Cox, Keen and Smith - Valentine's Trio February 17 at Sylvan Jazz Vespers


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Saturday, February 17th at 4:30

Jazz Vespers at Sylvan United Church in Mill Bay, British Columbia brings a sweetheart trio to the little red church in the round for an afternoon's entertainment. Light refreshments served after the program. 985 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd., Mill Bay Admission by donation at the door.

Don Cox, acoustic bass:
Born in Port Alberni in 1947. Began music lessons at age 6. In high School, studied tuba and was introduced to the acoustic bass, playing both instruments in his high school band. Don discovered Jazz and studied bass with Barry Miller, playing in his Barry's quartet for several years. Upon graduation, Don joined the Canadian Navy as a musician and studied at the Royal Canadian School of Music in Esquimalt.

Upon graduation Don was posted to the Naden Band to begin what was to be a long, illustrious career in music as both performer and instructor. While in the military, Don pursued a parallel career as a civilian musician, playing with many local groups as well as touring performers. Artists with whom Don has worked include; Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Eddy “Lockjaw" Davis, Lorne Lofski, and others. He has also performed on many recordings as well as Jazz Radio Canada presentations and as bassist for various shows.

Locally, Don works regularly with the Dave Keen Quartet, Dixieland Express, Monday Night Big Band, the Civic Orchestra of Victoria. In demand as a musician and mentor, Don also teaches privately at his home in Victoria.

David Keen, tenor sax:
David began playing clarinet at age 15. He studied classical clarinet with Prof John Davies of the Royal Academy of Music and Jazz clarinet with Charles Chapman a local teacher and BBC Studio player.

1962 saw what later became known as the “trad" boom in Europe and Dave was now a regular member of several semi-pro “trad" bands on the circuit. His early influences were Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Omer Simeon, Johnny Dodds and George Lewis to name a few. “I listened to everything I could from that genre." By the mid 60's Dave discovered Clifford Brown, bebop and a completely new approach to playing the clarinet. 1970ish Dave and his new wife made a trip to New York and eventually landed up in Victoria where he and his new wife settled, “temporarily ... now, almost 40 years later, we're still here."

From 1970 till 1980 Dave experimented with the saxophone family and different genres of Jazz but the emphasis was on Early Bop and the post hard bop styles. By 1980 the flute, soprano, alto and baritone saxophones had gone and Dave decided to concentrate on the tenor saxophone. “... I never had the heart to sell the clarinet and hope to someday get my chops back together on clarinet." His main influences currently. Stan Getz, Stanley Turrentine, Dexter Gordon, Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie “Bird" Parker and pretty much anything on the Blue Note Label recorded in the 50s and 60s.

Dave is often dubbed, “the Art Blakey of Vancouver Island" because of all the young players who went through the band in the early days. Notably, Russ Botten, Neil Swainson, John Forrest, Rick Bird, Hugh Fraser, Glen Halls, John Bartrum. George Dixon, Rick Whitehouse, Bruce Hurn, Kim Ratcliff, Josh Dixon, Brent Jarvis, and Stacey Benn.

Joey Smith, guitar:
Joey Smith came to Victoria from Tennessee via the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with whom he toured as bassist for more than two years. He holds a Masters Degree in Music from the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York.

He is now settled in Victoria, B.C. as a full time musician, teacher and arranger. He is the busiest musician in the city, working with a diverse cross-section of musical styles, and also recording and touring with the Marc Atkinson Trio which has received accolades from throughout North America.

He plays in every musical venue there is with a variety of bands and styles. He has played bass in theater productions and concerts with such stars as John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, Houston Person, and many others over the years. He has written an arrangement for symphony and jazz trio, “Tribute to Louis Armstrong" in which he has also performed.

Some of the musicians with whom Joey has worked include Herb Ellis, Rosemary Clooney, Charlie Byrd, Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine. Locally, Joey works regularly with the Karel Roessingh Trio, the Marc Atkinson Trio, Daniel Lapp's tribute to Chet Baker and CanUS.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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