014

  • Text
  • February
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Violin
  • Bloor
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Concerto

David Braid, piano,

David Braid, piano, andMatt Brubeck, celloPrimers: I’ve also written in the past about the large number ofstudents taking jazz courses in colleges and universities. I sometimesfeel, when a little cynicism rises to the surface, that their numbershave increased in direct proportion to the diminishing number ofgigs. Students are taught by some of the most talented jazz musiciansin the country who teach to supplement their incomes as thenumber of gigs declines; their students then compete for the decliningnumber of gigs.One result of these changes in the business is that there are feweropportunities to work one’s way up through the ranks and get theinvaluable experience of rubbing shoulders with a variety of experiencedplayers, since the newcomers are more likely to form a group oftheir own and play original music. So with my tongue firmly pressedinto my cheek, and culled from various disreputable sources, I offer tothose of you who previously would have learned these lessons alongthe way, the following two primers:Hints on playing for jazz musicians:Everyone should play the same tune.If you play a wrong note, give a nasty look to one of the othermusicians.Carefully tune your instrument before playing. That way you canplay out of tune all night with a clear conscience.A wrong note played timidly is a wrong note.A wrong note played with authority is an interpretation.Markings for slurs, dynamics and ornaments need not be observed.They are only there to embellish the printed score.When everyone else has finished playing, you should not play anynotes you have left.Happy are those who have not perfect pitch, for the kingdom ofmusic is theirs.How to Sing the Blues: A Primer for Beginners:Most blues begin with “Woke up this mornin’.” It is usually bad tostart the blues with “I got a good woman” unless you stick somethingmean in the next line.Example: “I got a good woman with the meanest dog in town.”Blues cars are Chevys, Cadillacs, and broken-down trucks circa1957. Other acceptable blues transportations are a Greyhound bus ora “southbound train.” Note: A BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, mini-van, orsport utility vehicle is NOT a blues car.Do you have the right to sing the blues? Yes, if your first nameis a southern state (e.g. Georgia), you’re blind or you shot a manin Memphis.No, if you’re deaf, anyone in your family drives a Lotus or you havea trust fund.Julio Iglesias, Kiri Te Kanawa and Barbra Streisand may not sing theblues. Ever.Blues beverages are: malt liquor; Irish whisky; muddy water; whitelightning; one bourbon; one scotch; and one beer. At the same time.Blues beverages are NOT a mai-tai, a glass of Chardonnay, aPink Lady.Need a Blues Name? Try this mix and match starter kit:Name of physical infirmity (Blind, Asthmatic, etc.) or characterflaw (Dishonest, Low Down, etc.) or substitute the name of a fruit –Lemon – or use first and fruit names. Finish with the last name of anAmerican President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)Examples: Low Down Lemon Johnson; One-Legged Fig Lincoln,Lame Apple Jackson.Need a Blues instrument? Play one or more of the following andsing with husky gravelly voice:Harmonica, gih-tar, fiddle, sax, pie-anner (in need of tuning).Now, you’re ready to sing the blues ... unless you own a computer.Just kidding, folks!Not kidding department: From the New York Times of January 14,2014: “Springsteen and Clapton to Headline New Orleans JazzFestival.” Need I say more!Jim Galloway is a saxophonist, band leader and formerartistic director of Toronto Downtown Jazz. He canbe contacted at Philip’s Anglican Church● Sunday, February 9, 4pm | Jazz VespersJoy Lapps Quartet● Sunday, February 23, 4pm | Jazz VespersPat Collins Triowith Reg Schwager + Tom Szczesniak● Sunday, March 9, 4pm | Dixieland VespersBob DeAngelis BandSt. Philip’s Anglican Church | Etobicoke25 St. Phillips Road (near Royal York + Dixon)416-247-5181 • • free will offering26 | February 1, 2014 - March 7, 2014

Beat by Beat | BandstandBanding TogetherJACK MACQUARRIEAs is usual with the beginning of a new year we expect to hearof the spring concert plans and other initiatives by communitybands. While there is lots of information on such individualplans in the in-basket, this is also the season in many quarters fornews of much broader initiatives promoting banding in this part ofthe country.CBA (Ontario): The most notable of these is an initiative by theCanadian Band Association (Ontario). On Thursday, February 6,the Ontario chapter of the CBA will announce a bold campaign topromote public awareness of the activities of wind bands in Ontario.Their pre-announcement states: “The event is the formal launch forour campaign to promote public awareness of the activities of windbands in Ontario, including, especially, adult concert, swing and brassbands, and the role they play in the arts, in life-long learning and insupporting community-building.” The slogan for this Concert BandCelebration is “If You Play, You Rock.”This province-wide campaign celebrates the rich tradition ofcommunity bands and the important role they play in enrichingcommunity life. In the words of Graziano Brescacin, president,Canadian Band Association (Ontario), “Community bands are greatto hear and rewarding to play in. This new campaign is a wonderfulopportunity to celebrate the diverse music of our bands and highlighttheir role as contributors to the culture and vitality of communitiesacross Ontario.” Several provincial and city politicians, among themthe Honourable Brad Duguid, the local MPP and Ontario Minister forTraining, Colleges and Universities, as well as dignitaries from theworld of bands, have been invited to the launch ceremony which willtake place Thursday, February 6 at noon at Wilmar Heights Centre, 963Pharmacy Ave., Toronto. The launch will be followed by a one-hourfree concert by the Encore Symphonic Concert Band under the directionof John Edward Liddle.Here is the CBA(O) manifesto in support of this initiative:1. Contribution to community-building. Wind bands take live music,for free and/or very affordable prices, to people who would nototherwise have the opportunity to hear live music played by a largeensemble. Wind band concerts can be a big support to individuals,both in the bands and in the audience. It is not uncommon for audiencemembers to speak to friends who are band members to sayhow personally important and moving it was for them to hear thesefriends play. They state that listening to music makes us better citizensby giving us a common cultural understanding, and that listeningto music together has been scientifically shown to increase howempathic we feel toward our fellow human beings. Making musictogether is about being friends and family on the same team; it’s theonly team sport in which the entire family can play together.2. Contribution to the arts. Wind bands have a unique sound, differentfrom any other ensemble. It’s a great sound, and there is lots of musicbeing written for them including much by Canadian composers. Windbands perform the classics as well as music from the popular repertoire.These bands also innovate what and how they perform, in trueartistic fashion.3. Contribution to lifelong learning. Playing music is good for ourbrains. Playing music lets us learn about the particulars of the piecesbeing played, as well as the technical requirements of the instruments.For students, playing music with adults sets them up for success atschool and later in life. Many young people have had the experienceof playing in a wind band, giving them a productive focus at a time inlife when, otherwise, they might have drifted.New Horizons: Over the past few years I have mentioned manytimes the activities of the Toronto-based New Horizons bands. Thismonth, I had the good fortune to receive an email message fromHarlene Annett who is in charge of membership for the New Horizonsbands in Peterborough. While I had known that there was an activegroup in Peterborough, I had no idea of the extent of their activities.Since its inception this organization has grown significantly.They now have five bands, all with distinctive names, performing atdifferent levels with the Odyssey band as the highest. They also have atleast ten regular small ensembles. The Green, beginners’ band startedin September 2013 and has 45 members, with 40 people waiting forthe next band to begin next September. Membership in the bands isnot limited to very basic instrumentation. In fact there are oboes inall bands and bassoons in three. All five conductors are universitytrainedin music and all perform regularly in other bands.With the aid of a Trillium Grant they have been able to purchaseseveral instruments including two tubas and two bassoons. They alsohave the distinction of having the only conch shell band in Canada!Far-fetched? Well, I went off to the internet and can report that Ihave now received my first lesson on “how to blow a conch shell.”There is so much to learn about their operations. If you are involvedin the organization or administration of any band, a visit to theirwebsite at would be well worth the time spent.Experienced beginners: While there is certainly healthy intereston the part of beginners, there also seems to be a growing interest insome band members to take up another instrument and/or to joinanother band. I have recently spoken to a baritone player taking upbassoon, a French horn player going for the euphonium, a violiniststarting on trumpet and a saxophonist trying out the French horn. Areyou considering a new instrument or looking for a second band? Letus hear from you.Definition Department: This month’s lesser known musical termis Cadenza: Something that happens when you forget what thecomposer wrote.We invite submissions from readers. Let’s hear your daffynitions.Jack MacQuarrie plays several brass instruments andhas performed in many community ensembles. He canbe contacted at February 1, 2014 - March 7, 2014 | 27

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