Anyone who believes that the only music that comes out of Alberta is Country & Western is in for a surprise when the Karl Schwonik Quartet plays ArtSpring on Thursday, March 15 .
Karl may have been born on a farm near Gwynne, AB and brought up on fairly predictable musical fare, but the moment he finished high school he hit the road as a jazz drummer and never looked back.
That road lead him from the Banff Centre, where he was the youngest participant ever in their long-term career residency programme, to two Western Canada Music Awards for Jazz Recording of the Year, to performances at Carnegie Hall and the John F Kennedy Centre. He has received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award and sits on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
“One of Canada’s most brilliant musicians,” is how Dr Jeremy Brown of the University of Calgary Department of Music describes him.
Not so bad for someone who is still in his twenties and is legally blind to boot.
As if the musical accomplishments of Karl Schwonik’s jazz ensemble weren’t enough, the evening will also feature the participation of Rémi Bolduc, widely recognized as the greatest alto sax player in Canada.
Hailing from Ste-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Bolduc started playing in the jazz clubs of Montreal at age 15. A few years later, big band leader and composer Vic Vogel took notice of then 19-year-old musician and immediately praised his new protégé by saying that “he plays like the devil”! Since then he has played clubs across the country and in New York, Paris, Geneva, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Peking.
“For lovers of jazz this will be an evening to remember,” says ArtSpring Executive Director George Sipos. “Brilliant young musicians from Western Canada and a renowned veteran from Quebec. Our theatre will swing for sure.”
Tickets for the 8:00pm performance are available from the ArtSpring Ticket Centre – 537-2102 or online.