2017 Season

Once again our highly esteemed LEGENDS OF JAZZ workshops, master classes and associated outreach programmes continued to garner respect throughout the year, underlining the Trust’s dedication to the all-important field of jazz education.

Below: KPMT Master Class Series at U of T: Clinicians Nick Smith, Dave Young and Robi Botos, Roger Kellaway, Elaine Kopman, Joseph Shabason; Marco Tulio. Photos by Chase Sanborn and Lloyd Smith.

In September 2016 the Ken Page Memorial Trust Master Class Series entered its 17th year of weekly clinics at the University of Toronto where the Faculty of Music’s well-established Jazz Studies Programme continued under the interim leadership of Mike Murley (covering for Terry Promane who took a well-earned sabbatical) and full-time tutors Chase Sanborn and Jim Lewis. Moderated by accomplished jazz trumpeter, author and teacher, Chase Sanborn, the winter and
spring sessions offered an in-depth mix of ever popular topics relating to the expectations of today’s rising young jazz musicians and the music business in general. Ongoing collaboration with The Rex frequently enabled a second performing opportunity for visiting clinicians, allowing them the benefit of additional Toronto exposure.

Gearing up for a big year with an entering class of double the normal size, the new season kicked off with English pianist and classical conductor, Nick Smith who gave a brilliant clinic involving lots of class participation. Now living in China, Nick was visiting to perform with his friend David Braid at the Owen Sound Arts Festival. The following week John Jasavala who in addition to his active life as a performer, teacher, administrator and adjudicator also runs the U of T Music Booking Office, came in to speak especially to first year students about facilitating gigs. Thereafter the featured clinicians included faculty member, bassist Dave Young together with pianist Robi Botos, who focused on the importance of ‘listening’ to your fellow musicians; Grammy Award Winner and Academy Award nominated pianist Roger Kellaway who demonstrated his unique skills, accompanied by rhythm section favourites, Neil Swainson and Terry Clarke; and one of South Africa’s musical gems, guitarist Reza Khota, who navigates the modern music scene with respect for and knowledge of a wide range of musical traditions, talked about his Ethiopian influences; Elaine Kopman introduced the Alexander Technique and its potential benefits to individuals postural behavior, environmental stimuli and muscular activity; Canadian composer- guitarist Avi Granite, best known for his ferocious improvisational sextet AG:6, currently lives in NYC and concentrated on the merits of ‘rhythm’; visiting from the Netherlands, vocalist Ineke van Doorn and her musical partner guitarist Marc van Vugt, explored boundaries by giving their characteristic interpretation of standards and by amalgamation of different musical impressions; a week later Distinguished Visitor in Jazz, renowned saxophonist Dave Liebman presented an in-depth, inspiring clinic ahead of his scheduled guest appearance later that evening with the U of T Jazz Orchestra; Closing off the winter term, Ottawa-born tenor saxophonist, Kenji Omae, described as ‘a super articulate virtuoso’, had just returned home after 15 years abroad in Seoul and shared some of his fascinating experiences in a city where he was a cornerstone of its jazz scene.

Spring term was ushered in with a return visit by Dave Liebman leading a transcription session which singled out some of the students and certainly held everyone’s attention; next in line was U of T alumnus Joseph Shabason, a man with a passion for ambient music and minimalism and while he may not have a household name, his atmospheric saxophone lines and songwriting have already made a powerful impression on experimental rock; thereafter Latin guitarist-singer Marco Tulio was brought in by Mark Duggan of the percussion department to discuss music and life in Brazil and explain the differences between the softer bossa nova and the more uptempo samba rhythm styles;Broo klyn-based tenor saxophonist Dan Blake came in with his trio and presented a clinic featuring his own compositions; Jazz woodwind player, composer and vocalist Sundar Viswanathan, who is also an Associate Professor Jazz Studies at York U performed with his Avataar sextet demonstrating Indian and Brazilian music influences with rhythmic phrasing; New York-based pianist-composer Andy Milne well known since the formation of his long-standing DAPP Theory quintet, shared his techniques as a fearless versatile explorer who can skillfully blend poetic gravitas with a playful sense of order. The extremely successful season ended on an upbeat note with bassist Andrew Downing conducting a panel discussion on careers in jazz with faculty colleagues Mike Murley, Chase Sanborn, Nick Fraser and Christine Duncan.

Attendance of this well-received series remains mandatory and continues to promote a high level
of interaction between the students and the guest clinicians. A reminder to everyone – these master classes are free and open to the public who are most welcome to attend on Friday afternoons between 3:15 and 4:30 pm. in the Upper Jazz Studio at 90 Wellesley Street West. Please check for details at www.uoftjazz/events/kpmc.