Jazz drummer Barry Elmes headlines York’s Faculty Concert Series

Jazz percussionist, composer and bandleader Barry Elmes, chair of the Department of Music in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, steps into the spotlight for the final performance in York’s 2009-2010 Faculty Concert Series. Elmes’ concert takes place Tuesday, March 2, at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building on York’s Keele campus.

Elmes leads a group of friends and colleagues assembled especially for this showcase concert, including faculty members Ron Westray, the Oscar Peterson Chair in Jazz Performance, on trombone, and Kelly Jefferson on sax, plus Reg Schwager on guitar and Steve Wallace on bass. The playlist will feature new compositions by Elmes as well as selections from previously recorded material.

Right: Barry Elmes

Acclaimed as “an imaginative improviser and a mature composer” (Ottawa Citizen) whose music-making is “contemporary jazz at its best” (Toronto Star), Elmes has been a mainstay of the Canadian jazz scene since the early 1980s. He has performed and/or recorded with a host of notable artists, including Charlie Hayden, Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Krall and Ray Bryant, and his work has been documented on more than 60 CDs.

His discography includes four releases by his own ensemble, the Barry Elmes Quintet (two-time winner of acoustic jazz group of the year award at the National Jazz Awards and once at the Jazz Report Awards), and recordings by the contemporary jazz quartet Time Warp, which he co-founded and co-leads with York Professor Al Henderson. His honours also include five Jazz Report Awards for drummer of the year and two for jazz musician of the year.

Elmes represented Canada with Time Warp at the 1992 Venezuela International Jazz Festival and was featured with the Oliver Jones Trio on the governor general’s tour of China, Japan and Korea in 1994. In 1996 he performed in Brazil and toured South Africa with the Canadian Jazz Giants. He toured Chile in 2000 with the Barry Elmes Quintet and celebrated the ensemble’s 10th anniversary with a cross-Canada tour in 2001. He presides over the independent jazz label Cornerstone Records and is an in-demand performer at major festivals and jazz clubs.

Tickets are $15, or $5 for students and seniors. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the York University Box Office Web site or call 416-736-5888.