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Q: What attracted you to joining the Board of Directors?

KATE: I am a lover of jazz, live music and a dedicated supporter of the arts in YYC. When I was looking for a new volunteer board opportunity, it seemed like a great fit. This board is more hands on than previous boards I have served on and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting involved. Hopefully, my background and experience will be beneficial to JazzYYC.

JEREMY: I was inspired by the passion of current and previous JazzYYC leadership as well as the community outreach and engagement they have accomplished. Jazz music has historically depended on communities to flourish – wives, families, other musicians and artists, clubs and businesses – and JazzYYC understands this. I will work to help as a board member in this regard.

Q: What do you see as the future of JazzYYC?

KATE: I have been very impressed by JazzYYC’s ability to pivot during the pandemic. I think the combination of a strong reputation for producing excellent live jazz experiences while being small enough to be nimble has presented some great opportunities to collaborate and continue to offer engaging and innovative programs through this crazy time. JazzYYC has picked up momentum during the past year and I think this speaks volumes to what we can expect to see going forward.

JEREMY: I hope that JazzYYC can maintain a strong community presence, particularly among youth, and also work for more gender equality/recognition within the art form. Commissioning new music is important, particularly among young and emerging musicians. JazzYYC can help maintain an Alberta identity to music creation, that also includes jazz. It may be different from Toronto or New York – that is good.

Q: Please share with us your favourite live music memory, either as a performer or in the audience.

KATE: Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, NYC. July 2013. This experience still stands out almost 10 years later. My family was staying in a hotel across the street from Lincoln Centre and we literally stumbled upon this 15 night outdoor jazz festival one evening; we attended the next three nights in a row. A combination of a beautiful outdoor setting, hot July nights, patio lanterns, the diversity of the audience representing such a broad cross-section of the city, the dancing EVERYWHERE (even dance lessons!), and the live music was absolutely spectacular. Each night focused on a different genre of jazz. We enjoyed big band, swing, salsa, Cuban charanga and a super fun night of the Divas of Disco (disco can be jazzy!). It was a brilliant sensory experience in all directions.

JEREMY: In 2017, I premiered a tenor saxophone concerto with Ottawa Symphony Orchestra by Andrew MacDonald. It was based on the first few notes of “Yardbird Suite” by Charlie Parker. That was pretty amazing. In 1988, I heard Michael Brecker live in Columbus, OH in a concert I will never forget.

Q: What are your top 3 “desert island” albums and why?

KATE: Oh boy, three is tough. I have pretty eclectic taste in music! Okay, here goes:

  1. ANY recording of Chet Baker EVER period.
  2. Jonathan Fire Eater, Wolf Songs for Lambs. Probably more than 20 years old now, but a classic garage/punk album that I never seem to tire of. I heard it described once as “songs that go down like vodka at a dirty burlesque” which says something.
  3. The Best of UB40. You said island, right?!

JEREMY: The Prestige Coltrane 58 recordings would be one. Producer Bob Weinstock had the group play an enormous amount of music that explores the new/bebop music of the day. Another would be the four Brahms symphonies, either with Bernstein or Van Karajan conducting. Third, Chick Corea on the Eye of the Beholder album, great fusion.

Q: What made you fall in love with jazz?

KATE: I was introduced to music at an early age (yay for Suzuki violin at age 3!), so music has always been a part of my life; early on it was classical and folk music. It wasn’t until I was in college when I really started listening to jazz – during a time when I was seeking out a lot of alternative and “new to me” music including rap, punk, ska, underground garage and jazz. It started with the familiar classics like Billie Holiday, Etta James, Charlie Parker and so on and moved to more contemporary fusion bands of the time like The Mescaleros and The Jazz Passengers. What has always fascinated me about jazz is the phrasing, the fluidity, the improvisation and the pause. I continue to be quite obsessed with the pause in jazz.

JEREMY: The improvisatory aspect of the music was what attracted me as a teen. Then the big band inspired me. Now it is both with the addition of small group jazz and some writing I am doing. It is an open-ended art form if you want it to be though I am not sure where it stops being jazz and becomes something else.

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