SKIP'S FALL JAZZ FRIENDS
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see details on how YOU can become part of Skip's Jazz Friends Compilation CD due out later this year. Or go to the JUNE archive to see info.
Check out some of the newest entries and don't forget to check out some of the ones from our Summer collection.
Born in Toronto, Canada, trombonist Russ Little was raised on the island of Jamaica for the first few years of his life before moving back to Canada to attend Malvern Collegiate Institute and the University of Toronto where he attained (in 1966) his honours degree in the Humanities, with special emphasis on History and English. It was during his time at Malvern Collegiate that he was taught trombone (and inspired by) the legendary teacher-trombonist George M. McRae. By 1968 he was touring with the Woody Herman Orchestra as lead trombone
and featured soloist and later, with the Count Basie Orchestra, he filled a similar role.
While touring with these famed jazz orchestras, he found time to become an original member of Canada's famed Rock Orchestra, "Lighthouse", a band with which he continues to perform. For fans of classic rock, "Lighthouse" hits include such monsters as "Sunny Days", "One Fine Morning", and "Hats Off To the Stranger".
Through the early '70's, Russ Little performed in the world famous "Boss Brass", while pursuing a very successful career as conductor/composer/arranger for the CBC, CTV and Global television networks in Canada. He was also constantly busy writing and conducting for NBC, ABC, General Motors, NFL Football and the famed SCTV comedy series in which he worked closely for many years with John Candy, Eugene Levy and Martin Short.
A consistently busy session-musician throughout his career, Russ decided that after a lifetime spent performing on other people's CDs, it was time to create his own. "Snapshot" was the first result of that decision. His second album "Footwork"debuted in 2006 to critical acclaim and worlwide sales. His third album, "On the Shoulders Of Giants" was released in the Spring of 2008 and has been received with great interest, praise and excitement by musicians, critics and fans, alike. In the early Spring of 2011 Russ Little released his 4th album, "Slow Burn" to world-wide acclaim for what has been described as its "effortless ease of virtuosity" and "its vast range of appeal to all jazz fans and musicians".
Paul Hoffert has the soul of an artist and the mind of a scientist. Mr. Hoffert is Digital Media Professor at York University, Chair of Screen Composers Guild of Canada, Chair of the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, and President of the Glenn Gould Foundation (US). He is former Faculty Fellow at Harvard Law School, President of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Chair of the Ontario Arts Council, and a founder of the Canadian Independent Record Producers Association (CIMA).
By the time he was twenty-six, Mr. Hoffert was an established jazz recording artist, television performer, off-Broadway musical author, film composer, and had studied mathematics and physics at the University of Toronto. That year (1969) he co-founded Lighthouse, a rock band with horns and strings that sold millions of records, toured the world and earned three Juno Awards as Canada’s # 1 pop band (1971-1973). Hoffert continues to perform regularly with Lighthouse and as a jazz pianist.
Hoffert has parallel achievements in science and technology. He was a researcher at the National Research Council of Canada in the 1970s and in 1992, he founded CulTech Research Centre at York University, where he developed advanced new media such as video telephones and Internet distribution of CDs and DVDs. From 1994 to 1999, he directed Intercom Ontario, a $100 million trial of the world's first broadband-connected community that landed him on the cover of the Financial Post and in the Wall Street Journal.
He was inducted into the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, received the Pixel award as the New Media industry’s “Visionary of the Year” in 2002, and received the “Order of Canada” in 2005 for his contributions to music, media, and society.
Hoffert has authored best-selling books on the Digital Age, a textbook on composing music for videogames, and is an entertaining and popular speaker, bringing clarity to new perspectives to complex issues.