2020 Featured Artists
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!
The Polyjesters were created by brothers Jason and Sheldon Valleau on a park bench in Holland and developed on the streets of France. Planning to busk just for the summer, they ended up getting caught in a swing vortex amongst many other talented players. It was there that they began stealing the best of the best to become part of the Poly family. 3 years had passed where they went from street performances to playing private parties in Monaco including for the Prince himself. Eventually home was calling as hard as immigration was pushing and the boys returned home. They immediately took to stealing the best band mates close to home, releasing four albums, three of them original with ever changing styles and toured these albums back and forth across North America, England and Japan, doing several stints at Epcot Centre. They became a little road weary and decided to bring the party to them, creating The Mountain View Music Fest which lasted a grand 10 years. The boys found themselves on other paths of music and comedy for the past couple of years but are now blowing on the embers, about to fire up and leave no genre ungrooved. The best has been dusted off, new songs are in the mill and The Polyjesters are about to push the red button.
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.
“a disciple of swing and improvisation…”
PJ Perry has shared the stage with countless jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw, Michel LeGrand, Pepper Adams, Kenny Wheeler, Tom Harrell, Rob McConnell, Slide Hampton, Herb Spanier, Bobby Shew, Fraser McPherson, Tommy Banks, Joe LaBarbera, Clarence “Big” Miller, Red Rodney and many more talented artists, too numerous to list here. Recently, he was a featured soloist on the hit 2010 Broadway production of Come Fly Away, highlighting the songs of Frank Sinatra and the choreography of Twyla Tharpe.
In 2007 PJ was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Alberta.
In autumn of 1999 Justin Time Records released a JUNO-nominated recording of PJ and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. PJ Perry has become recognized by critics, colleagues and listeners as being one of North America’s premier saxophonists.
Winner of a 1993 JUNO Award for Best Jazz Recording for his album My Ideal, PJ has received Jazz Report magazine’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Alto Sax for a record-breaking seven years; from 1993 to 1999.
In 2016 PJ Perry was awarded the Order of Canada by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.
People aspire to be master of many skills and Al Muirhead is one who has accomplished this dream and has no plans of slowing down. Whether it is playing a sweet and melodic trumpet solo, composing and arranging for a big band, small ensemble or orchestra, performing one take sessions on recordings or mentoring young musicians, Al is an inspiration in the Canadian music scene and is known as the “Elder statesman of Jazz Trumpet in Alberta”.
Al has recorded as a sideman on 26 albums and recently released his first solo album featuring himself and old friend Tommy Banks called ‘It’s About Time’. The critically acclaimed album received a JUNO nomination in 2016. Al and Tommy began their friendship when they were 15 and have remained friends until Tommy’s untimely passing 2 years ago. As a special guest, Al features Juno winning saxophonist and Order of Canada recipient PJ Perry. All three musicians are featured on Al’s sophomore album ‘Oop!’ released in early 2016.
The lists of musicians with whom Al has performed with speak highly of his skill. Dizzy Gillespie, Guido Basso, Tommy Banks, Diana Krall, Paul Anka, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Mills & P.J. Perry top the lists. In 2008 Al had the honor of recording “All the Stars aren’t in the Sky” with the all-star ensemble; Ted Godwin, Tommy Banks, Ryga Campbell, George Koller and Blaine Wikjord. This limited release is just a sign of things to come for Al.
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.
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.
The Overdue Blues Band was created late in October 2011. The band members forming the group are seasoned veterans in the music scene, each bringing a diverse approach in their craft.
The band has released a 3 song demo ‘Unleashed’ and since has received radio play on the syndicated radio show ATC and on the Blues Witness, CJSW Radio 90.9FM.
They played at the 2012 Calgary Blues Festival and were finalists in the Edmonton Blues Society’s Memphis Blues Bound Challenge, competing against seasoned veterans Big Hank and a Fist Full of Blues, Jimmy and the Sleepers and Boogie Patrol.
The group has received much praise, and is gaining an ever-growing fan base in Edmonton, Calgary and Camrose. Currently the Overdue Blues Band are hard at work writing material for their full length album. Be prepared to put on those dancing shoes!
|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