saturday, September 23, 2023
- DATE: Saturday, September 23, 2023
TIME: 7:00 PM - 10:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM)
VENUE: FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (Recital Hall)
ADDRESS: 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, ON
PRICE: Regular: $45 + HST + Fees
ABOUT THE SHOW
On Sunday, August 21st, 2022, Niagara’s music community lost an amazing musician. Peter Shea, co-founder of the TD Niagara Jazz Festival lost his hard-fought battle with cancer.
This September, the TD Niagara Jazz Festival explores the world of the Hammond B3 organ – and instrument near and dear to Peter’s heart. HUNGRY 4 HAMMOND’S tribute performance will feature renown artists Donnybrook and The Tonewheels on Saturday, September 23 in the Recital Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Showtime is 7pm.
About Hungry 4 Hammond
Presented by the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, the HUNGRY 4 HAMMOND Series explores the world of the Hammond Organ and features performers that will bring this beloved instrument to life. Our guest artists for this series are from the Niagara Region and beyond.
Festival co-creators Peter Shea and Juliet Dunn decided to pay tribute to this wonderful instrument back in 2019 and are thrilled to be able to continue this tradition with their 3rd annual HUNGRY 4 HAMMOND event. Peter Shea had purchased a 1935 Hammond Organ a mere few months before he passed in 2022 and drew so much joy from playing this incredible instrument. At our HUNGRY 4 HAMMOND event, Peter's Hammond organ and his drum kit will grace the stage and Peter's spirit will transcend through the talented line up of musicians slated to perform.
Peter Shea was a truly gifted pianist, vocalist and drummer and had just started to embrace the world of the Hammond organ during his last few years on this planet. When coming up with the name for the Hammond series Peter's suggestion was the HAMMOND EGGS series. This shows the sense of humor that Peter had. After some discussion, the husband-and-wife duo agreed that Juliet's HUNGRY 4 HAMMOND suggestion might be more appropriate. This event is one of the duo's favorites. They hope that you enjoy the show.
History of the Hammond
Over two million Hammond organs have been manufactured since their 'birth' in 1935. Created by Laurens Hammond as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ. The Hammond organ quickly became popular with jazz musicians and many organ trios started to form. Jimmy Smith's use of the Hammond B-3 inspired a generation of organ players, and its use became widespread in the 1960s and 1970s in virtually every genre of music, especially jazz.
Donnybrook is an original, modern, soul jazz and
straight ahead co-led organ trio from Toronto, Canada. The trio concentrates on a mix of historic repertoire and original music in the tradition of the great Hammond organ trios of the 1960s. Guitarist Ben Bishop, organist Jeff McLeod, and drummer Morgan Childs joined forces in 2015 with a mutual interest in the classic sounds of the records of Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson, Grant Green, and Dr. Lonnie Smith, as well as modern organ groups like Mike LeDonne’s Groover Quartet and the Larry Goldings Trio, with a goal to develop a unique identity and sound in that tradition. Six years later, Donnybrook has appeared across Canada at prominent jazz venues including The Yardbird Suite, Buckingjam Palace, The Bassment Jazz Club, The Rex Hotel, The Burdock Room, and 3030 Dundas, as well as at the Markham Jazz Festival, Brampton World of Jazz Festival, Toronto International Jazz Festival, and the Haliburton Forest Festival. Their debut album, Live at the Basement was released in 2020.
Jeff Mcleod: Hammond Organ
Jeff McLeod is a well-loved Canadian pianist, Hammond organist and composer that regularly appears at clubs and festivals across Canada and the US, and has appeared on dozens of recordings across the musical spectrum with a special love for jazz, soul, and rock n’ roll, several of which have been nominated for Juno Awards.
Jeff is known for his work with many great jazz groups including the Alison Young Quintet, Hector Quartet with Chris Gale and Ted Quinlan, Stubblejumpers with Ted Warren and Kelly Jefferson, the Kennedy/McLeod Quartet with Donny Kennedy, the Cuphead Video Game Big Band led by Kris Maddigan and John Herberman, as well as his co-led Organ Trio: Donnybrook with Morgan Childs and Ben Bishop.
He is known for his long standing work in the bands of Mike Plume, Jason Plumb, Greg Cockerill, Stuart Laughton’s Radiodial, as well as musical theatre and cabaret legend Judith Lander. He has toured with Serena Ryder and performed with Bo Diddley and the Drifters. He has released three records as a leader/co-leader: Double Entendre, Belaney’s Secret (with Donny Kennedy) and Live at the Bassment (with Donnybrook).
Ben Bishop: Guitar
Ben Bishop favours a freewheeling, bop-based guitar style, most reminiscent of the classic guitarists of the 1950s and 1960s. Players such as Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, and Grant Green are major inspirations to his sound and musical approach. After a number of years living in New York, during which he earned a DMA in Jazz Studies from the prestigious Eastman School of Music, he currently resides in Toronto, Canada. He regularly performs with many of the city’s finest jazz musicians and is also active as an educator.
Other career highlights include an acclaimed big band residency with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, and a 2009 DownBeat Jazz Award with Dave Rivello’s New Jazz Ensemble. In addition, Bishop has shared the stage with musicians including Alex Dean, Maureen Kennedy, John Riley, Perry White, Bernie Senensky, Phil Woods, Helen Merrill, Pat LaBarbera, Neil Swainson, Lee Konitz, Steve Wallace, and many others.
Morgan childs: Drums
BC native Morgan Childs has established himself as a first-call drummer for many leading Canadian and international jazz artists. Morgan has four recordings to his name as a leader, including 2016 release On The Street of Dreams, which was chosen by the Ottawa Citizen as one of the top-10 Canadian jazz records of 2016. Awards to his credit include three consecutive CBC Galaxie Rising Star Awards in 2006/07/08 with three different groups, as well as the 2009 and 2012 Grand Prix du Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival, with the Amanda Tosoff Quartet and Robi Botos Trio, respectively.
In 2016, Morgan was awarded a Chalmers Prize from the Ontario Arts Council, and a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, to study privately in New York City with jazz legends Billy Hart, Kenny Washington, and Jimmy Cobb. The culmination of his experience results in a distinctive, energetic, and musical approach to the drums that is steeped in the bebop tradition of his mentors, yet is forward-looking and diverse enough for the most contemporary of jazz artists. Morgan has appeared on stages across Canada and around the world, including tours of the US, Mexico, England, Ukraine, and India. His latest release is the co-led “Donnybrook: Live At The Bassment”.
The Tonewheels featuring Matt Weidinger, Chris
Latta and Mike Rajna are an organ trio based out of Kitchener, Ontario. Blending the styles of the classic Jimmy Smith/Jack McDuff blues/ jazz trios, with beloved power trios such as Cream/Traffic, they have stumbled upon a unique sound that allows them to carry on the classic traditions of improvised music.
Matt Weidinger: Hammond Organ
Matt Weidinger (organ/vocals) has been working as a full time musician since the age of 16. Starting off playing locally around his hometown of Kitchener, Matt has worked his way up to being one of the most sought after and well known entertainers in Ontario. He has three original albums under his belt and although considers the Hammond Organ, his instrument of choice, is equally comfortable on piano, guitar, bass and mandolin. He joined forces with Lance Anderson in 12-piece band called “Matchedash Parish” whose debut album Saturday Night earned them a 2020 Maple Blues Awards nomination for New Artist of the Year.
Chris Latta: Guitar
Referred to in print as an “unsung local guitar hero”, Chris Latta has quietly built a career as an “in demand sideman” supporting many of Southern Ontario’s premiere blues and rock bands over the past 2 decades. Latta has been seen performing on stages across Canada, the US and Europe as a member of Soulstack, The Douglas Watson R&B Revue, The Dylan Wickens Band and many others. With a style suited to many different musical situations, Latta continues to ply his trade with Soulstack, The Tonewheels with Matt Weidinger and answering the call of those in need for a seasoned, versatile and reliable guitarist.
Mike Rajna: Drums
Mike Rajna (drums/vocals) has been playing for over 20 years. After completing a diploma from Mohawk’s Music program, and a degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto, he moved back to Kitchener-Waterloo. Mike continues to play in a wide variety of musical projects, in a multitude of genres, across Ontario.
JAZZ 4 the ages youth performer
Emilio Geremia, from Welland, Ontario, is 15 years old and has been studying piano since he was 3 ½ years old. For the last two years, he has been the piano accompanist for the Brock University Jazz Ensemble and the Brock University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Zoltan Kalman. He has completed his Grade 9 Canadian National Conservatory of Music (CNCM) Piano performance exam and has twice been the recipient of the CNCM Silver Medal for achieving the highest mark in Canada for his grade level classical piano accomplishments.
In the summers of 2019 and 2020, he also won first place in the TD Niagara Jazz Festival’s “Jazz for the Ages” Youth Competition in the 12 and under category, and in the summer of 2021, he again won first place in the TD Niagara Jazz Festival’s “Jazz for the Ages” Youth Competition in the 13-17 age-category. During December 2019, he was honoured to perform with the Peter Shea Trio in a musical tribute to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” along with Order of Canada member Terry Clarke on the drums and Pat LaBarbera on tenor saxophone.
Recently, Emilio was most honoured to be selected as the pianist for the 2023 Canadian National Youth Jazz Combo which will be practicing and performing at this year’s MusicFest Canada in Niagara Falls later this month under the direction of Dr. Noam Lemish of York University. He is one of six youth selected from across Canada to be part of this National ensemble and is excited to perform at such a prestigious event.