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The thing I hear said consistently by all who have remembered Henry is how much he loved jazz standards.

One of the most affirming things that have happened to me was at a performance for Henry at the Fountains of Mission in November of 2019.  With Ron Wrigley on piano, John Gray on bass, and Michael Callendar on trombone we performed a dozen of Henry’s favourite standards.  At the end of our performance, Henry exclaimed exuberantly, now that’s a concert!  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to share that time with you Henry as well as the number of times we performed the Nearness of You together, the last time at my 80th birthday celebration at Koi on September 18th, about a week before your 88th birthday! – Jim Hutchison


I first met Henry at the old Cantos centre and was privileged to sit with him at the Jazz YYC sponsored Laila Biali/ George Koehler show there. In a matter of minutes of talking and hanging out, I knew I was sitting with a die-hard live music fan and lover of classic jazz standards. He also wasn’t afraid to voice his thoughts of the more contemporary arrangements of Laila’s interpretations…. and applauded loudly regardless of whether it was to his taste or not…! On a few more occasions at Lolita’s and the Calgary JCC, I got to chat with him about the jazz scene and history in Calgary and always learned something from him. 

Thanks to Jazz YYC I got to meet Henry and share a little time with him. He’ll be missed for sure and will be tapping his feet and applauding wherever there’s music.  – JPG


“I am a lawyer at Henry’s law firm. Henry is the reason I got hired, I emailed my resume to him on a Saturday and much to my surprise he replied within moments. In addition to being a jazz fan, Henry was an accomplished art collector.  I can recall more than one occasion in which I entered my office to find Henry hammering nails into my wall to hang new paintings that he thought I might like. He was already in his 80s at this point so in addition to being very thoughtful it was a funny sight to walk into first thing in the morning. Henry always had a few boxes of cookies stashed in his office. Sometimes if he decided he wanted a snack he would exclaim “Cookie Time!” no matter who was around and even if he or I were mid-sentence discussing a file and proceeded to devour a few cookies right there, usually with crumbs landing all over his shirt!” – Yvonne Williamson


“Of course, Henry’s love of standards is legendary and it’s a mark of how loyal a jazz fan he was that he went to many, many shows that weren’t exactly his musical taste. He bought two tickets to every show we hosted and he was generally the first to arrive, claiming his reserved seat on the couch. For many years, he came with his friend, Anne. Henry liked to leave right after a show finished so I would wade through the crowd and dig out their coats. But Anne’s memory started to fail and one night, she couldn’t remember what coat she came in so I went through most of 60 coats, holding each up in the hopes she would recognize it. After that, we hung Henry and Anne’s coats in the back closet. Henry found buying tickets on Eventbrite a challenge so when we had new concerts coming up, I would head down to his place in Mission and sit down at his computer. He’d hand me his credit card and I’d buy the tickets, then he would carefully note the concert date and time in his daytime. It was crammed with musical dates—Lolita’s, the Prime time Big Band at the Ironwood, the King Eddy. He was a complex, fascinating soul.” – Lisa Buck


“My heart is sad. The heart of our Law Firm, Beaumont Church LLP is sad. Today we lost Henry Beaumont-retired Senior Partner of BeaumontChurch LLP. Practicing law since 1956. Greatly respected in the law practice; Henry was the sharpest lawyer around-endless stories to count. Henry believed in helping those who had no one to go to for help. Irecall his words as I stood in his office with messages and documents in hand on a particular day years ago; “Where else can these people go for help?”. Henry answered his phone every time it rang. Henry saw to every individual that walked into the office-appointment or no appointment. Henry had six secretaries working for him-that’s how much work he generated. Henry loved practicing law and loved to help people in need. Henry also loved jazz. My journey at Beaumont Church LLP began in June 2000. 20 Years ago. Most people don’t know this but I landed the gig through an agency. I needed a job. Little did I know that the senior partner wasa huge jazz fan. A few days into my day job at the firm, Henry found out I was a jazz pianist and, well, the rest is history. Henry and Gale Beaumont and Family became my Family. Henry NEVER missed my gigs. EVER. To the Beaumont Family as I’ve been incontact with throughout, I extend my deepest condolences. To the JazzYYC community I extend my condolences as we have lost a person who truly loved people and loved jazz music, loved each and every musician, vocalist and supported each and every one of us by being there at our shows. All the time.Henry’s final days were spent listening to jazz. I love you, Henry. You already know that. RIP.” – Andrea Petrity


“Henry and I go back 40 years and I was close to the family at one time. Henry used to tell me about going to the Five Spot in NYC and listening to Monk. He would sit with Monk on breaks sometimes and talk about the music. Henry also went to the Newport Festival in the 60s and heard both Miles and Coltranes bands. When I first started painting, I would have Art Shows at my home. I would have my musician friends like Derek Stoll, Keith Day, Brent Saklofske, Kai Poscente, John DeWaal and other players sit in and play. I would sing and it was a really fun kind of art show. I remember Henry coming and listening intently to the music and before he left, he bought one of my paintings. I was so thrilled. He had it framed and then invited me to his office to see where it was hanging. Just one of the things Henry did for aspiring artists and musicians. Thank you Henry for your support, I will never forget you!” – Brian Buchanan


“Quite a few years ago (can’t recall the year), Renee Lee came to sing with her group at the old Cantos. Sadly there was not a large crowd, and as we were waiting Henry got up and played on the grand piano. We all clapped & announced, “Well, Henry. Now you can say you opened for Renee Lee!”. He beamed!!” – Madeleine MacDonald


“So one of Henry’s fave songs was “Sugar” by Stanley Turrentine, one of the reasons why I put it on my last album. Memories of Henry, he always had a dame on his arm, such a flirt! When I hosted the open mic at Koi, as you know, he was a regular, and as per my post, I would ask him if he would play, and when he said yes, I always put him at the top of the list, he would always surprise us with a tune, and I made sure to capture the moment. It was cool to see he put one of the photos as his FB profile pic. I often saw this fine gentleman in the audience sitting at his personal table at The Ironwood Stage & Grill and other venues. BUT every once and awhile, it was me sitting in the audience watching him play … with such joy … that will always be one of my favourite memories of the late great jazz trooper Henry Beaumont. Thanks for all the love you have given me and the Calgary jazz community, you will be missed babe. ‘I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places that this heart of mine embraces’ (Irving Kahal).” – Deanne Matley


“The first time I got to know Henry was on a day, over twenty years ago, when I had three performing jobs on the day. The first was a solo piano job at the 400 Club. I had seen Henry before but we chatted a great deal on the break and he immediately impressed me as a sharp and engaging individual. My next gig, a duo with a singer-I do not remember where or with whom, also featured Henry in the audience! Later that evening there was a Beatnik gig with a small ensemble and, you guessed it, Henry was a conspicuous member of the audience. Soon after I realized that Henry put a lot of interest and energy into finding out what was happening in Calgary’s jazz scene and made it a point to be there. Amateur or world-class, Henry would be in attendance. While there are numerous accounts of this, and similar incidents, one of my favourite Henry stories took place at the Jack Singer during a performance by Wayne Shorter. His band was fabulous but Wayne was in an odd mood that evening and just played a few random squawks and trills into the open piano. Nothing that resembles a traditional solo. At one point during the show Wayne addressed the audience and asked, “Are there any requests?”. Henry, in one of the front rows, did not miss a beat and shouted, “How ’bout a tune?!’. ‘The hundreds people within earshot laughed for over a minute, likely because Henry had just vocalized what much of the audience was likely thinking. Henry had a huge heart, and when he heard that my wife and I were separating he invited us to a meeting. He was truly concerned for us both and wanted us to be kind to each other and minimize our involvement with the legal process. It was very touching and helpful. I’m certain that much has been made of his support for the development of amatuer jazz in Calgary and his generous support of numerous developing artists. I am also certain that much has been told of his influence on his offspring and how his daughters became excellent jazz singers. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Monique and Tracy, and it was always a great pleasure. Henry has always been very encouraging and complimentary to me personally and always had a lot of time to chat. He was always a gentleman in the time I knew him, and an inspiration to many. He also told me about his involvement with the early days of the Peter Lougheed government in the early 70s and therein is further evidence of his intellect and energy.” – Derek Stoll


“I was introduced to the Saturday afternoon Jazz sessions at Kawa via William Friedson. My mother and sometimes daughter attended on numerous occasions. On one of those afternoons, a gentleman was having some difficulty removing his jacket, so I helped him and that was how I met Henry (he also had issues with his cane never staying as intended). I started sitting with Henry and quickly realized that he had a ‘special’ sense of humour and akin to who I am, I started to ‘mess’ with him. He seemed to enjoy my banter as I did his and we quickly became friends. I called him ‘Sir Henry’ to his chagrin or delight (he never indicated which). William and I asked Sir Beaumont if he had tired of the food at his residence and if he might like to go to a place that we frequented. He was indeed very interested. So on a few occasions after Kawa we made our way to Merchants in Marda Loop. We went through the menu and I shared my favs. Sir Henry decided on the tempura prawns or oysters, truffle tortellini and the creme brulee sometimes with a coffee (he always had these same items). His accompanying drink was a juice which could only be served without ice as he made that abundantly clear to the hostess if it arrived with. Upon the arrival of the food, we had them all come at once, sans the desert, Sir Henry would attack (perhaps the food at rez wasn’t up to his standards), suffice to say, we didn’t converse during his eating, or rather he didn’t. My last time spent with my friend was when I chauffeured him to a jazz eve at the Deane House in October. We ate (I drank) and enjoyed the music. Afterwards driving Sir Henry to his building and walking him to the entrance, we had our last ‘fist-pump’. He will be in my thoughts often and greatly missed. A life well lived and a rest well earned.” – Gábor Illés


“The charming and classy Henry Beaumont was one of my biggest music supporters here in Calgary. I met him while I was singing with the Prime Time big band and for 18 years he became one of my most loyal and loving followers. He was instrumental in raising the funds needed for the recording project of Prime Time Big band’s first CD entitled “For our friends”. One of my fondest memories of Henry was when he came to hear me sing at my 2019 Christmas concert. He always loved a beautiful standard, so when he called out a request of “The Christmas Song”, which by the way I had already sung earlier in the show, I played along, stepped off the stage, pulled up a chair to his table, took his his gentle hand and sang it again JUST for him. I feel grateful having known this wonderful man and will miss him dearly. Rest In Peace Mr. Beaumont.” – Shari Chaskin


“We all have memories of Henry Beaumont.  Here are two of mine. One is a conversation we had at one of the last jam sessions at Kawa before the pandemic hit.   With his inimitable way of saying outrageous things, but with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, he said to me “The doctor tells me the bad news is I’m dying, but the good news is I’m dying slowly.”  “Well, you could say that’s true of everyone in this room,” I said, and we both laughed, because really what’s funnier than a terminal health diagnosis? The last time I saw Henry was in late summer on a Sunday afternoon as I was walking along the river. He didn’t see me, but true to form, he was leaving the Deane House after attending one of their outdoor jazz sessions. I will always remember Henry Beaumont was a guy who did things. Lots of people talk, and talk a lot, about who they are and what they believe. But even at what he knew was the end of his life, and facing all the restrictions and complications of covid, he didn’t waste time complaining or feeling sorry for himself.  He just kept on showing up and enjoying life’s simple good things—many cups of coffee, while sitting at a table with friends, enjoying the music he loved, all the while asking us—loudly—to “play a standard!!!” – Tricia Edwards


“A few years ago, Henry was in the Rocky View hospital after a fall at his home. I went to visit him a few days later without fully knowing what to expect.  But then again, I never knew what to expect when I saw Henry! I didn’t know his condition, whether he would be able to have visitors or what to expect. What I certainly didn’t expect was that he would make me laugh so hard that I might, myself, require medical assistance. It all started normally enough. He was in bed, looking a little dishevelled, as any patient would be after an accident like his. He’d not long risen from a nap as he saw me next to the bed. He asked me, “Who the hell are you?” stared for a few seconds and then smiled.  I would have said the usual things people say to patients but this was Henry. He wasn’t the type of man for platitudes so I said, “So the dismount from the pommel horse you did last Saturday? I think you should work on your landing.” He stared at me for the longest second that made me wonder if I’d said the wrong thing. Henry could do that. He could stare at me in the way that makes Hannabal Lechter look like the host of the Mickey Mouse Club. Then, to my relief, he laughed. That triggered his first funny story. He told me he was asked by a nurse examining his mental state, did he know where he was. He looked out of the window and saw a large lake from, what he thought, was Vancouver.  It was actually Glenmore reservoir. He ended the story by saying, “They’ve been treating me like a f*cking idiot every since!”. Then, right on cue, a member of staff came into the room with his lunch. As she removed the metal cover from the plate, she went through every item like a kindergarten teacher explaining calculus to a four year old. “So, this is chicken. These are carrots. And this yellow stuff is a banana pudding….”. All the while Henry glared at her, seemingly having a hundred ideas of where, about her person, he was going to shove the plastic fork. He eventually grew tired of this and said politely, “I didn’t sustain a head injury, you know. I know what these things are.”. “Oh, ok. Well, enjoy your lunch”, she replied, slightly annoyed that she couldn’t condescend to him. As she left, he examined his lunch with the disdain of a lion being given a vegetable platter. As he pushed his tray away a colleague from his legal firm came in. This guy wanted to consult with Henry on a case that he’d been working on. As Henry gave his advice yet another nurse came by. Henry briefly stopped his consultation and, without missing a beat, looked at the nurse while pointing to his colleague and said, “You see this guy?” “Yes”, she replied. “Watch him, he’s a sex maniac!” With that, he immediately went back to his consultation exactly where he left off. That was it. I curled up laughing and couldn’t stop. I had to leave while my stomach muscles were still holding together. Henry had a sense of humour, drier than an overcooked turkey with sand up its parson’s nose. I don’t profess to have known Henry well but, at various gigs, he often talked to me when the band weren’t playing standards! We were at a jam at Kawa Coffee Shop one Saturday afternoon, sat at a table facing the stage waiting for the jam to start at 3 pm. He turned towards me and said, “Paul, what time is it?”. I retrieved my phone from my pocket and said “It’s two minutes past three” He returned that stare to the musicians setting up on stage, raised his hands and began to slow handclap! I pocketed my phone and practically slid under the table laughing. Undaunted, he continued to yell that they were late and should get their act together. He went from being his kind and gentle self to the shark at the end of ‘Jaws’ trying to get at Chief Brody. I thought then, in the unlikely event that I was ever charged with a crime I didn’t commit, I would want Henry as my lawyer. The band did begin soon after, the standards flowed and the order of his universe was restored … at least until 6pm. The last time I saw Henry was at his retirement home in September 2020. There had just been a concert at the home where a duo played some country tunes. We sat outside to observe restrictions due to Covid 19. As he came out to meet me I thought he was mumbling something.  It turned out he was singing.  I began by saying,, “Hey Henry, how are you?” “Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let fifty cents” he replied. He wasn’t mumbling as I thought. It turns out he was singing ‘King of the Road’. As he continued, I clicked my fingers to the beat. ”No phone no pool no pets. I ain’t got no cigarettes. Ah but, two hours of pushing the broom. Buys a eight by twelve four bit room. I’m a man of means by no means King of the road.”. As he finished, he smiled with that familiar glint of his that suggested he’d either been up to no good or was just about to be. I was there to run an idea by him for a new business. I want to show elderly people how to use social media. I taught my Mum in England how to use Skype after my Dad died in January 2020. It occurred to me that there must be many seniors who don’t know how to use social media and could benefit enormously from, amongst many things, talking online. To demonstrate this I took out my phone and called the great local singer Varnia Henry on facetime. He and Varnia talked for several minutes. When the call ended, and Henry had seen how he could see and talk to someone on a phone for free, he looked at me like I’d discovered fire! He helped me a great deal with advice and contacts and was as sharp mentally as a man a quarter of his age. He invited me to his suite where he showed me a concert by the rat pack on youtube. He must have seen it many times but still laughed at Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr. and Dean Martin joking on stage and generally messing around. It occurred to me that he would probably have been very much like them when he was their age. I remember him singing alternate lyrics to a hymn at Café Koi. And when I say, ‘alternate lyrics’ I mean the ones he learned in the army. That night ‘PC’ was merely just two letters in the alphabet! I shan’t forget that night in a hurry and nor, I suspect, will the table of four by the window trying to finish their Buddha Bowls. To be serious for a moment, I was very sad to learn of Henry’s passing. These times have caused so much pain, for those who have perished and for those left to grieve. As for Henry, I can’t help but think of the many times he made me laugh. The slow hand clap, the dry remarks, the time when he told a woman at Lolita’s that Pat Belliveau was anorexic and she believed him. His dry wit, his intelligence, his generosity and his extensive knowledge and passion for jazz are what I will remember him for. If there is a God and Henry is up there with the likes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Bill Evans, and they decide to have a jam one Saturday afternoon? They’d bloody well better start on time!” – Paul Cann


“I didn’t know Henry very well. I can say this. Henry kept me on my toes, practicing my chops towards being the best musician I could be. He’d stand for nothing less.” – Mira Black


“It was a year or two ago, Saturday afternoon late summer kawa jazz jam. It was a packed house that afternoon and Henry offered me a seat at his table, he was soft spoken but in between saxophone blasts and background chatter we began talking jazz. I don’t remember the host that day but I do remember they started playing “Straight No Chaser”. I leaned over to Henry and said “I love Monk, he’s my favorite.” We listened to solo after solo, and when the tune ended Henry told me about the time, I believe in a hotel bar in New York city that he had a brief encounter with Thelonious Monk. I felt like a scrooge the morning after he met the 3 spirits, cause I now knew someone who had actually spoken to one of my musical heroes. Since it was loud and you only got a minute before the band cut into the next tune, I didn’t actually hear what Monk said to Henry and being there were 6 of us at the table he had a few other conversations on the go and I didn’t want to intrude. But to this day I wish I had.” Craig Galambos

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