Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bob Mintzer at Humber

It's always a treat as Denny Christianson said during his intro to have these arrangers/composers in residence visit every Fall at Humber...last night it was Bob Mintzer - 13 time Grammy nominee and once recipient who is also part a little group you may have heard of called "The Yellow Jackets"....

Bob provided a workout for the Faculty band as my brother Colin confided at intermission - including a little solo at the end of the  old chestnut "Christopher Columbus". Pat Labarbera shone on every solo occasion and it seems he has a major fan club in the students....who loudly cheered and whooped when he did...John McLeod provided a stellar trumpet reverie on the same tune.

The evening featured many Mintzer originals including the gospel inspired "Each Day" and lots of Afro Cuban inspired works like "In the 80's" and "Aha". Amazing band - Kirk MacDonald, William Karn, Brian O'Kane, Neil Swainson, Brian Dickinson and Mark Kelso to name a few...

A longtime New York Mintzer moved out to the coast a couple of years ago to occupy the chair in Jazz Studies at USC. It was indeed an honour for him to travel to Toronto as his travel schedule would make your head spin - he was most recently in Luxembourg, then back to the U.S., then here on a red eye, today to Salt Lake and then back to Europe...he must be racking up the frequent flyer miles!

Bob has written over 200 big band arrangements over his 34 year career and numerous other compositions - earning him 4 Grammy noms for his own big band projects...his touring schedule includes 20 workshops at year at post secondary schools of which of course Humber was one. He has worked with a number of musicians including Thad Jones, Buddy Rich, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri.

I advise getting on Humber's mailing list to find out great upcoming concerts - which of course include student recitals - a great bargain...it was nice to see Marsha Duggan my liaision for "Jazzology" last night too.
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