Archive for August, 2012

Fraser MacPherson


Fraser MacPherson, the late tenor saxophone player, was an important figure on the Vancouver music scene. I first encountered him in the early 1970s, when he was a member of the Bob Hales Big Band, which was full of many of the major jazz players in the city. While I did aspire to eventually play with the band (which I did later on), my first face to face working with these musicians was for the CBC Radio program Jazz Radio Canada featuring the Bob Hales Big band playing some music written by myself and the late Ray Sikora. I had written a suite and the middle movement featured tenor saxophone with Fraser as the soloist and, as always, he played my little melody beautifully in his Lester Young inspired manner.

I always enjoyed being around Fraser, hearing him play in small groups, especially with guitarist Oliver Gannon, and talking about music. I remember one warm hearted argument in Victoria, after playing a show with Mitzi Gaynor, about a great trumpet solo we were hearing on a late 1930s Benny Goodman recording. He was saying Ziggy Elman and I was emphatic it was Harry James. I had so much respect for Fraser I just let it go, he was undoubtedly right. I also had the pleasure of hiring Fraser for my own big band a couple of times and he seemed to take great delight in playing the classic big band charts we were playing on those concerts.

Fraser MacPherson Scholarship Fund Board Seeks Volunteers

Since 1993, the Fraser MacPherson Scholarship Fund has been helping young musicians pursue their musical dreams. In the past few years, finding funding for the scholarship has become more and more challenging. Many board members who have served well for long periods of time are now retiring or are otherwise unable to continue as directors of the fund. In order for the important work of the Fund to continue, we need new board members and directors who have the interest and energy to raise funds and manage the activities of the organization. This is an open call to solicit support and interest from the Vancouver musical community. The qualifications we are looking for are a passion for jazz music and music education and a desire to volunteer your time to help young musicians. If you are interested in volunteering some of your time to support this worthwhile cause by getting involved with the Fraser MacPherson Scholarship Board please contact President Fred Stride: stride AT before October 1st, 2012.