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Great Canadian Saxophones
Sometimes things just line up, and they sure did in the Great Canadian Jazz Series which features four days in a row of great Canadian saxophonists as mentioned my friend Peter Hum. Some of the best from the country will be on that stage and it’s going to be spectacular.
June 27th at 6:30pm on the Canal Stage is Mark Mclean’s Playground. That’s a band we could easily spend an entry on but I am going to focus on the tenor man Kelly Jefferson who plays in his band. Kelly Jefferson is one of the first call saxophonists in Toronto. With residencies in Montreal and Manhattan under his belt, Kelly has played with musicians Maria Schneider, Kenny Werner, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and more, and his own album “Next Exit” that came out this year was nominated for the 2011 Juno Award. Kelly was in Ottawa to play with John Geggie, and did a interview on Peter Hum’s jazzblog that’s worth checking out.
On June 28th, we have the Chet Doxas Quartet. Chet’s new album this year “Big Sky” was also nominated this year for a Juno. Chet is a young saxophonist from Montreal who has had a presence on the east coast as a great soloist for quite a while now. Chet comes from a musical family with his father George Doxas a musician as well as owner of a recording studio in Montreal, and brother Jim Doxas who has been a long standing member of the Oliver Jones’ band. Chet is featured on many a great sessions with people like Christine Jensen, Dave Douglas and Bill Stewart to name a few. Chet has great command of the saxophone, and a fresh new voice not heavily rooted in bebop as other great saxophonists around him.
On June 29th, Montreal’s Francois Bourassa Quartet will be performing with a great band featuring the tenor saxophonist Andre Leroux. Andre Leroux has been a staple on the Effendi Records catalogue having recorded on many albums, most notably being a part of Francois Bourassa’s band. Originally from Saskatoon, Leroux has been calling Montreal home for many years. Not afraid to admit Sonny Rollins and John Cotrane as his big influences, Leroux brings these roots to a new setting. As all the saxophonists on this list, he has a great command of the saxophone with a big burly sound. Leroux is also equally comfortable on the flute which you may get to hear. One of my favorite Montreal bands!
And last but not least, On June 30th, the Polish-Canadian drummer Jacek Kochan will take the stage with his band featuring one of our trophy tenor saxophonists Seamus Blake. The British Columbia native has lived in New York for over a decade now, initially by moving to Boston to study at the Berlee College of Music with fellow tenor man Donny McCasslin. Seamus has unparalleled technique on the saxophone, a big velvet sound with a hint of the west-coast jazz influence. When he moved to New York, he became one of the cats being a part of Dave Douglas’s band as well as John Scofield’s band and his own recordings feature the greats of his generation such as Kurt Rosenwinkel. Blake is also a winner of the last Thelonious Monk Saxophone competition. Seamus is one of the saxophonists that a generation of saxophonists are growing up wanting to play like so this will be a show not to miss!