Canadian jazz superstars from Vancouver and Vancouver Island collide for a rare and exciting collaboration on old standards and new originals.
Phil Dwyer – Saxophone
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.
Jodi Proznick – Bass
Juno Award-winning 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).
Miles Black – Piano
Based in Vancouver, BC, Miles Black is a highly respected career musician bringing an enormous wealth of musical experience and expertise to most every facet of the music industry. Firstly known as one of Canada’s most accomplished jazz pianists, Miles is also highly acclaimed and sought after as an arranger, producer, composer, session musician, guitarist, vocalist, bassist, saxophonist, songwriter, and musical theatre director. Adding to that, he has worked as a music therapist and collegiate music instructor. Especially in Vancouver, Miles Black is well know as the “first call’ when musicians are looking for top professional enhancements to their projects.
Just some of the artists and acts with whom Miles has worked with include Mark Murphy, Lee Konitz, Slide Hampton, George Coleman, Scott Hamilton, Sheila Jordan, Chuck Israels, Dee Daniels, Paul Horn, Skywalk, Max Roach, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Maynard Ferguson, Lew Tabackin, Claudio Roditi, Ingrid Jensen, Houston Person, Johnny Frigo, and Von Freeman. The list is lengthy and includes many other well known stars of the music world too numerous to note here.
Always in high demand, Miles is currently involved in several high level projects at this time. At the present he is co-leading a modern jazz quartet with the aptly named “Altered Laws” group that also highlights saxophonist and flautist Tom Keenlyside (seetomkeenlyside.com). As a prolific composer and writer, and with lyricist/vocalist Glenda Rae alone, Miles has over 400 written song credits.
As well since 1993, Mr. Black has proudly been a member of the Oliver Gannon Quartet performing keyboard duties including the Hammond B3. Mr. Gannon is a Juno-award winning jazz guitarist with extensive performance experience around the globe. (www.olivergannon.com).
Miles is currently working as pianist/composer with The Mike Allen Quartet. This group is also known as the “Faculty Jazz Collective” at Western Washington University, where they perform as musical mentors for the jazz students. (see mikeallenjazz.com).
Since 2009, Black has been a member of TRIOLOGY, which features Bill Coon on Guitar, and Jodi Proznick on Bass. Their first album is to be released on the CellarLive label, soon followed by album #2. This group is fashioned after the great Jazz Trios of Oscar Peterson and Nat King Cole. (see triologymusic.com)
On the education front, Miles has been working for Victoria based PG Music since 1991. As a performer and teacher he has helped to produce countless music software programs for public consumption. Just a few of these include “The Jazz Pianist 1&2”,”The NewAge Pianist”, “The Children’s Pianist”, “The Modern Jazz Pianist”, “Jazz Piano Masterclass”, “Blues Piano Masterclass” and an Oscar Peterson CD Rom, complete with transcriptions. He has also written, produced and performed many add-ons for PG Music’s popular “Band-in-a-Box” programs.
Bill Coon – Guitar
Juno nominated artist Bill Coon is one of Canada’s most highly respected musicians and is winner of the 2009 National Jazz Awards, ‘Guitarist of the Year’.
Performing professionally for over thirty years, he has played with many significant jazz artists including Jimmy Heath, Chuck Israels, Eddie Daniels, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bucky Pizzarelli, Sheila Jordan, Hugh Fraser, P.J. Perry, Campbell Ryga, Ian McDougall, Phil Dwyer, Dave Restivo, Brad Turner, Carol Welsman, Fred Stride, Dee Daniels, and Rebecca Kilgore.
Among Bill’s more than fifty recordings are Speakeasy, and Scudder’s Groove featuring Juno award winners Ross Taggart and Dave Robbins, With Benefits with Cory Weeds, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington. His collaboration with award-winning guitarist Oliver Gannon: Two Much More! was acclaimed as one of the top ten Canadian jazz recordings of 2015 by the CBC, as was Jill Townsend Big Band’s Legacy, The Music of Ross Taggart, a tribute to the great Ross Taggart that features Bill’s guitar playing and large ensemble writing. He also appears on award-winning recordings by The Night Crawlers and the Big Band Sound, Down in the Bottom and Calgary guitarist Ralf Buschmeyer’s, Jazzspeak.
Bill is busy performing with and composing for the BC Double Quartet featuring Brad Turner, Brasiliera with Jennifer Scott and Rene Worst, Triology, with Miles Black and Jodi Proznick, Oliver Gannon, Laura Crema, Cory Weeds Quartet, Tony Wilson-Bill Coon Quartet, B3 Kings, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Steve Maddock, Michael Creber, Mike Allen, Kevin Elaschuk, Kristina Olsen, and the Minemoto/Coon/Danderfer Trio.
An in demand composer-arranger, Bill had recently had two of his arrangements for symphony orchestra and voice appear on the recording ‘True North: The Canadian Songbook’ with Eleanor McCain. He has been commissioned to write for The National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Woody Herman Jazz Band, the Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra, and John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra. Bill’s musical partnership with jazz vocalist Denzal Sinclaire created the Juno nominated CD, I Found Love. Bill’s association with hip-hop artist K-os resulted in a collaboration with the CBC Radio Orchestra documented in the CBC television show Burning to Shine, and his arranging is featured on the Juno award winning CD Joyful Rebellion.
He has won awards and commissions from the BC Arts Council, the Socan Foundation, and has received several Canada Council Arts Awards enabling him to study with Jim Hall, Dr. Louis Stewart, Neil Chotem and Rick Wilkins. Bill is currently working on a recording of original music due out in fall of 2017 that is being funded by a Canada Council recording grant.
Bill is an adjudicator and clinician at music festivals and workshops throughout Canada, including the VSO School of Music and Summer Jazz Workshop and the BC Swing Workshop in Sorrento BC. He is on faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver, teaching composition, arranging, jazz history, small and large ensembles, and jazz guitar.
Hans Verhoeven – Drums
Based in Nanaimo, drummer Hans Verhoeven has lived and worked in some of the most vibrant music scenes in Canada. Recognized for his authenticity and joy of play, he has accompanied Oscar Stagnaro, Brandi Disterheft, Dave Turner and Hugh Fraser amongst others. Hans can be heard with Vanessa Rodrigues, Joel Miller, Dave Turner, Paul Shrofel, Kim Zombik and Sara Latendresse. He holds a Bachelor of Music from McGill University where he studied with Chris McCann, and has since begun exploring Afro-Cuban and Afro-Peruvian percussion with Rafael Zaldivar and Kullak Viger Rojas.