Posted by: Andrew | May 30, 2009

End of week 2

Apologies for the delay in posting, things have been immensely busy!
Well the second week has come to a close. Some highlights and thoughts:

The first week was dominated by discussions of straight ahead and modern jazz contexts, this week has been much more focused on free improvisation and new composition techniques. This, I think, was an excellent decision on Dave’s part to program faculty with different specialties in each week – and I am very curious to see what next week is like!

My attempt to climb tunnel mountain daily failed, but I did fit it in 3 out of the 5 days. Here’s a view of Mt. Rundle from Thursdsay and a view of Banff from yesterday’s hike:


There were many many gigs this week.  As Dave mentioned the other day, we have all basically been going 24/7 for 2 weeks.  With a group of 60 amazing musicians, this produces a lot of music!  This week I participated in:

1.  Filles De Banff – a group dedicated to the vibe of the classic Miles Davis album “Filles de Kilimanjaro” featuring me, Tyson, Ron Hynes (Newfoundland) on bass, Chad McCullough (Seattle) on trumpet, and Eric Trudel (Baltimore) on tenor.  We played the Wednesday noon concert outside the Music and Sound Building:


2. Seventh Hell – A band which plays mostly really hard tunes in 7, with Tyson, Willie Wrinkle (Texas) on bass, Matthew Berrill (Ireland) on clarinet, and Miro Herak (Slovakia) on vibes.  We played a great show last night at the club, including a version of my rather diffcult and epic tune “Inattentive Attendant”.

3. The Sulphur Mountain Ensemble – Organized by Ben Dietschi of Toronto, this is a group with violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, drums, and sax.  We played a show last night as well at the club, which, though not particularly well rehearsed, came of very nicely.  Even the venerable Tony Malaby was impressed with our ability to pull it off with very little rehearsal (read: 45 minutes), which was very gratifying.

Speaking of which, Tony Malaby is an amazing musician and has provided lots of insight for me and many of us as to how to practice improvisation outside of a straight ahead context.  Before being a musician, he was a painter, and his concept is very visual: “While he plays the pointillistic ideas here, why don’t you float a cloud over it…” etc.

And before I head to town for some food (a relief from the dining hall, which is excellent, but one can only tolerate for so long), I wanted to mention that I have enjoyed getting to know Ron Samworth as well – a great Vancouver BC-based improvising guitarist who gave a workshop on how to cultivate a “local scene”, something I have been trying to do for some time in Portland with the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, among other projects.

And so it continues!  More to come.  Faculty concert tonight followed by a late night series of performances at the club, and much more next week.  I promise to post more frequently!



  1. what a fantastic experience this sounds like! Your head must be bursting with ideas…even more than usual 🙂

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