Don Thompson Quartet

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Don Thompson Quartet

The Quartet's performance is accompanied by a workshop/clinic from 4-5:15pm at the Long & McQuade Music Education Centre. Please see the workshop tab for more info.

The Don Thompson Quartet combines a respect for the traditions of great jazz music with the forward thinking originality of the great innovators. Pianist/vibraphonist/composer Don Thompson, and drummer Terry Clarke have been musical partners for over 40 years and both hold well-earned legendary status in Canada and around the world. They have appeared together with renowned groups such as the John Handy Quintet, Jim Hall Trio, Boss Brass, Sonny Greenwich and many others. Individually they have appeared with Kenny Wheeler, Art Farmer, Milt Jackson, Helen Merrill, Renee Rosnes and countless others. In 2006, Don was recognized for his lifetime contribution to music with a special tribute concert in Toronto, featuring Dave Holland, Jim Hall, John Handy, Terry Clarke and Phil Dwyer. This was a fitting recognition for over 40 years as a world-class musician and educator.

In 1982 during his early years as a teacher at the famed Banff Centre jazz program Don came into contact with Phil Dwyer and Jim Vivian. Phil and Jim were students at the time, and they both formed a deep and lasting friendship with Don. This was the genesis of the current Don Thompson Quartet, and when Terry Clarke moved back to Canada after many years in New York the pieces all fell in to place for the birth of this remarkable group. Phil Dwyer and Jim Vivian have themselves been important contributors to the Canadian and international music scene in their 20+ year careers. Phil is widely recognized as one of the most talented and accomplished saxophonists and writers of his generation. He has appeared on 6 Juno-winning recordings, over a dozen other nominated recordings, and is also a multiple winner at the “National Jazz Awards”. Jim has appeared with leading jazz groups such as Mike Murley Quartet/Quintet, Boss Brass, Jeff Johnston, Shuffle Demons and many others.

The Don Thompson Quartet uses its virtuosic abilities, shifting instrumentation and encyclopedic historical knowledge to create a musical pallet of incredible range. The music is influenced and informed by a love of Bach, Bill Evans, Art Tatum, Keith Jarrett and John Coltrane, among others, but is distilled into a refined and integrated group sound that is the product of so much mutual history and respect. Their first recording, Ask Me Later (CBC Records), was released in 2005 and received the Juno Award for “Best Mainstream Jazz Album”. Their new recording, For Kenny Wheeler on Sackville Records has just been released.

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Don Thompson
Terry Clarke
Phil Dwyer
Jim Vivian

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