Award-winning Time Warp jazz quartet moves in

Listen for some cool sounds floating through York. The award-winning ensemble Time Warp has become the Department of Music’s new Jazz Quartet-in-Residence.

Barry ElmesAl HendersonLauded by critics for its unique style and original repertoire, Time Warp is co-led by two York jazz instructors: drummer and former York student Barry Elmes and bassist  and alumnus Al Henderson (MFA ’83) with Kelly Jefferson on tenor and soprano sax, and Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and flugelhorn.

Above: Al Henderson (left) and Barry Elmes

As the Jazz Quartet-in-Residence, Time Warp will present concerts, master classes and workshops, in addition to working with students one-on-one and in ensembles.

Savvy fans and jazz “newbies” alike will have the opportunity to enjoy a free concert by the renowned quartet at York on Friday, Oct. 28, from 12:30 to 1:30pm in McLaughlin Performance Hall, 050 McLaughlin College, as part of the Music at Midday series. Immediately following the concert, Time Warp is conducting a free jazz workshop, 1:30-3pm in room 207 at McLaughlin. Kevin TurcotteAnyone interested is welcome to attend.

Right: Kevin Turcotte

Former Time Warp member and multiple Juno-winning saxophonist Mike Murley – an alumnus of York’s Music Department who also now teaches at his alma mater – will stand in for Jefferson Friday.

With a performance record spanning 25 years, Time Warp is one of the most celebrated Canadian jazz ensembles of its generation. The musicians’ touring schedules have taken them to the global concert stages of North and South America, Europe and the Far East.

Kelly Jefferson

Right: Kelly Jefferson

“We’re very pleased to be working with Time Warp,” said Michael Coghlan, Chair of the Music Department. “Their international reputation and performing experience will bring valuable real-world understanding to our students, which is an important part of our educational commitment of excellence and innovation.”

The Ottawa Citizen called Time Warp “the most potent band in Canada” and Geoff Chapman, of the Toronto Star, once wrote “is there a better band in this part of the world? I doubt it.”

All of the members of Time Warp now teach exclusively at York. “So, if you want to study with Time Warp, you have to come to York,” remarked Coghlan with a puckish grin.

The band was formed in 1980 by Elmes and Henderson, who were both students in York University’s jazz program in the ’70s. Conceived as a vehicle for writing and performing original music, Time Warp became an “overnight success,” releasing five recordings between 1982 and 1992 while leading the way for many other Canadian jazz bands. Long before the term “world music” was widely known, Time Warp was drawing on cultural influences from around the world, including the rhythms and harmonic structures of West African music, Japanese koto music, Hungarian folk songs, North American urban funk rhythms and New Orleans parade music.

About Time Warp’s members

Barry Elmes is one of Canada’s finest drummers, composers and bandleaders. He has been a fixture on the Toronto jazz scene since the early ’80s. His interest lies in bop and pre-bop schools of drumming. An accomplished drummer in many musical styles, he has worked as a sideman for many eminent jazz musicians, including Kenny Wheeler, Dizzy Gillespie, Tommy Flanagan, Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Don Thompson, Ed Bickert, Joe Henderson and the Moe Koffman Quintet. Elmes was named Jazz Musician of the Year by Jazz Report magazine in both 1993 and 1994, as well as Drummer of the Year for three consecutive years, 1994 to 1996. A part-time instructor in York’s Music Department since 1974, he became a full-time professor in the jazz studies program last year.

Al Henderson, active on the Toronto jazz scene since the mid ’70s, is well known for his adventurous writing style. His compositions have been recorded by Time Warp, Alex Dean, Don Pullen and Jane Bunnett, to name a few. In 1995, he received the Socan Award for Original Jazz Composition, and in the same year was named Composer of the Year by Jazz Report. As a bassist, Henderson has worked with the likes of Arnett Cobb, Slim Gaillard, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson and Jane Bunnett, among numerous others.

Kelly Jefferson has worked with many of Toronto’s finest musicians and has performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Nicholas Payton, Ray Brown, and Sonny Fortune, among others. He has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe as tenor saxophonist with legendary trumpet player Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band. His other tours include bands led by pianists Dave Restivo and Bryn Roberts and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Kevin Turcotte, who is regarded as one of Canada’s top trumpeters of the ’90s, has been named Jazz Trumpeter of the Year multiple times by Jazz Report. A consummate collaborator, Turcotte has performed on more than 50 recordings. He has crisscrossed the globe, from North and South America with Time Warp, to Italy with Don Byron and Russia with the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra. This talented musician has hooked up with the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Tito Puente, Dave Holland, Kenny Kirkwood, Pat LaBarbera, Shirley Eikhard, Bill Grove and Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass.

This article was submitted to YFile by Mary-Lou Schagena in the Faculty of Fine Arts.