July 2011

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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Info for 2011 workshop participants

Greetings Jazz Workshop Participants,

This is important information. Please read all of it!

I hope you are all looking forward to the South Delta Jazz Workshop as much as we are! We have a great week of music, learning, and fun planned for everyone.

The workshop begins Tuesday, July 5 at 9:30 am. We will meet at Delta Community Music School, 4705 Arthur Drive, in Ladner. The parking lot is across the street.

  • Please do not be late as we will have a lot to do on the first day!
  • Bring a cheque for any outstanding enrollment fees
  • If you have a drum set or other bulky gear to unload, please come a little earlier at 9:00am
  • Parents, please plan to stick around for the first 15 minutes or so.

As usual we have a wide range of students from beginner players through to very advanced semi-pro players. Students will be divided into ensembles to work with on the first day. Placements may change as we get to know your abilities, needs, and personalities. Please be patient with us as we try to create a situation that will be best for you. Our full-time faculty members will rotate among the groups on a daily basis. We expect a high level of courtesy and respect among all participants in the Workshop.

Please bring everything you will need for making music: extra reeds, valve oil, patch cables, picks, strings, staff paper, pencils and eraser. Drummers, bass players, and guitarists are requested to bring their own amplifiers and drum kits. This equipment can be left at the workshop for the duration. The Music School is locked and has an alarm. If you don’t have an amplifier or drum kit please contact us immediately so we can help arrange to get one for you. We will have music stands available. Make sure all of your gear is labelled clearly so it doesn’t get lost.

All students should bring a lunch and a snack or two. There is very limited time for students to purchase a lunch from the mall as lunch time is also concert time with our guest artists and faculty and all students are required to attend the these concerts. Food is important for an event of this kind. We strongly suggest that you bring something healthy that will provide you with the energy you will need for a very full day of music making.

PLEASE NOTE – we have some students with severe nut allergies this year. In consideration of their health and well being, we ask that you please do not bring foods which contain nuts.

Daily Schedule of Events:

  • 9:30 – 10:20 Aural Skills classes
  • 10:20 -10:30 Break
  • 10:30 – 11:30 Improvisation Class/Ensemble Rehearsals
  • 11:30 – 12:00 Lunch and noon concert set-up time
  • 12:00 – 1:15 Noon Concert (you can keep eating while you listen!)
  • 1:15 – 2:45 Ensemble rehearsal and/or masterclasses with guest artists
  • 2:45 – 3:00 Break
  • 3:00 – 4:30 Ensemble rehearsal

Other IMPORTANT Events

  • Wednesday July 6 Advanced Student Concert at Diefenbaker Park 6:30-9:00pm Some of our advanced students will be performing at Diefenbaker Park in Tsawwassen. Bring some food and a lawn chair and enjoy a summer evening with great music
  • Thursday July 7 from 7-9pm Jam Session at Petra’s Arts Kafe This is open to workshop participants and to anyone in the community who plays jazz. This is a really fun part of the workshop. If you don’t know what a jam session is or how it works, DON”T WORRY the workshop will prepare you for it!
  • Friday July 8 Faculty Octet concert 7:30pm. All Saints Anglican Church. Tickets $10 Students receive free admission to this event and are expected to attend as part of the learning process. The evening concert is an important and required part of the program for workshop participants. We could use some help selling tickets to this concerts. We can give you one free ticket for every three that you sell. Tickets are only $10.
  • Saturday July 9 Final Student Concert 12:00-3:00pm at Delta Hospital Grounds. Parents, spouses, family and friends are all welcome to this concert or any of the noon hour shows. Admission to noon shows and final student concert is FREE. Rehearsals on Saturday will run at the Community Centre as usual from 9:30-11 and then we will be heading over to the hospital grounds for our final performance. We will need help transporting students between the Community Centre and Delta Hospital, so if you can help us drive on that day please let us know.


If you have received scholarship funding to attend the camp you will be notified before the start of the workshop. You will be asked to write a letter thanking our various sponsors. We will provide the mailing address and other information for this letter. Please do not discuss scholarship funding with other students.


We’ll be taking photographs of workshop activities throughout the week. The photos will help us promote the workshop in coming years and help us get funding from sponsors and government organizations. If you do not want pictures of yourself or your child used in this way, please let us know. If you take some photos yourself, we’d love to have digital copies for our website or facebook page

Please contact Jared Burrows if you have any questions at ph. 604-294-3714

We look forward to working with all of you!

Best regards,

Jared Burrows and Stephen Robb,
Directors, South Delta Jazz Workshop


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