Posts Tagged ‘Phil Dwyer’

Ellington Sacred Music Concert #4


Here we are almost a year later, all set to perform another concert of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music. We had previously performed the concert in Vancouver in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 2012 concert is being held in Victoria at the Alix Goolden Hall on Saturday, November 10, 2012. The concert, as with our previous versions, includes vocal soloists Dee Daniels and Marcus Mosely, the Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra, The Sacred Music Gospel Choir, and tap dancer, Alex Dugdale.

You can read about Dee, Marcus, Alex and the Sacred Music Choir on last years post. However, the band this time out is a mixture of Vancouver and Victoria musicians. Coming with me are lead trumpet player Derry Byrne; Mike Braverman, clarinet/tenor saxophone; Chad Makela - baritone saxophone; Leo Bae, piano, Andre Lachance, bass; and Bernie Arai, drums. The Victoria musicians are Tom Ackerman, alto saxophone/clarinet; Gordon Clements, alto saxophone; Phil Dwyer, tenor saxophone; Bruce Hurn, trumpet; Dave Flello, trumpet; Alfons Fear, trumpet and 3 great Victoria trombone players - Ian McDougall, Mark Wilson and Matt McConchie. I’m really looking forward to the concert and sharing this great music with a new audience.

All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the work of Our Place Society with Victoria’s homeless and people living in poverty. Find out more about the work of Our Place and how you can help at:

This concert has sold out each year so order your tickets early!

CONCERT TICKETS:, Lyles Place at 250-382-8422, and Ditch Records & CDs, 250-386-5874, all in Victoria.

Here is Dee Daniels performing Tell Me It’s The Truth at our 2009 concert.


Of course this concert would not happen without the generous support of:

Our Place Society, the Victoria Jazz Society and:





Have you ever gone to a concert knowing you will hear some good music, but then when its over you feel like that you have just had one of the best listening experiences ever? Well, that was my experience last Sunday evening at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. On the first half of the double bill was drummer Terry Clarke’s trio with Don Thompson (bass) and Phil Dwyer (tenor sax). Both Don and Phil moved over to the piano on occasion, but this was essentially a chord less trio. Terry has long been one of my favourite drummers and I looked forward to hearing his group.

They did not disappoint. Their playing was excellent throughout the set, particularly the bass-less ballad, where Don had moved over to the piano. They ended their portion of the program with an exciting performance of Sonny Rollins’ Freedom Suite. My only quibble was the sound man had added a little much “high end” on the cymbals which tended to detract at times.

After an intermission, which is never much fun in the cramped lobby of the Centre, a new Steinway piano and Chick Corea entered. I’ve seen Corea perform several times over the years, but always with a band of some sort. This time he was on his own.

I had never heard, or at least I don’t remember hearing him, address the audience. He was very casual and funny, sometimes referring to his performance as personal practice time. Well, if that is what it is like to hear him practice…

I could run through all the titles, but I don’t know if that is really necessary. What hit me most was the range of expressiveness he has. His impeccable time and rhythmic sense, his beautiful touch and melodic inventiveness and his impressive harmonic vocabulary.

Besides playing some of his own music, including some wonderful improvisations on some of his Children’s Songs, Chick also played tunes by Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Bill Evans and Alexander Scriabin. Actually I feel a little uncomfortable referring to Scriabin’s piano work as a tune. Anyway, I guess we tend to forget that players, like Corea, who write and play their own music, can also play the classics. But in the case of these standards he did not play straight up versions following the form. In each case he deconstructed the original structurally, melodically and harmonically, breathing some great new life in to them. Of course I never mind hearing yet another version of ‘Round Midnight, or any of the other tunes he played. Corea’s solo piano versions of these very familiar tunes were something else.

At the end of his performance I wanted to run home and practice. I was truly inspired. Sunday, June 27, 2010, will go down in my book as one of those great, memorable concerts I have attended over the years.