The Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra is pulling out all the stops for their festival offering this summer. It’s called Changing Seasons and it features compositions by Canadian jazzer extraordinaire, Phil Dwyer. They’ve also roped in two fantastic soloists to back up Mr. Dwyer: violinist Mark Fewer, and tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson. The SJO’s not messing around — these are some big names in the jazz world.
Dwyer wrote Changing Seasons specifically for Mark Fewer. Recorded and released as an album, it won Best Contemporary Jazz Album at the 2012 Junos. According to Fewer’s website, Changing Seasons is “scored for big band, string orchestra and solo violin… [The] piece takes advantage of Mr. Fewer’s unique abilities as both a classical violinist and improviser.”
Dwyer, Fewer, and Jefferson have been brought in to perform with the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra at the Broadway Theatre on June 28th at 7:30 p.m. The SJO has also wrangled a sizeable string orchestra to join their typical brass and rhythm compliment. Word on the street is that the Broadway Theatre stage is going to be packed almost to the rafters with musicians and the stage will be extended to make room for the massive orchestra.
Here’s a writeup of the show from the SJO’s website:
The SJO’s new show Changing Seasons, featuring Phil Dwyer, Kelly Jefferson and Mark Fewer will be part of the SaskTel Sask Jazz Festival.
The show features Juno Award-winning composer/pianist/saxophonist Phil Dwyer (Order of Canada) and his beautiful composition Changing Seasons orchestrated for large jazz ensemble, string orchestra, and solo violin. Featured throughout Changing Seasons is internationally acclaimed classical solo violinist Mark Fewer, a brilliant improviser in his own right whose musical inspiration seamlessly crosses many stylistic genres. This powerful, dynamic, and profoundly creative music draws inspiration from various sources including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the large jazz ensemble music of iconic Canadian jazz composer/trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. The first half of this all-star Canadian concert welcomes SaskTel Jazz Festival 2014 Special Recognition Award recipient Saskatchewan-born Canadian tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson who will join Phil and the SJO, directed by Dean McNeill, in a cross selection of big band repertoire. Go all-star Canadian talent!!!
Thanks to CFCR 90.5 FM for providing additional content for this article through an interview with SJO Director Dean McNeil.