Gerry Hebert


Musician Producer Educator

Whether performing, recording, teaching, working as an artistic director or serving as an executive for organizations that further music programs and culture, Gerry Hébert has always been a strong advocate for the live music scene in Alberta and beyond.

Throughout his impressive list of accomplishments the same message continually percolates to the surface: Hébert is dedicated to bringing out the musical best in everyone. This dedication is evidenced in producing concerts and recordings in which all participants are challenged and engaged creatively and expressively. At these moments, Hébert’s music takes flight and inspires the listener to explore creative and emotional possibilities. The same applies in classrooms and clinics where Hébert works with students and professionals who are invited to excel and learn to love the process.

Born and raised in Alberta, Hébert has worked as a professional musician for more than 25 years and has enjoyed a busy playing career that included being a founding member of The Swinging Bovines, a professional touring saxophone quartet that played over 500 concerts internationally. His performance credits include many appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, multiple professional theatre productions, the Calgary Jazz Orchestra and his own Gerry Hébert Quartet which has released 3 CD recordings. Overall he has appeared on over 30 CD recordings and numerous television and radio broadcasts.

Contact Gerry Hebert

Ken Hanley

Vice president

In our continuing new director profiles, we are very excited to add Ken Hanley to our the board and executive committee as Vice President. Ken is a veteran of non-profit societies and spent 10 years with The Shakespeare Company including 6 years as the chair. This prolific company has been presenting great theatre in Calgary for 18 years and has annual budget of about 500k. After retiring from the board in 2017, we are excited that Ken would bring his passion, knowledge and experience to JazzYYC. Ken has always had a deep interest in jazz and as he travels a lot with his work, he always looks for live jazz performances wherever he goes. He was a regular at the Beat Niq Jazz & Social club and would love to see a full-time jazz club in Calgary again soon.

Ken has a Masters degree in Engineering from the University of Calgary and has extensive experience in project management and work as a Program Director in a variety of capital projects, companies and public organizations. In his words, he is excited to bring: ”considerable Board experience in the Calgary arts community, and enthusiasm for jazz and the Calgary jazz community”. We welcome Ken to JazzYYC team!

Contact Ken Hanley

Malcolm McKay


Malcolm has been Treasurer of JazzYYC since 2015. He has a long history of involvement as a board member of music and theatre organizations and with organizations that advocate for people with disabilities. Malcolm is also on the Board of Prairie Debut which presents classical and world music concerts across the prairies and northern Canada, and Treasurer of Progressive Alternatives Society of Calgary, which connects persons with developmental disabilities with community engagement and supported employment opportunities. Before his current position at Nutrien Ltd., Malcolm also consulted extensively to the non-profit sector over a 25-year career in public accounting.

Malcolm is also a saxophone and flute artist, playing in a large jazz ensemble in Calgary.

Contact Malcolm McKay

Shannon Matthyssen


Shannon has recently been elected to the Executive Committee as Secretary. She has been a director since January 2018 but also served on the volunteer committee since 2017. She has also been one of our Volunteer Coordinators for the Lolitas Lounge Just Jazz Friday series and both our summer and fall festivals and serves on the Finance committee. Shannon brings many years of board experience to JazzYYC and has also been active as a volunteer and is also on the board of the Southern Alberta Land Trust Society as their Treasurer. Learn more about them https://salts.land/

Contact Shannon Matthyssen

Debra Rasmussen

Past president

Deb is an agricultural economist with nearly 30 years’ experience managing projects for Global Affairs Canada (formerly CIDA), the World Bank, the ADB and other international organizations around the world. She’s been performing jazz vocals since 2003.  Debra’s commitment to jazz led to the creation of the “Giant Steppes International Jazz Festival” in 2004.  In 2008, Northern Lights Quartet collaborated at the Giant Steppes Festival with the traditional Mongolian group, Altai Khangai.  They toured Canada in 2009 and recorded the CD “Northern Lights Altai Khangai”.  In 2011, she released her debut CD, “Heart Wide Open” with her long-time musical partner, guitarist, Keith Smith.  She was part of the volunteer committee that led to the creation of JazzYYC. She joined the JazzYYC Board in 2012 as Secretary and become the President in 2013, serving in that role until 2019.  She now serves as Past-President and Chair of the Fundraising Committee. She is also a member of the Calgary Musicians Association and SOCAN.

Contact Debra Rasmussen

Nathaniel Miller


Passionate project-leader with extensive experience collaborating with and managing high-performance teams and delivering results under pressure. Professional experience across the globe in diverse sectors including community programming, sport development and event and retail management. Strong communicator with proven success engaging community, government and corporate stakeholders. Creative strategist adept and trained in both systems and design thinking.

Former captain of the Canadian Men’s National Water Polo team, is a 2008 Olympian, 3x PanAm Games medallist and 7x National Champion. He honed his leadership skills during a 12-year National Team career where he helped guide the Canadian men’s team to some of its greatest successes, including a Gold Medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Championships, and the programs first ever Olympic qualification in 2008.  His performances at the international stage led him to a successful professional career abroad, where he won league titles in France, Brazil, and Spain.  Nathaniel holds an Executive MBA from the Queen’s Smith School of Business and a BA in History from the U of C.  He is currently consulting in Calgary.

Volunteer Experience: After retiring from elite competition in 2010, Nathaniel has remained active in the Canadian sports landscape, serving in leadership roles with the Canadian Olympic Committee, Toronto 2015 Pan/Para PanAm Games and the Alberta Water Polo Association.  He currently works as the Athletic Director and Head Coach of the Calgary Renegades Water Polo Club and teaches Yoga at the National Sports School.

Potential Role: Strategic planning, fundraising, gala and marketing/communications.

Contact Nathaniel Miller

Nancy Hong

Director at large

Nancy joined JazzYYC’s board in 2018 and is part of the fundraising team supporting festivals and outreach programs. Nancy is a financial and regulatory consultant and her work has included several large pipeline projects. She is a yoga instructor and her volunteerism started with grant writing for her local community centre to upgrade its studio and grow its programs. She has secured numerous grants for various arts organizations and gets immense satisfaction from obtaining public funding for programs in her community. Nancy is also on the board of the Yoga Association of Alberta.

Nancy is an avid supporter of live music in Calgary. “As a child, my father always had Sinatra playing and I’m pretty certain that my name came from “Nancy, with the laughing face.”

Contact Nancy Hong

Mandy Morris

Director at Large

Mandy Morris a jazz vocalist, children’s entertainer and educator. She has been volunteering for JazzYYC since 2017 and joined the board in January 2019. Since moving to Calgary in 2014, Mandy has been an active member of the arts scene. She is a highly sought after vocal instructor who specializes in working with young children at the Young Canadians and Chinook School of Music. She is the leader of Music with Mandy which is dedicated to presenting jazz for kids and the adults who love them. Mandy is also the founder and artistic director Create Kids Arts Society, a non-profit dedicated to connecting the children of Calgary with the arts.

 Mandy is the chair of the volunteer committee where she brings her event management experience, attention to detail and upbeat personality to nurture our growing volunteer community.

In her own words: “My passion is working in the community to create cultural experiences for people of all ages. Jazz is my favourite style of music both as a listener and performer so I have decided to dedicate a large portion of my life to bringing it to a wider audience.”

Contact Mandy Morris

Michelle McNutt

Director at large

Michelle joined the JazzYYC Board in 2020. Currently, she is the People & Culture Director at INLIV Inc, supporting their clinic operations in Calgary and national virtual healthcare service, Wello. She has a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and HR yet most of her learning came from roles with Sobeys, Conroy Ross Partners, Suncor, MNP and owning her own consulting practice. Originally from Nova Scotia, she found her way to Calgary and fell in love. She is passionate about giving back, assisting with the Special Olympics through motionball and Marathon of Sport, Calgary Drop-In Centre, Inn From The Cold, Packwood Grand, WallnutYYC, Keys To Recovery and more.

Contact Michelle McNutt

Cathy Ascroft

Director at large

Recently retired from a successful career as a senior policy strategist with the City of Calgary where she applied both her Masters of Environmental Design (Planning; U of C) and her Law degree from Osgoode Hall, Cathy has progressive experience in urban/regional planning, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance. She has developed policies and bylaws that implement sustainability principles. She’s known for high quality writing and editing, and teaching and coaching others to communicate effectively.

Volunteer Positions: Editor, Plan Canada, 2005-2011; Volunteer, Jazz YYC, Jazz is Society, Calgary Jazz Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival; Editorial panel, AACIP Digest, 2003-2005; BoD, Hillhurst-Sunnyside Non-Profit Housing Association (1998-2000)

Other Interests: Spends most of her free time playing jazz and has helped to organize “Toast and Jam” event at Koi. Also loves cycling, dance, gardening, photography, hiking and travelling, and supporting the arts in Calgary.

Potential Role: Governance/reporting, public engagement to tell the JazzYYC story, special projects

Contact Cathy Ascroft

Charles Finstad

Director at large

After spending 10 years in accounting and audit, then 20 more working for national and global consulting practices, Charles founded Valley West Consulting where he works as an independent consultant with a variety of clients that are attempting to tackle structural issues that limit their growth, financial stability and brand awareness.

Volunteer Experience: In 1999 he co-founded the Full Moon back-country race series which he operated with a group of volunteers for 5 years. He eventually became a coach and team leader for the Single-Track Cycle Road Race team.

Interests: Charles studied classical music from the age of 4 and developed a Chopin repertoire before retiring from formal training at 17. Although his love of music never waned, it was another 30 years before he began his study of jazz piano. Charles would like nothing more than to see a vibrant jazz scene emerge (or re-emerge) in Calgary and would be happy to be part of an organization that shares that goal

Potential Role: Strategic planning and donor management

Contact Charles Finstad

Rita Richardson

Director at large

A family and pensions and benefits lawyer with 29 years of experience. Creative strategist and practical problem-solver able to manage multiple priorities. Excellent communicator, both verbally and in writing.

Volunteer Experience:  Current – Director, BoD, Alberta Assn of Collaborative Professionals (Calgary); Chair, BoD, Collaborative Divorce Alberta Assn; Member, Organizing Committee, National Collaborative Law Assn; Regular Annual Volunteer teaching/evaluating components of the Alberta CPLED, including Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Negotiating and Interviewing. Past – Past Chair, BoD and Chair, Education, Standards and Training Committee, Alberta Assn of Collaborative Professionals – Calgary; Past Director, BoD, Past Chairperson, Legal Advisory Committee, Past Member, Human Resources Committee, Past Volunteer Children’s Counsel. Children’s Legal & Educational Resource Centre (C.L.E.R.C.)/Youth Law at the Alex; Past Director, BoD, Asson of Women Lawyers; Past President and Director, BoD and Chairperson, Personnel Committee, Calgary French School; Past Director and Secretary, BoD, Keeler Society of Independent Learning.

Interests: Family, friends, pets, hiking/snowshoeing, cycling, theatre, art, music, interior design, cooking, gardening, books, current events, film, volunteering, travel and ongoing learning.

Potential Role: A detail person that can help strategy, grant writing, policy and process and administration.

Contact Rita Richardson

Kate Monaghan

Director at large

A third generation Calgarian, Kate is a passionate believer in community building. A connector of ideas to action, concepts to realization, people to causes, and supporters to organizations. A passionate believer in the power of art and music to connect and move us. Kate has inspired individuals, stakeholders and community to engage and invest in Calgary’s arts and culture sector over the past 18 years; most recently as the Senior Associate of Government Relations and Public Funding at Glenbow Museum.

Kate is an avid volunteer and is currently the Acting Board Chair of the Calgary International Film Festival, a member of the Interim Board of Creative Calgary, and co-lead of the Chinook Blast Festival Strategic Initiatives Subcommittee.

An ardent lover of music- with eclectic taste ranging from classic punk to opera to of course, jazz. The soundtrack most played on the patio this pandemic summer was Cécile McLorin Salvant and The Jean- Francois Bonnel Paris Quintet- a powerful voice, exquisite phrasing and a vast repertoire – the perfect escape!

Potential role: Fund development, governance; outreach, strategic planning

Contact Kate Monaghan

Jeremy Brown

Director at large

Jeremy Brown is a Professor of Music at the University of Calgary (1990-present) and performs as a jazz, classical and free improviser primarily on the saxophone. He is also a woodwind doubler and performs frequently as a flautist, clarinetist and penny whistle. He has been a conductor of the wind bands at the University of Calgary School of Creative and Performing Arts and is in his twenty-third year as conductor of the Calgary Wind Symphony.

His university ensembles have been widely recognized for original programming and performing excellence; most recently the UCalgary Jazz Orchestra won the Outstanding Ensemble Award at the 2013 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and ten outstanding soloist awards at the 2014 Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Chicago, Illinois and numerous soloist awards at the 2018 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

Potential role: Education (lab band)

Contact Jeremy Brown

sign up for our

jazzyyc weekly spotlight

For weekly updates regarding all things Jazz in Calgary, subscribe to us today!

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop