251 Victoria Street, Toronto, On  (416) 363-5299
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September 12 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm EDT

John Sherwood

Born in Oakville Ontario in 1961, raised in St. Catharines, John Sherwood started his formal training at the age of five. At age three his father discovered he had an unusually keen ear for music and began a short series of tests to confirm he had been born with perfect pitch. This would for the most part prove to be a great asset later on as John listened to what other pianists were doing in jazz following his classical studies.

His formal (classical) piano training came entirely in the form of private instruction by several teachers throughout the fifteen years and by the time John reached high school he was studying at an A.R.C.T. (Associates of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) level. As many of his classmates listened to popular music on the radio, John was being exposed to a variety of music at home. His older brothers and sisters were all playing the piano as well as other instruments and his father, accepting John’s fading interest in classical music, presented him with the challenge of playing jazz on the piano. This indeed was the only form of music that would truly challenge John to maintain the level of technique he had developed. His father was also aware of the benefits of maintaining the practice routine to help John’s discipline in other areas. He also could see the confidence level enhanced as this new music began to come out. John was playing more easily in front of people.

Although John’s dad started the ball rolling, bringing home albums by Tete Montoliu and Clare Fischer, it was his older brother who gave him the first Oscar Peterson recording in 1978. (“The Paris Concert” Pablo Live, Salle Pleyel, 1978) This would mark a whole new obsession for the music. John began transcribing what would be many pages of Peterson’s work from this and other albums. This recording proved to be an excellent cross section sampler of the many trademarks we associate with Oscar Peterson such as stride, boogie woogie and delicately voiced ballads.

Today John Sherwood has his own sound. You will not hear as many of the O.P. lines and runs when he sits down to play, but the influence is unmistakable. John was able to look beyond the blinding technique and blistering tempos and realize what makes any piano player great: Touch. The way the note is articulated is what makes it special. “I’ve merely scratched the surface on a few areas of Peterson’s work, but those few areas dominate my way of thinking about the piano. Always. Even when I’m not playing in that style. The classical background is essential in developing touch, tone and technique. In jazz, it’s the rhythm. Once you have that rhythmic concept, the rest falls into place.”

John Sherwood is easily among the top jazz pianists in Canada today. His strong foundation in classical music is apparent, but does not overshadow his ability to swing. “In the town in southern Ontario where I grew up, there is an outstanding young pianist named John Sherwood.” -Gene Lees, Downbeat Magazine. “Sherwood is firmly of the Oscar Peterson school. His feature, I’m Falling in Love With Love was music that was beautifully constructed, brilliantly executed and of deeply lyrical quality and he swung mightily all evening long.” -Hugh Fraser, The Spectator. John appears regularly with Peter Appleyard, and has also performed or recorded with Moe Koffman, Guido Basso, Kenny Wheeler, Rob McConnell, Ed Bickert, Jake Hanna and Butch Miles to name a few.

Pat Collins

Pat Collins was raised in Qualicum Beach, B.C. He attended Malaspina College in Nanaimo, B.C., and in 1986 received a grant from the Canada Council to attend the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Ma., where he studied for two years. In 1988, Pat moved to Toronto, where he has been very active on the Canadian jazz scene, performing with great musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Herb Ellis, Lee Konitz, Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, Moe Koffman, Oliver Jones, Peter Appleyard, Diana Krall, Don Thompson, and many others. In addition to his busy performing schedule, Pat is also in demand as a clinician and teacher. He keeps a very busy private teaching schedule, as well as being on the faculty of “The” Jazz Camp, the Kincardine Summer Music Festival, Humber College, and Mohawk College.

Terry Clarke

International jazz drummer, Terry Clarke, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and began displaying his rhythmic aptitude at a very early age. He was twelve years old when he began studying formally with noted drum teacher and author, Jim Blackley. Blackley was, and is to this day, a primary and ongoing figure in Terry’s continuing development as a musician.

In 1965, Terry moved to San Francisco to work with the legendary saxophonist, John Handy III. He performed with Handy for the next two and a half years, during which time the GRAMMY nominated recording, Live at The Monterey Jazz Festival (Columbia – 1966) was made. Following the John Handy experience (which included Terry’s long-time musical collaborator and friend, Don Thompson), Terry began building his reputation for versatility by joining the world-famous pop vocal group, “The Fifth Dimension”. The Grammy-winning group was at the height of their popularity, and Terry traveled and performed extensively with them throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Europe.

Terry left “The Fifth” in 1970, and subsequently re-located to Toronto. For the next fifteen years, he played an abundance of jazz in all styles, and established himself as a major figure in Toronto’s then-considerable studio scene. Countless television shows, jingles and recording dates were Terry’s mainstay, as well performances in legendary Toronto jazz clubs, “George’s Spaghetti House”, “Bourbon Steet” and “Basin Street” – often working with international jazz figures such as Frank Rossolino and Lenny Breau. During this time, Terry also toured extensively in Japan and Europe with jazz guitar legend, Jim Hall and piano great, Oscar Peterson.

Terry Clarke is well known as an original member of the world-acclaimed jazz big-band, “Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass”. For twenty-five years he recorded and toured with the ensemble, helping to define it’s remarkable and dynamic signature sound. In 1985, looking for greater musical challenges, Terry moved to New York City to pursue an exclusively jazz-oriented career. During his tenure there, he worked and recorded with The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Helen Merrill, Toots Theilemans, Ann Hampton Callaway, Red Mitchell, Marvin Stamm, Jim Hall, Bill Mays, Roger Kellaway and the late Joe Roccisano (to name just a few).


September 12
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm