Saxophonist Mike Murley headlines York’s Faculty Concert Series

Nationally acclaimed saxophonist Mike Murley (BFA Spec. Hons. ’86) steps into the spotlight tomorrow evening as the featured performer in York University’s Faculty Concert Series.

Recognized as one of Canada’s finest jazz talents, Murley is very active as a bandleader, sideman, composer and arranger. He’s an eight-time winner of the Jazz Report’s "saxophonist of the year" distinction and has nine Juno Award-winning recordings to his credit. A former member of the celebrated ensembles Time Warp and the Shuffle Demons, his performance and recording credits include Metalwood and the Rob McConnell Tentet, collaborations in the Murley/Occhipinti Duo, Murley/Braid Quartet, David Liebman/Mike Murley Quartet and Davidson/Murley/Braid Quintet (DMBQ)

Right: Mike Murley

Murley’s latest recording as a leader, Melody Lingers On (CBC Records), features his trio live in concert at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio with a 12-piece string ensemble conducted by Rick Wilkins, playing string arrangements by Murley and Reg Schwager. Last year he released two new recordings as a co-leader, DMBQ Live and Day and Night with his former teacher, David Liebman.

Murley is also featured on the recent Bravo DVD release Solos: The Jazz Sessions, a 39-episode music performance/profile series that spotlights unaccompanied performances by some of the legends and young stars of the jazz world.

In his York University showcase concert, Murley will be featured in a variety of settings ranging from duo to septet. He will be joined on stage by his fellow faculty members, Music Department Chair Barry Elmes on drums, Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance Ron Westray on trombone, Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and Jim Vivian on bass. Guest artists, pianist David Restivo and alto saxophonist Tara Davidson, round out the ensemble.

The evening’s playlist includes original compositions as well as jazz standards. Murley will premiere new arrangements of his compositions dedicated to his native Maritime roots and the Bay of Fundy region. Complementing this material will be his adaptation for jazz septet of the traditional Celtic melody Shule Agra

Murley is an alumnus of York’s Music Department, where he currently heads the jazz studies area. His Nov.17 concert is the second of five performances in the Faculty Concert Series, spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music. Upcoming concerts will feature cellist Mark Chambers on Jan. 19, 2010, pianist Michael Coghlan on Feb. 2 and jazz drummer Barry Elmes on March 2. 

Murley’s performance will take place Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building. Tickets are $15, or $5 for students and seniors. A three-concert package is available for $30. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the York University Box Office Web site or call 416-736-5888.