©Brett Delmage, 2017
Returning CYJO members Gabe Paul (tenor sax) and Eric Littlewood (trumpet) were joined by Ray Sun (trombone), one of three women in twelve new members joining the band this year ©Brett Delmage, 2017

Capital Youth Jazz Orchestra
Fall 2017 Concert
Kailash Mital Theatre, Carleton University
Sunday, December 3, 2017 – 7 p.m.

View photos by Brett Delmage of this performance

The Capital Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO) opened its 9th season on Sunday with a wide-ranging concert which showed the variety of music that can be played by a big band.

Blues, ballads, Latin, and straight-out swing were all featured in CYJO's eight-song single set. The orchestra is directed by trumpeter Nick Dyson, who has a deep love of and knowledge of big band music. He picked arrangements from famous bands led by Woody Herman, Doc Severinsen, and Stan Kenton, but also by more modern arrangers including Tommy Kubis and Michel Camilo. Canadians were included, too, with a Maynard Ferguson number, and with a Latin tune which Mark Ferguson had arranged for Ottawa's Latin big band, Los Gringos.

It was mostly upbeat music and the orchestra played it with zest. Dyson primarily featured returning orchestra members in the solos: trumpeter Eric Littlewood creating evocative melodies in “Georgia On My Mind”, Gabe Paul in a sinuous sax solo in “I Ain't Got Nobody”, Chris Wiley creating bluesy trombone lines in “One More Once”, Garrett Warner on guitar and Zachary Sedlar on alto sax in “Things Ain't What They Used To Be”, and Anthony Kubelka with a fast, percussive piano solo in “Sunny Ray”.

This is a building year for CYJO, which consists of university and advanced high-school-age students in the Ottawa area. Twelve of CYJO's 17 members are new this year, including three female musicians (Jennie Seaborn on drums, Melissa Brown on tenor sax, and Ray Sun on trombone). Dyson said he was very pleased to have more women participating in the band.

The next CYJO concert will be a “competition” between the style of two famous jazz band-leaders: Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Dyson told the audience that the Cotton Club in New York City used to hold competitions between big bands with them playing alternating sets and ending the evening with a jam. For CYJO's February 18 concert at Kailash Mital Theatre, he plans to have one set of Ellington arrangements, and one of Count Basie arrangements, and maybe even have the orchestra play one song twice – once Ellington style, once Count Basie style – so that both the students and the audience can hear the difference.

This week is a busy one for student big bands. On Tuesday, December 5, two long-standing and award-winning student bands, the Nepean All-City Jazz Band (NACJB) and the Ottawa Junior Jazz Band, will perform their regular joint concert at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School in Barrhaven. Several CYJO members also play in the NACJB.

And then on Friday, December 8, a brand-new student big band makes its concert debut. The Nepean All-City Lab Band, led by Jean-François Fauteux and Stephen Szabo, is an offshoot of the NACJB. Its first show will be held at John McCrae Secondary School in Barrhaven.

Set List

  1. I Love Paris (Stan Kenton arrangement)
  2. A Minor Affair (Sammy Nestico)
  3. I Ain't Got Nobody (arranged by Tommy Kubis)
  4. One More Once (Michael Camilo)
  5. Knarf (Maynard Ferguson)
  6. Georgia On My Mind (arranged by Tommy Newsom for the Doc Severinsen The Tonight Show Band)
  7. Things Ain't What They Used To Be (Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd)
  8. Sunny Ray (by Ray Santos, arranged by Mark Ferguson for Los Gringos)