Monday, June 24, 2024

Autumn Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon

Bill Monahan

Christ Church Anglican in Meaford is continuing with its jazz and classics concert series on Sunday, September 30, when it presents a live performance of ‘Autumn Jazz’ with a quartet of great local jazz players.

Keyboard player Don Buchanan was at Massey Hall earlier in the summer playing with Paul Danard and Cody Zevenbergen in a jazz trio. This time he has a quartet that features Art Lang on upright bass and Steve James on drums, with Jason Hunter on the sax.

Don, Jason and Steve have backed up Mary-Catherine Pazzano in her concerts at Thornbury’s library series and in an earlier concert this year at Christ Church Anglican. They also played on her debut album. Music promoter and player Tony Bauer called a performance of that band, with Mike Grace on bass, “music of a calibre and artistry seldom heard”.

Art Lang, who leads his own group, The Artetrio, and who put in many years as music administrator at the Stratford Festival, fills in for Mike Grace this time around.

Sax player Jason Hunter takes lead vocals on some of the songs. Having spent a decade as part of the Boston jazz scene, he’s gigged in Canada with the likes of Michael Buble and The Temptations. He’s part of the Noodle Factory Jazz Project, an undertaking begun by band leader Ian Burbidge in 2007 with the aim of providing a creative outlet for some of the best jazz musicians in the Grey Bruce Area. That band plays all original arrangements and compositions written by its members.

This quartet will be taking on a variety of compositions, including favourites like Duke Ellington’s ‘In a Mellow Tone’, some Rogers & Hart, and a Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein co-write called ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’ (not the Lionel Richie song).

Steve James plays drums, backing up soulful vocalist Ray Vaughn in Backroom 11, a band that’s played Fallsview Casino as well as numerous Ribfest celebrations. As a drummer, he’s proven his jazz chops playing with the likes of Peter Appleyard and Heather Bambrick. He is also part of the Noodle Factory Jazz Project.

The concerts are held in the beautiful acoustics of the Christ Church Anglican church in Meaford. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Stuff To Read. The show begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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