Vancouver Jazz

The complete guide to jazz in Vancouver BC

Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club to leave current location in March 2014

Posted on | November 17, 2013 | 3 Comments

by admin

Cory WeedsFrom Cory Weeds’ blog:

Cory Weeds’ venerated Cellar Jazz Club will leave its current location on February 24, closing the door on the first, thirteen-year-long chapter of the club’s history and opening the door to a future that includes both a concert series that will begin immediately in March, and, ultimately, a brand new venue.  The move does not affect the Cellar Live record label or New York with Weeds, which will carry on business as usual.

Read more . . .

Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund

Posted on | November 13, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

After a year’s absence the Fraser MacPherson Scholarship Fund is back with an energetic new board and a new name, the Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund.

The Fund is dedicated to offering financial assistance and educational opportunities for jazz students in British Columbia. In addition to providing several yearly scholarships to BC’s most promising young jazz instrumentalists, the FMJF hosts public, free admission workshops by some of the world’s most renowned jazz artists.

Scholarship info and applications are available on their new web site, as well as info on their first jazz workshop, featuring legendary jazz drummer, Louis Hayes on December 7, at 1-3pm at Cory Weeds Cellar Jazz Club.

Visit for details.

Cap Jazz series presents Vinicius Cantuária Quartet

Posted on | September 26, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

The Cap Jazz series at Capilano University opens its 2013-2014 line-up with the Vinicius Cantuária Quartet on Friday, October 4, at 8 PM, at the North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts. Cantuária is considered one of the leading members of the younger generation of Brazilian singer-songwriters. A skilled composer and multi-instrumentalist, Cantuária has received admiration and accolades for his fluidity in combining conventional Latin pop with more experimental sounds.

Cantuária has led a prolific recording career, with 17 albums under his own name since the early 80s. He relocated from Rio de Janeiro to the States in the mid-90s, and is now based in Brooklyn. He has an impressive legacy of collaboration that spans jazz and experimental musicians, most notably Bill Frisell as well as David Byrne, Angélique Kidjo, Laurie Anderson, Bebel Gilberto, Brian Eno and Brad Mehldau.

His latest release Indio De Apartamento (Naïve Records, 2012) features his longtime musical accomplice Frisell on three tracks, and guest artists that include Norah Jones, Jesse Owens and Riyuchi Sakamoto.

The quartet features Vinicius Cantuária on guitar and vocals, Paul Socolow on bass, Adriano Santos on drums and Takuya Nakamura on piano and trumpet.

In his early career Cantuária was a drummer for Gilberto Gil, Tropicalia Stars and Caetano Veloso’s controversial group A Outra Banda Da Terra. He wrote Veloso’s mega-hit “Lua e Estrella”. He formed the Brazilian rock group O Terço in the 70s.

North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts
Capilano University, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver
Friday, October 4, 2013 @ 8 PM
Tickets: $32/$29

By Phone: 604.990.7810
In Person: Monday to Friday, 11 AM – 4 PM
Saturday, noon – 4 PM

John Doheny on the “Jasper Clarke Project”

Posted on | September 14, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

jasperSaxophonist John Doheny, formerly of Vancouver and now a long-time resident of New Orleans posted on his blog today about his relationship with the late Jasper Clarke and his recording of Clarke’s music.

Jasper Clarke was a bassist/composer from Vancouver, Canada who died of a brain tumor in 2010, at the age of 49. Jasper and I met as students in 1991 in the Jazz and Commercial Music program at Vancouver Community College and very quickly developed a close personal and professional relationship.

Read the entire article.

Listen to tracks from the album Jasper.

Renee Rosnes talks to Paul Bley

Posted on | September 13, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

Paul Bley

In this brilliant conversation from 2008, two Canadian jazz legends from different generations, Renee Rosnes and Paul Bley, explore Bley’s early years and thoughts on jazz, improvisation, and other mysteries.

Click here to listen.


Claude Ranger radio documentary

Posted on | September 7, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

Claude RangerClaude Ranger is regarded by many as the finest jazz drummer Canada has ever produced. Born in Montreal in 1941, by the time he was in his 60s he had mysteriously disappeared after living and playing in Vancouver for over a decade.

In 2007 CBC Radio broadcast a documentary, produced by Carole Warren, exploring the legend and mystery of Claude Ranger.


First he sold his custom made drum set. Then he went into rehab. And then – seven years ago this month – Claude Ranger disappeared into thin air. He hasn’t been seen since. Claude Ranger is probably the finest jazz drummer this country has ever produced. Starting in Montreal in the sixties, then in Toronto and Vancouver, Claude Ranger played with Canada’s very best – Michel Donato, Sonny Greenwich, Moe Koffman and the incomparable Lenny Breau. Visiting jazz greats from the States asked for Claude by name. And he had his own bands¿full of young, talented, untried players who were willing to put it all on the line to play with their hero.

But there was nothing smooth about this jazzman. Nothing mainstream either. As a composer and a player, he pushed the envelope. His burning, no-compromise dedication to music gave him his sweetest moments. But the price in real life was high. Terribly high. This morning, our feature documentary tries to piece together the puzzle that was and is Claude Ranger. It’s called “Sticks and Stones”. Sticks and Stones was produced by Carole Warren.


from CBC’s “Sunday Edition” promo

Listen to the full broadcast:


After the broadcast aired there was some discussion in the forum:

Cap Jazz Series – 2012/2013 Season

Posted on | September 5, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

North Shore Credit Union
Centre for the Performing Arts

Capilano University

2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver

Capilano University’s North Shore Credit Union Centre for the Performing Arts is proud to announce its 2013/2014 Cap Jazz series with a strong focus this season on presenting contemporary, ground-breaking jazz players in the American scene.

Marquee artists this season include Pat Metheny Unity Group as a special presentation at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, and Regina Carter, returning to the campus stage with her new Southern Comfort project.

Brazilian bossa novas and sambas will be highlighted by the Brooklyn-based, Brazilian-native Vinicius Cantuária, who will open the series on October 4 with his quartet. The Bad Plus and the Kenny Werner Trio will both be featured shows at the NSCU Centre. At the Electric Owl, The Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola Duo will present a lively and intimate show.

Capilano University student ensembles “A” Band and NiteCap shows led by Brad Turner and Réjean Marois include three guest artists of exceptional talent this season – Canadian duo with drummer Ian Froman and saxophonist Mike Murley, and American vocalist Kathy Kosins.

This year’s annual tribute show will be dedicated to the life and work of Dave Brubeck, the legendary pianist and composer. Brubeck’s extensive legacy will be explored, showcasing his impact on the genre as a famous exponent of the cool jazz movement.


Flex Packs on sale Tuesday, September 3, 2013

  • Buy tickets to 6 or more events to receive 15% discount
  • Buy tickets to 10 or more events to receive 20% discount

Single tickets on sale Friday, September 5, 2013

Tickets + Information: 604.990.7810  |



Vinicius Cantuária Quartet
4-Oct-13  |  Tickets: $32/$29

Brooklyn-based, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, Vinicius Cantuária is famed for his repertoire of sultry bossa novas and smooth sambas. A long-time collaborator with Bill Frisell, Cantuária has also worked with Laurie Anderson, David Byrne and Brian Eno.

The Bad Plus
21-Oct-13  |  Tickets: $30/$27

Experimental music trio with acclaimed and eclectic range that includes highly original material and esoteric covers from the likes of Interpol, The Pixies and Radiohead.

Ian Froman + Mike Murley*

1-Nov-13  |  Tickets: $30/$27

Founding members of 90s fusion group Metalwood, drummer Ian Froman and saxophonist Mike Murley team up to play with students from the Cap Jazz Studies program.

The Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola Duo
11-Dec-13  |  Tickets: $25 (advance), $28 (at door)  |  Electric Owl

Charlie Hunter is revered for this technical prowess, playing custom-made seven and eight-string guitars allowing him to play bass lines, rhythm and guitar riffs simultaneously.


Tribute to Dave Brubeck*
24-Jan-14  |  Tickets $30/$27

The Cap Jazz annual tribute concert pays homage to American pianist Dave Brubeck, the leader of the iconic Dave Brubeck Quartet in the 50s and 60s.

Kenny Werner Trio

20-Feb-14  |  Tickets: $30/$27
Pianist and composer Kenny Werner has garnered Grammy nominations, NEA performance grants and the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship Award in 2010.


Pat Metheny Unity Group

3-Mar-14  |  Tickets: $57/$54  |  Vogue Theatre

The all-star Pat Metheny Unity Group features the hottest contemporary players in the American jazz scene. With Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams and Giulio Carmassi.

Kathy Kosins*

14-Mar-14  |  Tickets: $30/$27
Detroit-based Kathy Kosins is a jazz and R&B arranger, composer and vocalist, and acclaimed for imaginative interpretations sung with a smooth swing voice.

Regina Carter
Southern Comfort

23-Apr-14  |  Tickets: $35/$32

Esteemed American jazz violinist Regina Carter explores the music of her roots in Alabama merging jazz, southern rock, country and gospel sensibilities.


* With Student Ensembles “A” Band and NiteCap
Musical Direction: Brad Turner (“A” Band) and Réjean Marois (NiteCap)


New Orchestra Workshop Improvisation Series

Posted on | September 4, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

New Orchestra Workshop Society presents its annual series of workshops exploring improvised music. Each week, a different facilitator will be invited to present his or her own approaches to this music. All workshops are free and open to participants of all levels of ability and training. Participants will be required to bring their own instrument of choice. The workshop series will culminate in a free public performance at the Western Front on December 2.

For more information, visit


Sep 30 – Dec 2, 2013

New Orchestra Workshop Improvisation Series
Mondays from Sept 30 – Nov 25 @ 4-6pm / 7:30-9:30pm
Space is limited, advance registration required.
To register contact: lisacay AT

NOW Improvisation Concert
Fri Dec 2 @ 8pm


Vancouver Vintage: John Zorn at 60

Posted on | September 3, 2013 | 2 Comments

by Nou Dadoun

Musician and musical iconoclast John Zorn turns 60 this month and in response, both he and his music are receiving accolades and retrospectives around the world. Most of the events are in his home New York City (including some hosted by Lincoln Center) but also at festivals in Warsaw, Paris, and around the world.

Twenty-five years ago, John Zorn was not a household name and, although already adventurous and prolific, had yet to make his mark on the wider musical and cultural community.  However Ken Pickering (founding and continuing Artistic Director of  Coastal Jazz and Blues) had his big ears to the ground and again Vancouver audiences reaped the benefit of seeing and hearing a great artist in their ascendency.

Ken recently posted an envelope from an exchange with Zorn from about 1987 on his Facebook page:


At that time Zorn lived in Japan about 6 months of the year; note that the address is Ken’s old store Black Swan Records which was the early home for both Coastal Jazz & Blues and The Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

The negotiations came to fruition twenty-five years ago for the 1988 edition of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.  Typically Zorn appeared in a number of contexts with a number of long-time collaborators – besides a solo saxophone performance, he appeared in duets with Eugene Chadbourne (at the old French Cultural Centre on 16th), in one of his game pieces Xu-Feng (at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) and with the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet (two nights at the long-gone Landmark Jazz Bar).

But other almost forgotten performances were taped at CKVU as part of a short-lived cooperative venture between the Jazz Festival and the television station.  These recorded performances were long-thought to be lost but they popped up on YouTube a few years ago (from someone who videotaped the original broadcast), and this seems like a suitable occasion to revisit a slice of Vancouver Vintage.

The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet was originally a project for the Italian label Black Saint Records organized by Wayne Horvitz playing the compositions of hard bop pianist Sonny Clark. But the inclusion of John Zorn on the alto tipped off a wider community that he could really play! Original participants Horvitz, Zorn and drummer Bobby Previte made it to Vancouver but bassist Ray Drummond was unavailable so Vancouver bassist Rick Kilburn stepped in to the band’s obvious delight.

SCMQ starts with Sonny Clark’s composition Cool Struttin’:

Next up is another Sonny Clark classic Minor Meeting:

As Zorn tells host Jim Byrnes, Xu-Feng is one of Zorn’s game pieces (a framework for improvisation based on game rules triggered by flash cards) named for a famous Taiwanese actress who was featured in many martial arts films.  In the ensemble are  Wayne Horvitz (keys), Anthony Coleman (keys),  Eugene Chadbourne (guitar), Davey Williams (guitar), Bobby Previte (drums), Vancouver’s own Barry Taylor (drums) and John Zorn as prompter.

The broadcast finishes with a last Sonny Clark piece Something Special:

The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet performed for two nights at the Landmark Jazz Bar – the second night the great trombonist Ray Anderson was appearing at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre with the trio BassDrumBone.  After Ray’s show, hearing that Zorn was across town he insisted on heading straight there.  He joined the band onstage for a steaming performance of Sonny’s Crib that I’ll never forget! (Maybe someday I’ll get that tape up here too!)

Zorn has returned to Vancouver several times since for a performance of another game piece Cobra, the original Masada quartet and Electric Masada (see here for an interview with Zorn before the Electric Masada performance) – a return visit is long overdue, but thanks to Ken and Coastal, Vancouver got an early glimpse of what the fuss is all about.

Happy Birthday John Zorn!


Ron Johnston benefit at Jazz Cellar next Sunday (July 28)

Posted on | July 22, 2013 | No Comments

by admin

The Jazz Cellar and Dylan Cramer have announced a benefit concert for Vancouver jazz pianist Ron Johnston.

A long time member of the Vancouver jazz scene, Johnston has performed with the likes of Paul Horn, Pacific Salt, Moe Koffman, Terry Jacks, and Pete Christlieb. Johnston, a student of Oscar Peterson, has thrilled audiences with his dynamic performances for over 40 years. Johnston is currently recovering from hip replacement surgery. The Dylan Cramer Quartet honours Johnston with their performance this evening. Please come down, enjoy the music, and support Ron’s recovery through your kind donations.

Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club
3611 W. Broadway St
Phone 604 738 1959

July 28, 2013, Sets at 8:00 and 9:30

Dylan Cramer Quartet
featuring Dylan Cramer alto saxophone, Michael Guild guitar, Bruce Meikle bass, John Nolan drums

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