We introduce you to the Calgary Jazz Orchestra musicians. These are not only outstanding musicians, but they are also incredible people who make this orchestra the fun-loving, high quality and exceptional group you will experience at our shows. All photos are courtesy of Doug Wong.
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Johnny Summers is a multifaceted musician making his mark as a trumpeter, vocalist, arranger, composer and director. He has worked and performed with award-winning artists including, Bobby Shew, Maria Schneider, Ellis Marsalis, Tommy Banks, and Guido Basso to name a few. Johnny is the founding director of the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, and he writes and arranges well over half of the music performed by the CJO. As a writer and recording artist, Johnny has received much critical acclaim. He is the recipient of 11 Global Music Awards, 2 Gospel Music Awards and numerous nominations including one for an AMPIA award for best original film score for Burlesque Assassins. Award-winning Suite Jubilation, includes artists of the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, New West Symphony Chorus, Dee Daniels and Vincent Gardner. His seventh studio album, Baker's Dozen, was released February 2020 as a debut for Cellar Music Group.
Gerry Hébert was awarded a Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary, pursued Jazz and Classical Saxophone studies in Paris, France and attended various residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Currently, Gerry is the Vice President and event coordinator for JazzYYC, Calgary’s jazz collaborative. Gerry is an active performer with credits that include many appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, multiple professional theatre productions, the Calgary Jazz Orchestra and his own Gerry Hébert quartet which has released three CD recordings. Overall, Gerry has appeared on over 25 CD recordings as well as numerous television and radio broadcasts.
Richard Harding is a professional saxophonist who has performed with many outstanding groups including the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Lorna MacLachlan Quintet, Soul Providers, Penguins on Broadway, TR3, Tim Tamashiro Orchestra, and his own jazz quartet. His most recent show experience includes Billie Elliot at Theatre Calgary, the Roy Orbison Hologram Tour, La La Land, Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, Let’s Dance and Sinatra and Beyond with the CPO, and Dancers in Love with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. Richard’s soulful playing can be found on a number of recordings including CDs of the CJO, Lorna MacLachlan Quintet, CPO, The Henry Cowell Wind Band, Tim Tamashiro Terrain, Bluesland, and Camie Leard. Richard is currently a music educator at the Calgary Board of Education.
Shane Statz studied at Humberg University with a major in music performance on woodwinds and moved to Calgary in 2003. He opened his own professional storefront studio Anacrusis Music in the Haysboro Community of Calgary in 2009 where he offers lessons and workshops to all ages and levels of musicians. Shane is an active performer, composer, and arranger leading his own ensembles and performing regularly with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra and other groups in the city.
When not performing, arranging or composing Shane is an active educator as a clinician for the public, private and separate school boards.
Sarah Matheson-Nadeau holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts in Music Psychology from the University of Sheffield, with her research focusing on music's role in film, video games, and popular culture. Sarah performs regularly with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra and various other ensembles in Calgary, Edmonton, and the surrounding areas, and is a faculty member at Mount Royal University in the Film Studies and General Education departments. In addition to recording with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra on "When It's Christmas Time" and "Suite Jubilation", Sarah can be heard on the Jim Brenan 11 album entitled 50/50.
Jay Michalak is a native of Chicago, Illinois and received his B. Mus from Northwestern University. He completed his Master's degree at the University of British Columbia in 2000. In 2001, he joined the internationally recognized Foothills Brass Quintet and has been a solo trumpeter with the group since. Jay was a finalist in the 2004 Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition and in the 2006 Jeju International Brass Competition. He was a featured performer at the 2008 International Trumpet Conference. In demand as one of Canada’s leading trumpeters, Jay is a regular performer with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, and the Johnny Summers Little Big Band. Jay has been featured as a soloist with the CPO, the Edmonton Symphony, the Lethbridge Symphony, the Calgary Civic Symphony, the Calgary Wind Symphony, Alberta Winds, and Kensington Sinfonia. Jay has just completed his Bachelor of Education at UBC.
Richard Scholz has been a professional trumpet player for over 25 years in the Calgary area. Described as a “commanding, dynamic player”, he has been the principal trumpet player for the Red Deer Symphony since 2009 and has been performing with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995. Richard is currently a member of Rosa Baroqua and has also played with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, and Theatre Calgary.
Jon Day is a sought-after trumpet player and pianist, accompanist, director, educator, and orchestrator and composer based in Calgary. He studied at McGill University. As a freelance performer, Jon has had the privilege of sharing the stage with an extensive roster of world-call artists both here in Calgary and abroad. Jon was an early member of the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, performing at several of the first events. Following several years of traveling and working abroad, Jon has returned as a member of the orchestra. He has recorded with several local artists including Joanna Borromeo (“Kaleidoscope”), Keith O’Rourke (“Sketches from the Road”) and Ellen Doty (“That’s love”).
Brian Walley graduated from the University of Calgary. He has played with several prominent productions including the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Band, Ice Capades, South Pacific, A Chorus Line, Tom Foolery and The Full Monty. Brian currently plays lead trombone in the Calgary Jazz Orchestra. He is a regular performer with Johnny Summer’s Little Big Band and the Ray Charles Tribute Orchestra. He has appeared with Harry Connick Jr, Red Skelton, Diana Krall, Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Rawls, P.J. Perry, KD Lang, Tommy Banks, and many others. Brian plays on numerous recordings and currently performs with a variety of groups. He is an active teacher and clinician.
Tim Embree started his professional career as a trombonist in the military. After playing in several professional military bands and touring extensively across Canada, Europe, and Australia, he settled in Calgary. For the past 20 years, he’s been a freelance player in Calgary performing in many groups covering everything from classical, Latin, jazz and R&B. He is a long-time member of the Calgary Jazz Orchestra.
Dylan Martin has performed extensively on 3 continents, winning the coveted Drum Corps International Performers' Showcase in 2014 as a member of the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps. Dylan received his Music and Education degrees at the University of Calgary, studying with James Scott. Dylan's influences include Joseph Alessi, Alain Trudel, and Christian Lindberg. He performs frequently as a jazz and orchestral player on Trombone and Euphonium.
Greg Robertson studied music at the University of Calgary, graduating in 1998 with a B. Mus. He has performed in Calgary with a variety of groups including the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, Altius Brass and the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. Among his musical influences, Greg lists the late American jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius and bass trombonist, George Roberts, Frank Sinatra, and Darth Vader! Greg has performed on two CD’s with Johnny Summers, and, when not performing, he teaches private lessons.
Neil McVey is a regular jazz guitarist in a number of Calgary bands. He studied at Mohawk College in Hamilton and Humber College in Toronto. He has also been involved in the Jazz Workshops of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Neil studied privately with Reg Schwager and Lorne Lofsky. His music was influenced by a broad array of artists including Wes Montgomery, Ed Bickert, Jim Hall, Sonny Greenwich, and John Abercrombie. Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, and Kenny Wheeler rank high in the non-guitarist category. Neil teaches at Ambrose University and offers private lessons. Neil is well-versed in many musical genres and has recorded with an array of artists including Kenny Wheeler, PJ Perry, Jon Faddis, Renee Fleming, Denzal Sinclair, Cheryl Fisher, Henri Brown, Johnny Summers and members of the Platters, the Drifters as well as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Theatre Calgary.
Egor Ukoloff is originally from Russia and has a master’s in jazz after graduating from Rostov-on-Don Music College and Rostov-on-on State Conservatory as a jazz pianist. As a performer, arranger, composer, educator, and bandleader, Egor went on to become one of Canada’s top and busiest piano players. His experience includes both private and public appearances, in Canada and overseas. He has worked in recording studios as a producer or sideman. Egor currently performs as a featured artist for many events sponsored by Steinway Piano Gallery in Calgary.
Kodi Hutchinson started his career in jazz while attending the University of Calgary where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce in 1995. He soon after followed his true passion and pursued a full-time career in music. Besides being a sought-after sideman on the double bass and the electric bass, Kodi’s versatility and passion for music are evidenced by his work with his own musical group, the Hutchinson Andrew Trio, his CKUA radio show A Time for Jazz, and his record label, Chronograph Records. Cody has worked with artists such as P.J. Perry, Laila Biali, Oliver Jones, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, to name a few. In 2013, the Hutchinson Andrew Trio won the prestigious TD Grand Jazz Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. All the trio’s albums have been nominated for Western Canadian Music Awards for Outstanding Jazz Recording. Chronograph Records was nominated for Independent Record Label of the year in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Jim Johnston is a graduate of Humber College’s performance program. He studied with some of Canada’s premier jazz musicians and drummers of all genres. A highly versatile drummer, Jim has worked with both cover and original projects, from folk, country, jazz, RnB, hip-hop, big band, blues, reggae, Celtic and African. As well as performing with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra, Jim’s busy career has included performances with Juno-nominated Joanna Borromeo, Maple Blues award-winning Kirby Sewell Band, CBC radio host, and crooner Tim Tamashiro, as well as the premier event bands Billboard Collective and Side One. Though Jim loves the performance aspect of music, he also imparts his love of the craft through his teaching.