Favourite song in the repertoire: Feeling Good
Gavin started on clarinet in high school, later taught himself to play the saxophone, and has been Feeling Good about music ever since. Over the years, he has played in many jazz, pop and R&B groups in the Ottawa area. Before taking some time off to pursue other interests, his affiliations included The Starlighters, the Company and the John Haysom Quintet. More recently, he has been in Neon, Sugarbeat Jazz & Poetry, Sonic Circle, Verona Katz, Restivity, and Loft 33 - among others. Along the way, he studied at the Jazzworks summer camp with Rob Frayne, Frank Lozano, Remi Bolduc, Donny McCaslin, and Ted Nash. He currently plays regularly with Standing Room Only, Grey Jazz Big Band, and the Mellow Tones. He is also active in other ways in the Ottawa music community, having been on the board of Jazzworks, served as President of the Ottawa Jazz Festival and has been a board member for several years, and is presently on the Board of Ottawa Chamberfest.
Favourite song in the repertoire: Zoot Suit Riot
Doug became passionate about the saxophone after being captivated by Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax”. Having discovered his instrument of choice, he graduated from the jazz program of Humber College in Toronto, studying sax, theory, and composition. Recently, he was thrilled to be invited to perform at the Havana Jazz Festival.
Doug is a jazz saxophonist, composer, and teacher who has been working in the Ottawa area for many years. Audiences come to hear him because of his engaging, emotional style and his fresh approach to jazz standards. As leader of several groups, he has played every venue in the Ottawa Valley and has been a regular participant at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.
Zoot suits of the 1940s represented freedom and self-determination, which match Doug’s approach to life . . . but you won’t find him wearing one!
Favourite song in the repertoire: Stray Cat Strut
Sourdough Pete blew in from the north many moons ago. Before settlin’ in Ottawa couple of years ago and concentrating on the low end, he was struttin’ around the globe blowing his horns. We've got this stray cat on a bari sax all the way down to a low low A.
Copyright 2022 The Wild Cards. All photographs used with permission. All rights reserved.
Favourite song in the repertoire: We’ve Only Just Begun
Adam feels so fortunate to have studied classical clarinet with Peter Smith (NAC Orchestra) at the University of Ottawa in the 70s and flute as a private student of Jean Guy Brault. Then came a pronged hiatus from making music in order to pursue other passions but he remained an enthusiastic audience member at jazz and classical concerts. In recent years, Adam renewed his fervor for playing saxes, clarinet and flute. In addition to loving big band music, he is a member of a quintet that performs traditional jazz, funk, blues and some classic rock. Adam’s favourite tune reflects his take on life: each day is the next of all our journeys.
MEET THE BAND
Favourite song in the repertoire: S’Wonderful
Steve started clarinet lessons as a kid because there was an old clarinet at the house that nobody played. Many times as a child he thought, "Why did I pick such an uncool instrument, when the cool kids all played guitar or drums like the Beatles?". However, he persisted and eventually found S’Wonderful to be THE number one clarinet nerd in the school. About 20 years ago, Steve made an excellent discovery: If you can play clarinet, it is quite easy to learn any of the saxes or bass clarinet. Since moving to the Perth area, Steve has played clarinets and saxes in pit bands for many of the musical theatre shows produced in Perth. He is also a long standing member of the Perth Citizens’ Band. When his fingers get tired, he sings tenor and bass in local choirs.
Favourite song in the repertoire: Come Rain or Come Shine
Born in South Porcupine, Ontario, Dave’s musical studies at McGill included clarinet and sax lessons with Gerry Danovitch. After teaching elementary and high school music for many years, and playing in several ands in southwestern Ontario, he retired to the Ottawa area to practice and play – come rain or come shine! Although big band music is his greatest love, when not playing music, he enjoys playing with his grandchildren.
Favourite song in the repertore: What Is Hip
Bruce is an Ottawa Valley musician who’s been playing tenor sax since the early ‘70s. Bruce has been involved in a wide variety of musical ensembles favouring swing and jump bands including The BCP Swing Band, The Starlighters, and The Savoy Swing Band. He has arranged for, and currently performs with, various R&B bands around town covering ‘50s-‘60s, county rock, funk, jazz, rock ’n’ roll, and blues.
Bruce’s musical influences are . . . anything and everything! From the hard driving swing and riffing sounds of Louis Jordon, Cab Calloway, and Benny Goodman to the orchestrations of Maynard Ferguson, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman. His saxophone influences are a little harder to pin down but, clearly, Scott Hamilton, Stan Getz, Junior Walker, and King Curtis played a role in shaping Bruce’s sound.
What is hip? In a word: Bruce.
Favourite song in the repertoire: Sing, Sing, Sing
Hailing from Fisherville, ON near Lake Erie, Fred's desire for the sax was influenced by many great 70s bands with large horn sections. He joined the RCAF in 1981 to pursue a career in avionics and, after tours in BC and Germany, it was decided Fred required a cooling off period. He was posted to Cold Lake, AB, where he was introduced to military bands. He once again picked up the sax, and enjoyed opportunities to play for Queen Elizabeth, the cast of the “Royal Canadian Air Farce”, and many others. After 30 years, he retired in Ottawa to focus on his passion. He is the sax section leader in the Ottawa Community Concert band, directs a sax ensemble, and plays in the Ottawa Rube Band as well as the Main and Abbot Dance Band. Proficiency on everything from soprano to bass ensures Fred never becomes bored with requests to make his saxophones Sing, Sing, Sing!