June 30, 2015: Jazz Festival performance pays tribute to late Capilano U instructor

      NORTH VANCOUVER - Capilano University instructors and an alumnus will keep the music of the late Ross Taggart alive in a special tribute performance today, June 30, at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

      Ross Taggart was an internationally acclaimed saxophonist and pianist, and beloved Jazz Studies instructor at Capilano University. The Jill Townsend Big Band, which includes Capilano University instructors Bill Coon, Dave Robbins, Dennis Esson, Brad Turner, Steve Kaldestad and Chad Makela, along with alumnus Cory Weeds, will celebrate Ross Taggart's spirit and contribution to Capilano University and the jazz music community.

      "Ross had the amazing gift of music that he loved to share with everyone around him," said fellow Capilano University Jazz Studies instructor Bill Coon. "He inspired other instructors at CapU, as well as the students who studied with him, and we all miss him greatly. This tribute performance is our way of keeping his music alive."

      A Capilano Jazz Studies instructor, Ross Taggart was also a founding member of the Jill Townsend Big Band. The band recently received accolades by the National Jazz Awards. In 2014, band members launched a KickStarter campaign to raise money to create a tribute CD-Legacy- inspired by Ross Taggart's work. The campaign, along with private donations, raised $22,000.

      "Ross was a mentor and a friend, and he is still my hero," said Capilano University alumnus Cory Weeds. "I spawned the idea to create Legacy, a tribute album to Ross Taggart, not only to mourn his loss, but also to celebrate his contributions to Jazz music.  Ross changed my life and I want his legacy to live on for future generations."

      The band performs regularly in Vancouver as well as across the globe. Catch the tribute performance at two shows at the Pyatt Hall at the VSO during the Vancouver International Jazz Festival on June 30. Click here  for event information.

       Hear more from Capilano University's people in jazz by joining the conversation at #myCapUroots.



      Media Contact 
      Borjana Slipicevic
      Senior Communications Advisor