Al Henderson Quintet headlines York’s Faculty Concert Series

Jazz bassist, composer, arranger and 2010 Juno nominee Al Henderson leads an ensemble of colleagues and friends brought together especially for a signature performance at York.

The show, part of the Department of Music’s Faculty Concert Series, will take place Tuesday, Nov. 2  at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, Keele campus.

Joining Henderson onstage are York’s Richard Whiteman (piano) and Barry Romberg (percussion) and guest artists Alex Dean (alto and tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet) and Pat LaBarbera (tenor and soprano sax). York Professor and baritone saxophonist David Mott will appear with the quintet as a special guest.

Right: Al Henderson

The concert will feature a selection of Henderson’s original compositions and arrangements with several world premieres. Debut works include “Taiga”, “Croaking Raven” and “Strange Doings” (in honour of the late writer R.A. Lafferty), plus several titles from a new series Henderson is composing on a Newfoundland theme, including “Twillingate Harbour” and “Happy Adventure”, named after a small community celebrating its 300th anniversary this year.

Henderson has been a seminal force on the Canadian jazz scene for more than 30 years. He has earned critical acclaim and legions of fans as leader of his own bands – the Al Henderson Septet, Quintet and Quartet – and co-founder and co-leader of the groundbreaking group Time Warp. He has also performed as sideman with many leading jazz artists including Diana Krall, Jane Bunnett, Arnett Cobb, Hank Crawford, Slim Gaillard, Jimmy Knepper and Flip Phillips.

As a composer, Henderson has created a large and distinctive repertoire of original works. More than 60 of his compositions have been recorded by his own bands and other eminent artists such as Don Pullen, Jane Bunnett, Shox Johnson & the Jive Bombers, Alex Dean and Richard Whiteman. His accolades include the Jazz Report Magazine’s Composer of the Year designation and the prestigious SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) Award for Original Jazz Composition.

“Al Henderson is the real thing, a composer in the tradition of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, whose works have distinctive energy and melodic and harmonic character,” said jazz writer Stuart Broomer (Toronto Life).

The Nov. 2 concert by the Al Henderson Quintet is the second of five performances in the 2010-11 Faculty Concert Series, spotlighting faculty artists in York’s Music Department.

Upcoming concerts in the series feature the Sundar Viswanathan Ensemble on Jan. 18, 2011, a classical trio comprising of cellist Mark Chambers with violinist Jacques Israelievitch and pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico on Feb. 8, 2011, and the Ron Westray Ensemble on March 1, 2011.

Tickets are $15 or $5 for students and seniors. Series tickets, for a three-concert package, cost $30. For tickets, contact the Box Office at 416-736-5888.