“After you’ve done all the work and prepared as much as you can, what the hell, you might as well go out and have a good time,” said late clarinetist Benny Goodman, who led one of the most popular swing bands in the U.S. between 1936 and the mid 1940s.
It is a quote that could well be attributed to the Salmon Arm Jazz Club, whose members practise often, play together happily and will open their new season with a salute to Goodman.
Talented clarinetist Sandy Cameron says he’s been working with three other members of a “fine little quartet,” to pay tribute to Goodman, including Dan Smith on rhythm guitar, bass player Jake McIntyre Paul and Brian Pratt-Johnson on drums.
Cameron has long admired Goodman, sharing the memory of his dad taking him to see the artist at Vancouver’s old Georgia Auditorium sometime in the 1950s.
“It was my father’s influence, he wanted me to be a clarinet player,” he says. “I got one when I was nine or 10 and he wanted me to be a jazz musician.”
Cameron describes Goodman as a master clarinet player, capable of playing the music of serious classical composers in an orchestral setting.
“Besides that, he had a wonderful group of musicians and had a popular trio, added Lionel Hampton to make another wonderful group, and he had a swing band that earned him the title of King of Swing,” Cameron says.
The second half of the Sept. 15 season opener will be a mixed bag of music by members of the quartet and others, hopefully with a singer or two.
“I want to try to play my newly acquired baritone saxophone,” says an enthusiastic Cameron, who is looking forward to another season of great jazz, with the many loyal fans in attendance.
Concerts take place on the second and fourth Thursday of the month and begin at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 and Cameron has reason to believe coffee, tea and goodies will be available at intermission.
Admission is by donation, with funds raised going towards any new equipment that might be needed and to pay invited guest musicians, who travel from out of town.
Jordan Dick handles the bookings and Cameron is very excited that two talented musicians are moving into the Interior – Campbell Ryga, an alto and soprano saxophone player will be living in Kamloops and another much-sought-after Vancouver sax player, Cliff Startup, will make Vernon home.
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