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.
The classy CJQ is now in their fifth 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.
Featured guest focus tonight is on the exceptional piano mastery of DANNY McERLAIN, a familiar figure across the Canadian jazz scene, appearing in jazz and big band festivals, in recording studios, and in concert halls everywhere — as a member of the band for Ross Wooldridge’s “Benny Meets Artie” shows, as one-sixth of Ross Wooldridge’s all-star “Tribute to Benny Goodman” Sextet, as a featured performer with the Bob DeAngelis “Champagne Symphony”, and as conductor of the Queen’s Park Civil Service Choir and “The Ambiance Singers” and vocal group.
McErlain’s impressive career history includes 20 years experience working with the late clarinet master Henry Cuesta; a Carnegie Hall appearance with Bob DeAngelis’ big band commemorating the 70th anniversary of Benny Goodman’s triumphant concert there; a 2014 Concert Series at Casa Loma in Toronto, where sold-out performances included tributes to Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf; and a 2015 live-to-air JAZZ.FM91 tribute to late saxophone great Jim Galloway.