2022 Featured Artists
Michael Kaeshammer has invested a lot – countless hours at the keyboard, hundreds of recordings, thousands of live performances, millions of miles in the air and on the road – all in pursuit of a mastery of 12 notes across 88 keys. But for the acclaimed Canadian pianist and singer, there is no set destination, no achievable end point on his path; it’s all about the journey itself, and that journey will always be ongoing.
Over the course of decades as a professional performer, Kaeshammer has developed a style that weaves threads of classical, jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, stride, and even pop into a signature and sought-after sonic tapestry.
Born and bred in Germany, Kaeshammer began performing club, theatre, and festival stages throughout Europe in his early teens and continued on that trajectory after emigrating to Canada’s West Coast with his family in the mid-‘90s. His first studio album, Blue Keys, dropped in 1996 and spurred a consistent sequence of heralded releases and high-profile international performances. Through it all, the world watched as he grew from child prodigy to full-fledged phenom; from unparalleled pianist to virtuosic songwriter.
Those opportunities have been as wide-reaching as the artist’s subsequent breadth of style, and include: opening slots for the likes of Ray Charles and Anne Murray; stints backing singers like Marva Wright, the late blues queen of New Orleans; co-writing sessions with rockers Randy Bachman and Colin James; official Olympic Games performances in several world cities; and TV specials on numerous networks – including one set to premiere on PBS.
Semple grew up on a farm north of Regina, Saskatchewan. He started his musical career playing with various Regina-based bands, and later relocated to Toronto in the late 1980s to become the lead guitarist of The Lincolns, a popular funk and rhythm and blues band. He left the band after two years and returned to Regina to pursue a solo career and to spend more time with his family.
After his move back to Regina, Semple contributed to television and music scores and appeared in the title role of Guitarman, a 1994 television movie. Semple also commenced a solo recording career that has resulted in the release of ten albums.
In 1992, Semple came to national prominence through winning the MuchMusic “Guitar Wars” contest. Semple has been twice nominated, in 1999 and 2000, for a Gemini Award for his soundtrack work on the television series Incredible Story Studio.
Semple won a Juno award in 1991 for best roots recording. He has won two Western Canadian music awards for “Qu’Appelle” and “In the Blue Light”. Semple continues to perform as a solo artist and with The Jack Semple Band, across Canada and now being championed across America!
CALGARY JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Calgary is a vibrant, cultural city that embraces the arts, and encourages professional musicianship. However, one major component was lacking: Calgarians needed a Jazz Orchestra, and Calgary’s Jazz musicians needed performance opportunities and a place to grow professionally.
This void was recognized, and the Calgary Jazz Orchestra was established in 2004.
Johnny Summers, Director of the Orchestra, hand-picked a group of the best of the best jazz artists for the 16-24 piece orchestra he leads with his trumpet. These musicians are professionally trained, world-class performers with over 300 years of combined experience. This is a very special Calgary Jazz band.
Hailed by the Montreal Jazz Festival as “one of the greatest female singers in the history of Canadian jazz,” Cheryl Fisher is also a composer and lyricist who has recorded six CDs under her own name.
A Global Music award winner for her latest disc, “Quietly There,” and voted Best New Jazz Artist by the Alberta Recording Industry Association, she holds a Bachelors Degree in Education (with distinction) from the University of Calgary and a Masters Degree in Jazz Vocal Performance from the University of Miami, where she also taught.
In addition to an international performing schedule Cheryl is a respected Jazz Educator and has been on the dais of several North American jazz scholarship committees.
Her live performances and recordings continue to receive glowing reviews for their originality, emotional depth and outstanding technical excellence. Her recordings feature the cream of the Canadian Jazz scene including such luminaries as Tommy Banks, P.J. Perry, Terry Clarke, Neil Swainson and Reg Schwager to name a few. Her previous CD, “Moments Like This”, pairs her with two genuine jazz legends: Five-time Grammy Award nominee Ira Sullivan and the Canadian Juno award-winning pianist Oliver Jones.
Inducted into the South Florida Jazz Hall of Fame in 2012 and voted “Best Jazz Artist of 2003” by the readers of New Times Fort Lauderdale- Palm Beach, Eric Allison has been a full-time working professional musician for over 30 years, playing alto and tenor saxophone, flute and clarinet.
Tim Williams is an American-born blues singer currently living in Calgary, Canada. Williams’ career began in the coffee houses of Southern California in the mid-1960s and continues today around the world from his home base on the Canadian Prairies.
Williams has played festivals, folk clubs, concert halls and roadhouses from Rabat, Morocco, to Melbourne, Australia, and from Dawson City, Yukon Territory to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, all to huge acclaim.
His guitar skills are frequently compared to Ry Cooder and David Lindley (and like them, Williams plays a wealth of other string instruments), and his songwriting has won praise from the likes of Tom Russel and Willie Nelson.
A string of Maple Blues Award nominations (Toronto Blues Society), two JUNO award nominations (Canada’s Grammy equivalent) , five Betty Mitchell Awards for composition/musical direction in theatre, and roughly a dozen awards from Real Blues magazine (as artist, guitarist, producer) attest to the high calibre of his work.
JOHNNY SUMMERS LITTLE BIG BAND
At the age of 11, Johnny Summers sat in his bedroom, listening for the first time to Harry Connick Jr.’s ‘Blue Light, Red Light’ album.
The life, connection and humanity in that music, changed something inside of Johnny. That instant, he knew he was going to be a part of making that change happen inside of others.
He immediately began seeking out the best teachers he could, wherever he could. His dynamic talent as a vocalist, trumpet player, arranger and composer, was born out of a true passion to exceed the status quo at every turn. Johnny has intentionally filled his life with top professionals in numerous disciplines and continues to be inspired by many he has met along the way, from the incomparable Wynton Marsalis to the core members of Harry Connick Jr.’s band.
This commitment to excellence and variety is evidenced in the seamless performance that he gives every time he steps onto the stage. He is a master of versatility, in both style and mood. Even after hundreds of concerts and years of working diligently on his craft, he still sees every performance as sacred. Johnny’s hours of daily practice can easily go well into the night. One of his many gifts to the audience comes in the form of expecting nothing but the best from himself and his musicians.
With unparalleled influences like Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra, it comes as no surprise that he has something to offer everyone in the room. His musical abilities are accented by his natural capacity to bring wit, soul and laughter to every show.
Johnny won 2 Global Music Awards for Best Male Vocalist, and Best Listener Impact for Entertainment Value.
Whether he’s fronting an 18-piece band or sitting solo in front of a piano, Johnny Summers offers and delivers something far beyond entertainment: an unforgettable experience.
This concert will feature his 8-piece “Little Big Band” and mark an unprecedented 12 years of performing at Jazz At The Lake’s traditional Swing Dance.
|Previous Festival Artists
Alberta Big Rocks Band
Bill Dowey and the Blues Devils
Deanne Matley & Tricia Edwards
Donald Ray Johnson
Edmonton Jazz Orchestra
Glen Charles Halls World Fusion
H.O.T. Dixieland Jazz Band
Jazz Grind Experiment
Jazz Plus Trio
Jimmy and the Sleepers
Kinjo & Young
Overdue Blues Band
Prime Time Big Band
Razzama Jazz Big Band
RDC Faculty Jazz Band
RDC Jazz Ensemble
Red Deer Jazz Ensemble
Red Deer Symphony Orchestra
Robert Young and the Big Beat Band
Sara Hamilton & David
Six Feet Up
Steve Pineo and the Monday Night Band
Theano & Chuck Lamb
Tuck & Patti
Viviane Martin and ’73
Wildrose Dixie Band
Wonderland Swing Orchestra