Posted by: Andrew | May 19, 2009

Banff Day 2

I am fortunate enough to have been accepted into this year’s Jazz and Creative Music Workshop at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada.  This is an amazing workshop held each summer up here in the rarefied (read: hiking up mountains is even harder with the lack of oxygen!) air, and led by one of the finest composers and trumpeters on the scene today, Dave Douglas, who is blogging about the workshop here.

Anyway, I thought I would at least attempt to keep up with the happenings up here on this blog, partially for all you curious readers out there and partially for myself, as there’s so much going on I’ve already forgotten a lot of things in 2 days!

My good friend Tyson Stubelek (a great drummer) and I flew up on Sunday into Calgary and rode up into the mountains with our friend Chad McCullough from Seattle.  It’s been nice to have a couple friends that I already knew up here, though I have already met an amazing amount of great players and composers in the past 2 days, many not from the U.S.  The international focus of the workshop is very welcome, it’s great to make connections with people from as diverse places as Belgium, Australia, and Korea, not to mention all over the U.S. and Canada.

We’ve had a lot of great workshops, combo sessions, jam sessions, clinics, etc even in the short time we’ve been here!  I’m really excited to be hanging out a bit with this week’s piano teacher (the faculty rotates each week), Adam Benjamin, a very perceptive and excellent musician.  Today Dave Douglas led a very intriguing and mind-opening composition clinic, and yesterday we all played Terry Riley’s epic “In C” (all 60-some students at once)!  Very fascinating stuff, great interactions with the faculty and other students, and a great facilty too!

I also want to share a couple pictures of this place.  It’s the best envoironment I’ve ever experienced for being creative – check out the view (and the piano) from the room I spent a few hours in this evening:


And the view from part way up Tunnel Mountain at 9 PM!! (Yes it stays light till after 10 – great for productivity).  This is a fantastic hike not 5 minutes from the door of the music building that I have already done 1.5 times and hope to do daily:


Phew.  Anyway, I don’t want to ramble on too much here.  More substantial updates to come soon, I am excited to rehearse my Andrew Oliver Sextet book with a great group of primarily Australian and American musicians tomorrow, we’ll be performing at the on-campus jazz club (which has 3 sets per night of student performances open to anyone to sign up for in any sort of configuration) on Friday night.  Also in the works are a performance with Toronto-based Ben Dietschi and a group to represent the Pacific Northwest with Chad and Portlander-turned-New Yorker Ben Dobay.

Hope everyone is doing well!  More to come!



  1. Yeah… I’m jealous. Have a great time up there.

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