Respected across the national jazz scene for more than three decades, the hard-swinging CANADIAN JAZZ QUARTET have established themselves, individually and collectively, among the elite of jazz musicians on air and in recording studios, in clubs and on concert stages, and at major music events and jazz festivals all over the country.
Founded by the late guitar luminary Gary Benson in 1987, the lineup has evolved over the years, but under the long-time current leadership of iconic vibes-master Frank Wright, today’s Canadian Jazz Quartet (FRANK WRIGHT on vibes, TED QUINLAN on guitar, PAT COLLINS on bass, DON VICKERY on drums) remains a standard of excellence in jazz in Canada.
After a record-breaking decade-long run creating new mainstream jazz collaborations weekly for packed houses at leading downtown jazz venues, the classy CJQ is now in their fourth year in residence at the the Old Mill’s Home Smith Bar, where they bring their graceful treatment of standards and original material to “First Fridays”, and showcase a different headlining superstar each month.
Tonight’s featured guest is jazz giant ALASTAIR KAY, 15-year featured player with Grammy- and Juno-winning ‘Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass’, internationally-acclaimed arranger, composer, virtuoso jazz and classical trombonist, and long-time Head of Brass Studies at Humber College. For over four decades, Al Kay has performed around the world with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, played on over 1000 commercial jingles, countless recordings, and sound tracks, and remained a first call pit-band player for major live musical theatre hits in Toronto for more than 30 years. He has played with all of Canada’s leading symphonies, 7 seasons with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra, frequently with the National Ballet Orchestra, and numerous small chamber ensembles, most notably the ‘True North Brass’.