June 20, 2005: Jazz comes home

      June 20, 2005
      Contact: Shelley Kean
      Tel: 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—Capilano College may be surrounded by nature, but it’s also surrounded by the sizzling sounds of jazz. In fact, jazz is second nature to Capilano College. Along with being a venue for the 2005 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the North Vancouver college has an astounding 58 alumni and 18 faculty members performing in this year’s event!

      That’s an astronomical number of talented jazz musicians associated with just one institution, and when the awards they have won are tabulated, it becomes clear that Capilano College is home to some of the top musicians and music programs in the land.

      “It’s no secret that British Columbia produces a high calibre of jazz musicians, but we lose a lot of them to colleges and universities in the United States that offer substantial scholarships,” says Aderita Roets, executive director of the Capilano College Foundation. “We want to be able to be more competitive and keep these students here, so an effort is under way to raise funds to be able to provide scholarships for our jazz studies students.”

      This endeavour has attracted the interest and passion of a number of leading musicians, organizations and College alumni who are providing jazz students with the support they require to succeed.

      “The jazz studies program at Capilano College is one of the best in all of North America,” says vocalist Dee Daniels. “It maintains a high curriculum standard with an experienced and innovative teaching staff. To show my support of the program and its teachers, I created the Dee Daniels Vocal Scholarship in 2001.”

      In 2004, vocalist/pianist, Shannon Thue, a graduate of the Capilano College Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies program, won the first CBC Radio JAM Award (Jazz Award of Merit), which includes a studio recording session, concert, and a $1,000 award from the Galaxie Rising Stars Program of the CBC. The new JAM award was created to encourage young jazz students to follow their dreams. It recognizes exceptional performance and academic achievement by a musician studying jazz at the College level.

      Having exceptional faculty on board, such as saxophonist Campbell Ryga, bassist Jodi Proznick, vocalist Kate Hammett-Vaughan, and many more only adds to the possibility of student success in the world of jazz.

      In fact, Proznick is the Festival’s feature artist of the week. A native of White Rock, B.C., Proznick won the General Motors Award of Excellence in 1993 as one of the top young musicians in Canada. In 1998, she was the winner of the IAJE Sisters in Jazz Competition, which brought her to New York to perform with Ingrid Jensen and to Detroit to open for Geri Allen. She has performed on CBC radio's Jazzbeat, Silence en Jazz and the Vancouver Morning Show. Since moving to Vancouver, Proznick has become a top call bassist. She has played with the legendary Charles McPherson, P.J. Perry, Jim Rotundi, Brad Turner, Mike Allen, VEJI, and Hugh Fraser, and many others.

      Another member of the College’s instrumental faculty is Yamaha saxophone artist, Campbell Ryga. Ryga has won three Juno Awards and received honours as Canada’s Alto Saxophonist of the Year in 2000 from Jazz Report Magazine. He has appeared at the Havana International Jazz Festival for four consecutive years and has contributed to 57 jazz recordings, including two as a leader. Most of his international touring has been with the Hugh Fraser Quintet, of which he is a founding member. His most recent co-release, Deep Cove, was nominated for a 2005 Juno.

      Called “the hardest working man in jazz-business” by vocalist Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Capilano College Jazz Studies alumnus, Cory Weeds, is the owner and operator of Vancouver’s Jazz Cellar. He added record producer to his creditable resume with the 2001 production of Maximum Jazz presents: Live @ The Cellar. Oliver Gannon, one of Canada’s jazz greats, said this about Weeds: “In my 35 years of playing professionally in the Vancouver music scene, I would consider Cory to be the most successful and important promoter and producer of Canadian Jazz in the Vancouver area. His success stems from the fact that he is both a good businessman and also he is one of the finest jazz saxophone players in Vancouver.” Weeds was recently nominated as Producer of the Year at the National Jazz Awards.

      This is just a small sample of the quality of Capilano College instructors and alumni who will be performing at Vancouver’s International Jazz Festival, which runs from June 24 to July 3.

      For information on how to support the College’s jazz studies program, please contact the Capilano College Foundation at 604.984.1765.

      For more information on the Jazz Studies program, please visit www.capilanou.ca/programs/jazz-studies/index, or call Mike Reveley, Jazz Studies promotions coordinator at 604.926.4070, or Grace McNab, Jazz Studies academic coordinator at 604.986.1911, local 2305.

      Contacts for interviews:
      Jodi Proznick:
      cell: 604.807.5634
      home: 604.945.4085

      Campbell Ryga:
      cell: 604.787.7942
      home: 604.576.1669

      Cory Weeds:
      phone: 604.779.2234

      Mike Reveley
      Jazz Studies program coordinator
      home: 604.926.4070