Karl Schwonik - Artistic Director, DrumsetKarin Plato - Vocals - Special Guest Artist
Named one of Calgary’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’, YAMAHA Drum Artist and legally blind drummer Karl Schwonik grew up on a farm near Gwynne, Alberta. Early on, he was exposed to a wide range of musical situations ranging from jazz to polka. Fresh out of high school, Schwonik embarked on a tour with 2-time Canadian Country Music Award Nominee Heather-Dawn. This was followed by an invitation to study at the Banff Centre where Schwonik was the youngest participant ever in the long-term career residency program.
Still in his 20’s, Schwonik has an extremely active schedule; he has completed over twenty-five substantial tours throughout North America as a leader. In his travels, Schwonik has performed in country barns, world-class jazz clubs and concert halls such as Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center. His third of four recordings on Chronograph Records, 1+4, was #1 on Canadian jazz radio charts for nearly 2 months. Both 1+4 and Schwonik’s first album, Visions From the Farm, were nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for ‘Jazz Recording of the Year’.
Karin Plato grew up on the prairies in a small farming community called Alsask in the province of Saskatchewan. She studied the piano throughout her childhood. She later attended the University of Saskatchewan where she received her Bachelor of Music Degree in piano and voice. In 1985 she moved to Vancouver to study jazz and arranging at Capilano College. In 1996 and 1998 she studied vocal jazz at the Banff Centre For The Fine Arts with vocalists Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton.
In the late 1990s Karin seriously began to pursue a career as a jazz vocalist and composer. She began to appear in Vancouver jazz clubs performing a repertoire of jazz standards and originals and started performing in jazz festivals and concerts in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Karin recorded her first album of jazz standards and originals in 1996 on a recording called Pastiche. In 1998 she recorded There's Beauty in the Rain for which she was nominated for a Juno award. (2000 Juno Awards) In the winter of 2000 Karin released two new recordings: Blue Again; a collection of duets; and Snowflake Season; a jazz/Christmas recording. In 2003 she released her fifth album The State of Bliss which features a guest appearance by Canadian vocalist Denzal Sinclaire on two duets.
James Davis - Trumpet **Guest Performer
James Davis, a Chicago trumpeter and music maker, is comfortable in and always exploring a wide array of musical environments. As an improviser and composer, Davis is involved in a diverse blend of musical communities in the Chicago area. James’ diverse performance experience includes performances with the The Glenn Miller Orchestra, the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band, Chuchito Valdes, Rob Parton’s Jazz Tech Big Band, Alan Gresik’s Swing Shift Orchestra, the Tomorrow Music Orchestra, Zing!, the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Wind Symphony, Camerata Winds, and other jazz, classical and Latin music groups.
Kodi Hutchinson - Bass
One of the most active musicians in Western Canada, double bassist Kodi Hutchinson is man who wears many hats. As well as running his own musical group the ‘Hutchinson Andrew Trio’ and record label Chronograph Records, Kodi is a sought after side-man on both double bass and electric bass.
Described by those who know him as creative, introspective and just a happy-go-lucky guy, Kodi started his musical career in jazz while attending the University of Calgary. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce in 1995, but followed his true passion and jumped into playing music full-time shortly thereafter. Since those early beginnings, Kodi has established himself as one of the top call bassists in Alberta. He has worked with artists such as P.J. Perry, Lee Konitz, Walt Weiskopf, Karl Schwonik, Dave Restivo, Owen Howard, Hugh Fraser, Paul Tobey, Ingrid Jensen, Denny Christianson, Ross Taggart, Mike Murley, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Theatre Calgary and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.
Kodi’s wide range of musical tastes have allowed him to tour throughout North America and Europe with such groups as ‘Karl Schwonik’, ‘Clanterra’, ‘Destino’, ‘Johanna Sillanpaa’ as well as ‘Sillan & Young’. Both Hutchinson Andrew Trio albums, ‘Lost but not forgotten’ (2006), and ‘Music Box’ (2008) were nominated for the Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording. His boutique jazz record label, Chronograph Records, was nominated for Independent Record Label of the Year in 2009 & 2011 - a testament to his hard work and passion for promoting Western Canadian artists.
Gerry Hébert - Saxophones
Gerry has been playing for 28 years and his professional saxophone career began 18 years ago. Music studies have included a 2 year diploma in music performance from Grande Prairie Regional College, a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Calgary, an 8 month study period in French language and music in Paris, France and numerous residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Extensive performance experience with The Swinging Bovines have included releasing 3 C D’s and performed over 500 concerts on tours across Canada, the United States and Europe.
Gerry released his first solo CD, The Beat Niq Sessions Volume 1: 6th Ave & 2am, in 2003. His 2nd CD entitled The Beat Niq Sessions Volume 2: Constructive Interference was released in early 2008. The group most recently released the group's 3rd CD in November 2010. The CD is entitled: Beat Niq Sessions Volume 3: Conversations. He has performed on over 20 Compact Disc recordings and is also active in arts administration, marketing and music publishing.
Andrea Case - Assistant Director
Cellist Andrea Case has a Master’s Degree in cello performance from McGill University where she studied on scholarship with Antonio Lysy. She spent her childhood in Calgary where she studied with John Kadz at the Mount Royal Conservatory. She made her solo debut in 1997 after winning the Calgary Concerto Competition. Andrea is co-founder and principal cellist of Players Ensemble. This ensemble, now in its sixth season in Calgary, explores new venues and genres for classical instruments. Andrea is the cellist of the Lily String Quartet, a group that is often heard live on CBC and has performed concerts for The Instrumental Society of Calgary, New Works Calgary, One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre’s High Performance Rodeo, The Banff Centre and the Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival. Lily String Quartet toured Western Canada in 2009, presenting a total of 31 concerts and outreach programs throughout Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. As well as being an avid chamber musician, Andrea is sought after as an orchestral musician, coach and teacher. She is currently the Cello Coordinator for the Amici strings program, has adjudicated at festivals throughout Alberta and British Columbia, and teaches at the CASS-Amici summer program as well as the Wetaskiwin Jazz Camp. Andrea currently resides in Calgary with her husband, jazz drummer Karl Schwonik.
Chris Andrew – Piano
Pianist and Composer Chris Andrew, a well-known quantity throughout Western Canada, is starting to reach out, and make his name in the larger world of Jazz. A 3-time Western Canadian Music Awards Nominee for Outstanding Jazz with his own group, the Hutchinson Andrew Trio (2006/2008), and with latin-jazz group Bomba (2008), Chris has also been honoured on a national stage. In 2008, Chris was awarded the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Canadian National Jazz Awards for recognition of his virtuosic talent as well as being nominated for the Montreal International Jazz Festival’s CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award. In 2010, he was also named one of Edmonton’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ for his contribution to Edmonton’s thriving musical community.
Like so many other great Canadian musicians, Chris started his journey on the west coast of Canada. Early on, the Campbell River, B.C. native travelled to Edmonton, AB to study with jazz luminary, Senator Tommy Banks. Chris has shown his strong musical ability and diversity through working with artists in genres as varied as jazz, funk, pop, latin, and musical theatre. He has studied in Cuba and has toured across Canada and Europe countless times in a number of bands in various musical styles.
On faculty at Grant MacEwan University, Chris is well known as a jazz educator. However, it is his ability to play that has garnered Chris the most attention. Chris’ resume lists a veritable who’s who of jazz. Chris has performed with Joshua Redman, Sonny Fortune, Bud Shank, Pete Christlieb, Joe LaBarbera, P.J. Perry, Remi Bolduc, Kirk MacDonald, Paquito D’Rivera, Brad Turner, and Steve Wallace just to name some highlights.