On Sunday November 12th, 2006 at 2 P.M., London Jazz Society members and friends were entertained by this very polished group of veteran jazz musicians. Leader/clarinetist Phil Murphy is a musician/educator whose name and talents are recognized far and wide. A number of years ago our club took a bus trip to Kingston to visit the jazz society there. The special guest for that date was the late Canadian jazz legend Fraser MacPherson (1928-1993) and his quartet with Oliver Gannon on guitar and Steve Wallace on bass.
The quartet had just finished a week long engagement in Toronto, and were enroute to Montreal to record a CD for Justin Time Records. MacPherson's manager lived in Kingston and was a member of the jazz society so you can see how the date came about. That same weekend Phil was adjudicating at a festival 100 kms east of Kingston. He surprised everyone by showing up in Kingston to be part of our visit. Phil taught at Catholic Central High School and for many years was principal clarinetist with Orchestra London. He currently conducts Encore… the Concert Band.
Joining Phil on November 12th was pianist Stephen Holowitz, who moved to London in 1983 after completing his formal musical training at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance (Organ and Church Music) and a Bachelor of Education (Music, Dramatic Arts) from the University of Western Ontario. He has been featured with the Encore Band playing the music of Duke Ellington, and Hoagy Carmichael, and appears on their most recent CD.
Further credits include keyboardist and co-composer for 'The Antler River Project' and touring Ireland with the Guelph Chamber Choir. Stephen has performed with Orchestra London, the Gerald Fagan Singers, Herencia Latina, the Hot Latkes Klezmer Band, Denise Pelley, Alfredo Caxaj Latin Ensemble, and the Karen Schussler Singers. He teaches music at A. B. Lucas Secondary School and is Director of Music at St. James Westminster Anglican Church.
This concert also freatured drummer Greg Mainprize who busies himself playing with Orchestra London, Chorus London's Concert Players Orchestra, the London Jazz Orchestra, the London Percussion Trio, a number of small jazz combo's or musical theatre productions when not performing with one of Phil's groups. Greg is Head of Music at the Strathroy District High School. In August each year he teaches percussion at the National Music Camp of Canada.
Brian Fox, who has been playing guitar since he was 10 years old, performed for the London Jazz Society at this concert. As a teenager he landed a weekly job with a 17 piece big band. While studying classical guitar at school, playing in the big band, he went on to become a graduate of the Music Industry Arts Program. For many years Brian has been a part of Phil Murphy's groups.
Craig Smith, a classically trained double bassist who studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, was also at the Mocha Shrine Centre for this event. He is a past member of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Congress of Strings, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. For six years he performed with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra. Craig is an established bassist who has lived in London since 1995. The London Jazz Society thanks all our members and friends who attended this live event.
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