Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 3 of 4)
2/16/2005 - On Thurs. it was time for me to do a similar, informal lecture-demonstration for St. John’s students. I had earlier over breakfast asked in passing a Tibetan student and musician to sit in with me for an informal jam session after the lecture that evening. When night rolled around I was feeling a bit fatigued and it took a while to warm up into my presentation and performance; I also had frankly forgot about my offer of playing with him, but was happy when he insisted after my talk. We all ended up lingering until late in the evening, hours after my one-hour presentation had ended, playing music together, and just talking. It was quite evocative of those rare days back in music school when time seemed irrelevant and the focus was entirely on expanding one’s mind through interaction with others…

Friday I had “off”, and was delighted to be able to shut out the outside world and focus on my preparation for my lecture the next night organized by the Vancouver Institute.. My days in general were a delight – despite being lent a cell phone, I had taken to keeping it off, and had the freedom of being able to explore the “inner self” through reading and study, no doubt well beyond what might even have been needed for the actual lecture. It was very meaningful to me just to have this license, and it made me reflect on how little one makes the time for such things when the “real world” returns. Tim was so respectful of my privacy that he on two occasions secretly dropped off bags of groceries with “supplies” that greeted me upon my return to my room after a walk; again, a wonderful license just to study and explore…

The lecture at the Vancouver Institute (a prestigious organization that has featured a number of highly varied speakers for over 45 years) took place Saturday, and it was really the event that I was most looking forward to. I had decided to talk about the issue of “Can Jazz Be Classical?”, using Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (which I had recorded and also recently performed with orchestra in Japan) as a jumping off point for discussion. Another “things go wrong” episode occurred initially when my wireless mike refused to go on (some of my musician friends later told me that they could hear the student sound technician cussing quite loudly as he tried to get it to work, I’m sure quite embarrassed!) but I tried to take it in stride, and this predicament, in fact, gave me the opportunity to play the entire Rhapsody in Blue (minus the orchestral sections) upfront, rather than after breaking the piece down into its component parts; this turned out, in fact, to likely have been the better approach to begin with anyway. Afterwards I discussed it’s characteristic use of blue notes (and performed “St. Louis Blues” as well as Gershwin’s Second Prelude to further illustrate my points); I examined certain characteristic rhythms emerging out of stride piano by way of ragtime that made an appearance in the work (performing a bastardized version of “Carolina Shout”); and then talked about how the piece’s supposed “formlessness” was actually more of an “open form” conception common to jazz which was really one of the reasons I think the piece actually worked so successfully. I then took questions and in my answers managed to discuss Wynton Marsalis and the whole Lincoln Center debate centered around neo-classicism, my own groups and my approaches to them, the prospects for combining jazz with classical, and so on, concluding with the performance of some pieces of my own. The whole affair thankfully seemed a resounding success and it was really exhilarating for me to try and share my ideas in this different environment, and also to attempt to speak in terms accessible to the general audience attending the event.
feature download
Improvisations on Bach's Goldberg Variations (tribute to Glenn Gould)
From my recent concert at the Barrie Jazz Festival, presented as a part of a concert of "Canadian Inspirations", from Neil  Young to Alanis Morisette (stream the entire second set from the "Canadian Inspirations" concert  here (D.D. Jackson Radio)).
living jazz audio & video podcasts
Organ Nation demo
Audio - Demo recording of our new collective group featuring myself on Hammond B3 organ; Alex Harding on bari sax; Walter Szymanski on trumpet; and Brandon Lewis on drums. Recorded at Dubway Studios, Feb./09.
Organ Nation at Cornelia Street Cafe
Audio - Live recording of our collective group Organ Nation at our premiere gig this past Feb./08 at the Cornelia Street Cafe featuring myself: organ; Alex Harding - baritone sax; Walter Szymanski - trumpet; and Brandon Lewis - drums.
living jazz weblog
8/23/2012 - recent activity...
4/28/2011 - Billy Bang, R.I.P.
9/1/2010 - Freeplay music and
4/15/2010 - latest activities
10/10/2009 - Manhatpro
2/28/2009 - past few months update...
7/14/2008 - "Canadian Inspirations"
3/10/2008 - hear my solo piano performances at Alanis Morissette Tribute concert in Ottawa
12/24/2007 - R.I.P., Oscar Peterson
10/27/2007 - A chat with Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies
10/4/2007 - James Carter recording, Moonfest, & other recent activities...
8/1/2007 - New Music Strategies plus MOMA concert
7/7/2007 - on Chicago City Limits and other "mini-successes" of the day...
7/1/2007 - I couldn't resist... and bought an iPhone!...
6/30/2007 - performance with Ahmed Abdullah at Sweet Rhythm
6/2/2007 - new Living Jazz Podcast is up...
12/19/2006 - gigs about town with Dean Bowman
11/29/2006 - appearance on CBC's "Fuse" program
10/14/2006 - Reflections on the birth of my new son Jarrett in Podcast #19
9/11/2006 - In Memory of 9/11
7/14/2006 - Trudeau opera news spreading fast
6/20/2006 - my Trudeau opera
6/6/2006 - John Hicks memorial
4/29/2006 - jazz opera Quebecite in New Brunswick
3/16/2006 - "Serenity Song" track from upcoming "Serenity Song" CD now available for free download
3/8/2006 - Thoughts on recent Bret Primack Seminar on Web Publicity
2/27/2006 - Chris Howes interview plus more updates
1/14/2006 - live from Cambodia: thoughts on my IAJE panel (1 of 2)
1/13/2006 - Live from Cambodia: thoughts on my IAJE panel (2 of 2)
12/6/2005 - My first Artistshare blog entry
7/5/2005 - a new Trudeau opera
3/25/2005 - Solo piano in Taiwan (part 1 of 2)
3/24/2005 - solo piano in Taiwan (part 2 of 2)
2/18/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 1 of 4)
2/18/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 2 of 4)
2/17/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 3 of 4)
2/16/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 4 of 4)
1/4/2005 - New Year's Eve in Japan (part 1 of 2)
1/3/2005 - New Year's Eve in Japan (part 2 of 2)
9/15/2004 - JaraSum Jazz Festival, South Korea
8/14/2002 - Bluiett/Jackson/El'Zabar mini-west coast tour
3/4/2002 - Last Few Months Update (part 1 of 2)
3/4/2002 - Last Few Months Update (part 2 of 2)
3/3/2002 - Thoughts on 9/11
9/9/2001 - New Music Festival Premiere (part 1 of 2)
9/8/2001 - New Music Festival Premiere (part 2 of 2)
9/13/2000 - D.D. Jackson Group in Japan
7/1/2000 - A Canadian in New York (part 1 of 2)
6/30/2000 - A Canadian in New York (part 2 of 2)
5/20/2000 - Yukon adventure
3/13/2000 - Juno Awards
3/5/2000 - Tel Aviv
3/5/2000 - My New Columbus Band
2/1/2000 - Musings on Wynton after the Jazz at Lincoln Center (part 1 of 2)
1/31/2000 - Musings on Wynton after the Jazz at Lincoln Center (part 2 of 2)
9/10/1999 - My first RCA CD's
9/9/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 1 of 3)
9/8/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 2 of 3)
9/7/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 3 of 3)
3/21/1999 - Thoughts on Fred Hopkins and Jaki Byard
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 1 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (Part 2 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 3 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 4 of 5)
11/27/1998 - African Journal (part 5 of 5)
10/31/1998 - "Effusion"
10/28/1998 - Hamiet Bluiett's Strange Second Set
9/18/1998 - Perilous Journey From Japan
9/18/1998 - Strange Duos with Kurt Elling
6/5/1998 - "Blood on the Keys"
2/22/1998 - Thomas Chapin
1/20/1998 - Duets with James Carter
11/13/1997 - "Ultimate" big band
7/1/1997 - 2 surreal gigs in Canada
5/26/1997 - First tour of Japan
5/5/1997 - Thoughts on James Carter
3/1/1997 - Thoughts on Don Pullen
2/20/1997 - "David Murray Week",. Columbus, Ohio
12/3/1996 - Duo Sessions
10/28/1996 - "Freedom" in East Germany
10/3/1996 - Tribute to Don Pullen session