2011 Festival Wrap-up

Wow, another fantastic workshop has come and gone. This year’s event was truly spectacular with 7 full time faculty members (Dr. Jared Burrows, Bill Clark, Rob Kohler,  Dr. Ed Orgill, Brad Muirhead, Stephen Robb and Stan Taylor) along with Len Aruliah joining us for the evening faculty extravaganza with original compositions and arrangements for the faculty octet that featured Len on saxophones , Ed Orgill (tenor saxophone), Bill Clark (trumpet), Brad Muirhead (trombone), Stephen Robb (clarinet and piano), Jared Burrows (guitar), Rob Kohler (bass) and Stan Taylor (drums).

Tuesday’s faculty concert featured the music of Brad Muirhead. Brad featured some of the new material he has composed for his trio Synergy (recently appeared at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival) with Jared Burrows and Rob Kohler. This format lent itself to creating a more introspective approach than we are normally used to seeing from Brad. The concert finished with a couple of larger ensemble arrangements featuring our faculty and a few guests.

Wednesday featured Dr. Ed Orgill and his tenor saxophone in a presentation of jazz standards at Fisherman’s Hall.  He was joined by Brad Muirhead and Len Aruliah for a couple of tunes as well. Ed is a traditionalist on the saxophone with a sound reminicent of the great saxophone melodic players of the past in partnership with the technical prowess of the post Coltrane era.  We all really enjoyed listening to and working with Ed this past week.

Thursday featured the music of Rob Kohler along with our resident string trio Infinitus under the leadership of DCMS’s very own John Littlejohn (violin).  This concert featured a fantastic interplay between arranged string writing and improvised moments, together with our guitar TA Tristan Rogers, drummer Stan Taylor and Tenor saxophonist and SDJF alumni John Patton. Some beautiful moments including some interesting string writing by workshop student Sam Kohler, a unique double bass and drum duet featuring Stan and Rob, and some interesting contributions by John Patton.

Thursday evening saw our annual open jam session at Petra’s Kafe in Tsawwassen with over one hundred people in the audience and some 50 musicians taking part over the course of the evening. After a brief afternoon rain shower the clouds cleared and we were treated to a beautiful summer evening and sunset as a backdrop to some fine jazz playing from all our musicians!

Friday”s noon hour concert featured the sounds of Bill Clark on trumpet. Bill presented a concert starting with a homage to Miles Davis and then migrating quickly to the world of Freddie Hubbard and beyond. Bill presented a great mix of standards and original compositions that also featured our two teaching assistants from Capilano University, Alicia Murray (drums)  and Eugene Burton (bass).  Our two assistants were absolutely fabulous all week long, playing and working with both our workshop students and faculty.

Friday evening saw the return of Len Aruliah with an evening of mainly original compositions and new arrangements for the faculty octet. This year the entire faculty was featured along with Len in our evening faculty concert. Many thanks to Len for taking on this ambitious project and sharing his music with us.  Len comes to us from London England, and has studied the music of Canadian trumpeter Kenny Wheeler for many years, Indeed many of his tunes and arrangements show a deep understanding of that complex harmonic language and that influence was evident all evening long. Some incredible support from Jarred Burrows (guitar) and Rob Kohler (bass) along with some great sensitive work by Stan Taylor (drums) especially in the first set.

Saturday saw the presentation of the student concert under the tents at Delta Hospital. This concert has become a tradition as many of the extended care patients make the trek outside to see our afternoon of jazz entertainment with five student bands plus our student teaching assitant/ faculty contribution.  Again we enjoyed a great aftenoon in sunny South Delta and enjoyed some great student performances from our workshop participants. This was an exceptional year for our workshop students, and we were very proud of their achievements this past week.  I know we are all looking forward to the 2012 edition of the festival next July.

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