Calgary jazz gets collaborative

Vancouver Mongolia add spice to the local scene

You’ve heard of jazz fusion? Well gigs this month are fusing ideas influences and talent from as far away as Mongolia and as close as Vancouver with our best musicians.

On Friday August 21 the Mount Royal College Jazz Camp Faculty concert is scheduled at Beat Niq. The quartet features bassist John Hyde Vancouver hornman Brad Turner sax man Ralph Bowen and drummer John Riley. Hyde is well-known as one of the finest jazz musicians in Calgary but Turner is a less familiar name unless you’re plugged into the West Coast jazz scene. Once the leader of the jazz group Metalwood Turner has a long list of awards ranging from Jazz Report Magazine’s Trumpeter of the Year to twice winning the Composer of the Year Award at the National Jazz Awards. Bowen is another major talent: He has over 50 titles in his discography and he’s played with the likes of Andy Bey Branford Marsalis and Horace Silver. Add John Riley from New York who’s performed with Stan Getz Miles Davis and many others and it’s clear this event is not to be missed.

If you’re feeling like a short drive outside the city the same night head to Carlson’s on Macleod Trail in High River. Expect a truly Canadian-Mongolian jazz fusion experience as the Northern Lights Quartet (Keith Smith Simon Fisk Robin Tufts and Deb Rasmussen) is joined by Altai Khangai from Mongolia. Altai Khangai will perform throat singing and compositions on traditional Mongolian stringed instruments.

By month’s end another trio is in town this time mixing the original compositions of Toronto-based pianist Simeon Abbott with drums by Calgary’s Chris Dadge and bass by Scott Munro. The multi-talented Abbott musician composer and improviser is well-known in Toronto’s jazz and free-improvisation circles. He’s in town for this one performance at Beat Niq on Saturday August 22.

Plan to be at Beatniq again the last weekend of August for the October Trio’s performance. Based in Vancouver the trio of Evan Arntzen on saxophones Josh Cole on bass and drummer Dan Gaucher recently released the new CD Looks Like It’s Going to Snow . Formed in 2004 while all three members were attending Vancouver’s Capilano College Jazz Program the October Trio has already received acclaim from CBC Radio and Downbeat Magazine. Don’t miss them August 28 and 29.