Oliver Gannon Quartet
Join legendary Canadian guitarist Oliver Gannon as he leads a quartet featuring Nick Peck on piano, Jodi Proznick on bass and Craig Scott on drums.
Gannon cites Barney Kessell and Wes Montgomery as formative models, of horn players as conceptual influences, and of Art Blakey’s music as a favourite direction. His fluid swinging style is rooted in 50s and 60s bop. He is a generous leader, allowing the band members lots of room to contribute.
Jazz Guitarist Oliver Gannon has been very active in the Vancouver and Canadian jazz scenes since the early 1970’s. He has performed at many of the major jazz festivals in Europe and North America, and has made three concert tours of the former USSR.
He has performed on many jazz records, including four on the Concord label. Not only was he named Guitarist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards in 2002, a duo album, recorded in 1982 with longstanding colleague, the late tenor saxophonist Fraser MacPherson, won the Juno Award (the Canadian Grammy) for Best Jazz Album.
The son of irish pianist Joe Gannon, Oliver took up guitar at the age of twenty, when, studying Engineering at bla bla bla, his true love of music took over. With twenty bucks in his pocket, and a can of baked beans in his backpack, he set off for the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he received his bachelor’s degree.
Upon graduation, Oliver headed back to Vancouver, where he established a reputation as being ‘the man’ to call for studio sessions, and at the same time, was instrumental (pun intended) in founding Pacific Salt, a jazz/rock group comprised of himself on guitar, Ron Johnston on piano, Ian McDougall on trombone, Don Clark on trumpet, Tony Clitheroe on bass, and George Ursan on drums.
In 1975, he teamed up with Fraser MacPherson and the result was a series of highly regarded recordings, broadcasts, and tours including the USSR and Europe. As well at about this time, another great partnership was formed with jazz singer/bassist Pat Hervey. Beautiful music and beautiful children followed and the rest, as they say, is history…
That history includes a long list of acclaimed records, concerts, and performances, as well as the inception of PG Music, the brainchild of Oliver’s youngest brother Peter. Today, Oliver works full-time with Peter, while playing select gigs, including opening for the great Oscar Peterson in 2004.
“Fingers” as he is often referred to, is fresh off the release of his third record as a leader. The critically acclaimed “Easy Sailing” on Cellar Live spent 10 weeks on the Jazz Week Charts.
Born in the UK to British and Canadian parents, Nick’s background on the piano was, initially, self-taught; picking out elements of the blues and early jazz by ear on gigs, piano rolls and records. He was fortunate to attend a school with a music program noted for fostering the talents of several generations of jazz musicians, and spent much of his teens playing gigs on the Jazz circuit around his native Kent and London. But he was also fascinated by the music he heard on late-night radio broadcasts ( ‘Jazz Notes’, and the BBC Radio 3 series ‘Night Waves’). “I ended up absorbing the whole history of Jazz in chronological order… I started out listening to ragtime and early stride piano, then figuring out the rudiments of bebop and wound up getting interested in what were then the latest sounds emanating from the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Mike Gibbs and John Surman”
Pursuing studies in composition, he was introduced to a range of music that would continue to resonate with him. However, it was in Jazz improvisation that he found his preferred outlet for channeling these ideas. Moving to London, he studied piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. During this time, he received tuition from Simon Purcell, Scott Stroman and John Talyor, all of whom implied ways in which a diverse range of ideas and colours could be brought together with respect to the Jazz tradition.
Following this, Nick was increasingly active as a sideman, frequently called upon to accompany visiting artists in and around London, gaining valuable hands-on experience playing piano and Hammond organ with Alan Barnes, Derek Nash, Trevor Tompkins, Paul Booth, Steve Waterman, Peter King, Dick Pearce, Dave Whitford, Don Rendell, Lee Gibson, Martin Drew and John Etheridge amongst others. He was also busy as a composer; Nick won the Leeds Jazz Festival composer’s award in 2006 and was a featured finalist in the Brussels Jazz Orchestra Composition Competition in 2007. He also wrote and performed a piano concerto, small chamber-music works and a size-able body of jazz arrangements for various professional and amateur ensembles that he has directed or been a part of. He has also created soundtracks for number of short films and commercials, with screenings at festivals around the world.
During his late 20’s, some time was taken outside of music for pursing other interests. This culminated in gaining an MSc in computer science (graduating with distinction). Nick has found a symbiotic relationship between pursing these two disciplines, the latter enabling him to return to music-making with renewed sense of creative freedom and vigor.
Seeking new challenges, and the right space for further self-development, Nick invoked his Canadian citizenship by relocating to the Canadian west coast in 2013, finding the Canadian west coast to be home of an equally diverse and talent-filled and creative music scene. Along with many new colleagues he has become known for his ability to shift from hard-swinging jazz to pastoral serenity to elements of the 20th/21st century piano tradition at the drop of a hat, both hands equally creative on the keyboard, in a manner that is both constantly engaging and accessible.
Juno-nominated bassist, composer, bandleader, and educator Jodi Proznick has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s finest jazz artists. She has won numerous National Jazz Awards, including Bassist of the Year in ’08 and ’09. Her group, the Jodi Proznick Quartet, was awarded the Acoustic Group of the Year and Album of the Year in ‘08 and the Galaxie Rising Star at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in ’04.
In addition to leading her own group, Jodi has performed with many of Canada’s top jazz musicians, including PJ Perry, Don Thompson, Kirk MacDonald, Guido Basso, Oliver Gannon, Dee Daniels, Phil Dwyer, and Laila Biali. She is regularly in demand to perform and record with visiting jazz artists including Michael Bublé, Byron Stripling, Michael Feinstein, David “Fathead” Newman, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ed Thigpen, Jeff Hamilton, Peter Bernstein, Charles McPherson, Seamus Blake, George Coleman, Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy, Harold Mabern, Eric Alexander, and Lewis Nash. In addition to recording her own Juno-nominated CD as a leader, Jodi has been featured on over 40 recordings as a side person.
Jodi began playing bass at the age of 13 under the direction of her father David, an award-winning music educator. In ‘93, Jodi received the General Motors Award of Excellence, establishing her as one of the top young musicians at Musicfest Canada, and then went on to receive a scholarship to study bass at McGill University in Montreal. After graduating, Jodi played with many of the top musicians in Montreal, including Juno winners Christine Jensen and Renee Lee as well as Montreal greats Andre White and Greg Clayton. She was awarded the IAJE Sisters in Jazz award in ‘98 as one of the best up-and-coming female jazz musicians.
Jodi moved to Vancouver in ‘00, where she now lives with her husband and collaborator, pianist Tilden Webb, and young son Tristan. Her personal highlights include opening for Oscar Peterson in 2004, performing as a featured soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and recording numerous times for CBC Radio. Another highlight in Jodi’s career was when she was asked to be the featured bassist in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games’ closing ceremonies and soundtrack.
Jodi’s deep passion for education lead her to pursue a Masters Degree in Education at Simon Fraser University. She is a faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where she teaches improvisation, jazz theory, jazz history, popular music history, rudiments, jazz combo and bass lessons. She is the Artistic Director of the VSO School of Music Summer Jazz Workshop where she also teaches jazz bass, combo and jazz theory. She has been a guest adjudicator and clinician at many festivals, colleges, universities, and conferences across Canada.
As well as an extensive background as a jazz educator, Jodi was involved in teaching early childhood music classes for over 15 years. Her methodology included a combination of Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, Montessori and Suzuki philosophies of music education. Her areas of interest include arts-based research, embodied educational practices, attachment, phenomenology and creativity.
She has been described as “… armed with an arsenal of talent sure to develop recognition as one of the finest bassist in the jazz world today” (Ejazznews), “… (playing with) an infectiously in-the-pocket sense of groove” (Cadence Magazine), “… a jazz bassist with great time and a rock-solid sound ” (Katie Malloch, CBC Radio), “ a great player, who plays with intoxicating passion” (RivitingRiff.com), and “a wonderful bassist who really digs in and plays from the heart” (David Fathead Newman – Coda Magazine interview).
Craig Scott is an accomplished drummer, and vibraphone player. His drummng credits include concert and club dates with such Canadian jazz luminaries as Tommy Banks, Oliver Gannon, Ian McDougall, Hugh Fraser, Campbell Ryga, PJ Perry, Brad Turner, and the Alan Matheson Septet and Nonet as well as international artists such as Randy Bachmann, Pat LaBarbara, Phil Woods, Allen Vizzutti, Chuck Israels, Frank Wes, Ernestine Anderson, Dianna Krall, Herb Ellis, Clark Terry, Larry Goldings, the HI-LOS, Dee Daniels, The Nylons, Joan Rivers, Don Rickles, Ashley McIsaac, Natalie McMaster and the late Harry “Sweets” Edison, Rosemary Clooney, Bud Shank, and Charlie Byrd. He is a regular at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the Saskatoon “Sasktel”Jazz Festival.
Craig has extensive recording experience in television, film, radio and video games. He has been featured on radio programs such as Almanac, Hot Air, Jazz Beat, and West coast Performance. On television, Craig has played for the series Millennium, performed on Gabereau, and on film played for the movie Music of the Heart. As a session player, he has played on countless local independent jazz albums and has played drums on the video game Monsters Inc., and on the music software Band-In-A-Box. Craig played on Randy Bachmann’s album A JAZZ THING, and Craig is featured on two Ian McDougall albums, In A Sentimental Mood, and The Very Thought of You, which were both nominated for JUNO Awards.
As a vibraphone player, Craig plays in the Benny Goodman/ Lionel Hampton tribute band Slipped Disc and has his own quintet with saxophonist and impresario Cory Weeds.
Craig teaches at Vancouver Community College and occasionally writes for Modern Drummer, and Percussive Notes magazines.
Phil Dwyer – Saxophone
*Special guest for Concert 8 only!
On Dec. 30, 2013 Phil Dwyer was appointed as a Member of the Order Of Canada. He was cited for “his contributions to jazz as a performer, composer and producer, and for increasing access to music education in his community.” In January 2015 he was recognized by the Royal Conservatory of Music as an Honorary Fellow. These distinctions come as Dwyer looks back at an illustrious thirty year career which has crossed stylistic and geographic borders and has included collaborations with a storied roster of great musical artists, including appearances on a dozen Juno Award-winning recordings.
In 2014, while continuing to perform and record, Phil began studying law at the University of New Brunswick and graduated in the spring of 2017. He spent his summers between school years living in Toronto, maintaining a busy music schedule and, among other things, participating in a pilot project with social services agency Sound Times and Legal Aid Ontario and assisting noted activist lawyer Peter Rosenthal. He is now an articled student on Vancouver Island and is engaged with a number of community organizations in the areas of refugee resettlement and community health.