Friday, December 6, 2019
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 multiple Juno Award nominated alto and soprano saxophonist, TARA DAVIDSON,
who has performed around the world at such prestigious venues as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival in The Netherlands, the International Jazz Festival in Lima, Peru, the JZ Jazz Club in Shanghai, and The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C. As a bandleader, she has produced six recordings since 2004 and performed on 30+ recordings as a side person. Four of her six recordings as a leader or co-leader have been nominated in several Juno “Album of the Year” categories with all-star bands comprising configurations from duo to nonet. She has also been associated with five additional Juno nominations for her work with Andrew Downing’s Otterville, Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop, the Mike Murley Septet, CBC Records’ “Jazz Legends Live”, and Jens Lindemann’s Order of Canada Band. Other honours include being selected as lead alto saxophonist for the European Broadcasting Union’s “European Youth Jazz Orchestra”, one of five finalists in the Mary Lou Williams “Women In Jazz” saxophone competition, and one of three finalists for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s “Emerging Jazz Artist Award” in 2015. Davidson is an active educator, currently . She i on faculty at the University of Toronto, York University, the Humber College Community Music School, and the National Music Camp of Canada (Jazz Faculty).