Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Generational jazz

  • Print

Jazz has long had a history of experienced musicians mentoring younger players, and in the days before formal music education it was an effective way to learn the craft, along with countless hours of playing whatever gig you could get, of course.

Even today, with so many public school band programs and university music faculty jazz programs, learning from a pro is still a great way to hone musical skills.

And then, at a certain point, jazz fans get to enjoy the youngsters and their elders onstage performing as equals.

On Tuesday, at Mardi Jazz, 24-year-old trombonist Christopher Butcher led a quartet that included drummer Curt Nowosad, his contemporary in age and experience, and two men of a certain age: pianist Ron Paley and bassist Steve Kirby.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Butcher and Nowosad were literally just kids hanging out at the weekly jazz session at the now defunct Osborne Freehouse — a session started by Kirby, director of jazz studies at the University of Manitoba music faculty.

As well as mentors like Paley and Kirby onstage, the audience included a mix of musicians, from trumpeter Darren Ritchie (Butcher’s former band teacher), guitarist Larry Roy and trombonist Jay Harrison to contemporaries such as pianist Will Bonness and singer Amber Epp.

And Butcher, back in town from Toronto where he has finished school and is working as a musician, did his former teachers proud on an array of standards from Wayne Shorter’s Blues On The Corner to Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood.

If you closed your eyes, you could ignore the fact it was a cross-generational lineup, and just listen to a good jazz band, which, of course, is the whole purpose behind the tradition of passing on the secrets of jazz from one generation to another.

❚ ❚ ❚

Jazz on Wheels, the flatbed truck carrying a nine-piece band is on the road for its fifth season. Sponsored by Jazz Winnipeg and organized by Steve Kirby, it will be at the following community events:

Central Market
Saturday, Aug. 7
Noon
Central Park
Qu’appelle Avenue at Carlton Street

The River Barge Festival
Sunday, Aug. 29
2:45 p.m.
The Forks

Rossbrook House Summer Games
Wednesday, Sept. 1
5:30 p.m.
Rossbrook House
Ross Avenue at Sherbrook Street

Sherbrook Street Festival
Saturday, Sept. 11
6 p.m.
Sherbrook Street at Wolseley Avenue

chris.smith@freepress.mb.ca

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

Ads by Google