The Barry Elmes Quintet brings contemporary jazz to York’s Faculty Concert Series

Acclaimed jazz drummer Barry Elmes, Chair of York University’s Music Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, brings his quintet to centre stage on Feb. 28 for the season finale of York’s Faculty Concert Series.

The concert, featuring new compositions by Elmes plus selections from the ensemble’s recorded repertoire, will take place at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York. The performance will be recorded for a future CD release.

Left: Barry Elmes

Hailed as "contemporary jazz at its best" (Toronto Star), the Barry Elmes Quintet comprises a who’s who of Canadian jazz. Alongside bandleader and composer Elmes, the ensemble features his York University colleagues Mike Murley on saxophones and Kevin Turcotte on the trumpet and flugelhorn, plus Reg Schwager on guitar and Steve Wallace on bass.

The quintet has toured and recorded in Canada and internationally for more than 15 years, gathering accolades all the way. "This band has it all: heat, elan and humour", said The Globe and Mail. A two-time winner of the National Jazz Awards Acoustic Jazz Group of the Year award, the group has released four recordings, including the critically-acclaimed Climbing, which was nominated for a Juno for best jazz recording. Their most recent CD, The Five Minute Warning, received an Indie Award nomination for best jazz recording.

Elmes has been a mainstay of the Canadian jazz scene since the early 1980s. A renowned drummer, composer, producer, recording artist and educator, he has performed all over the world and can be heard on more than 60 CDs. He has also inspired a generation of young musicians at York University. He taught part-time for 20 years in York’s jazz program before joining the full-time faculty in the Department of Music in 2004.

Declared "one of the key players of his generation" (The Globe and Mail), fellow Elmes quintent member Mike Murley (right) is recognized as one of Canada’s finest jazz talents. Very active as a bandleader and sideman on the local jazz scene, he is an eight-time winner of the Jazz Report’s "saxophonist of the year" distinction, and has nine Juno Award-winning recordings to his credit. He is an alumnus of York’s Music Department, where he currently teaches.

Kevin Turcotte (left) likewise teaches in York’s jazz program. Widely regarded as a virtuoso performer, he has been named "jazz trumpeter of the year" multiple times by the Jazz Report. He has performed on over 50 recordings, and has toured widely in North America, South America, Italy and Russia. He has appeared with the Jean Martin Trio, Hemispheres New Music Ensemble, Andrew Downing’s Attention Span, and many other groups.

Reg Schwager (right) has toured extensively across Canada and worldwide with George Shearing, Diana Krall, Peter Appleyard, Rob McConnell and many others, and has over 80 recordings to his credit. CDs released under his own name include Resonance, Border Town and Live at Mezzetta. He has been the recipient of the Guitarist of the Year award from Canada’s National Jazz Awards for three consecutive years (2005, 2006 and 2007).

Bassist Steve Wallace (left) has performed with such international luminaries as Clark Terry, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, George Coleman, Zoot Sims, and Pepper Adams, and has recorded and toured with some of the biggest names in Canadian jazz including Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Fraser MacPherson and Rob McConnell. He currently plays in numerous Toronto groups including recent Juno winners, the David Braid Sextet, Rob McConnell Tentet and Mike Murley Trio.

The performance of the Barry Elmes Quintet is the last in a series of seven events in the 2007-2088 Faculty Concert Series, spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University.

Admission is $15, students $5. For tickets, order online at the Box Office or phone 416-736-5888.