The Old School House Arts Centre shows off its jazzy side when its Music on Sunday series resumes this weekend with a performance by Vancouver saxophonist and flutist Tom Keenlyside.
The Juno Award-winner and veteran of numerous jazz, rock and blues recording sessions will be joined by the combo of Ron Hadley (piano), Sean Drabitt (bass) and Hans Verhoeven (drums) for the 2:30 p.m. show this Sunday, Oct. 4.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Keenlyside took up the trumpet in 1962 at the age of 12, and played in various rhythm and blues bands throughout the 1960s. He played is first “gig” for money in 1964. He started to play the flute at the age of 15. In the 1970s, Keenlyside played flute and trombone with the band Sunshyne, during which time he began to play saxophone.
Keenlyside earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music (Flute Major) from the University of British Columbia before embarking on an extensive tours and recording collaborations with popular rock music artists Prism and Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO). He was invited to perform and record with such acts as Alice Cooper, Blue Öyster Cult, Foghat, Alvin Lee, Styx, and many others.
In the late 1970s, Keenlyside began to focus on commercial studio work, writing and playing jingles and album cuts which gained him popularity with Vancouver recording studios and artists for his flexibility, improvisational talent and multi-instrument skills. He worked on large orchestral arrangements for commercial sessions for Safeway, McDonald’s, and many major oil company advertising campaigns. During this time, Keenlyside also accompanied many studio recordings for Disco music artists.
Keenlyside co-founded the band Skywalk in the early 1980s which produced five albums for MCA, Zebra and Mesa Blue Moon, which took the band on two major U.S. tours. During the decade he also toured Canada with the Tom Keenlyside Quintet.
Keenlyside also arranged tracks, collaborated, and recorded with various popular artists including Aerosmith, David Lee Roth, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, INXS and others. Also during that time, he worked on several TV variety series and staged shows, playing saxophone with popular acts such as Tom Jones, Chaka Khan, Boz Scaggs, Paul Anka, Kenny Rogers, Teddy Pendergrass, Peggy Lee, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack Jones, Mel Tormé, Andy Williams, and more. Keenlyside also played alto saxophone with the Don Costa Orchestra for a full television season.
Since then, Keenlyside has continued to hone his craft, focusing on jazz and jazz fusion for saxophone and flute, playing live with Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., and Diana Krall (to name a few), and recording with more popular artists such as The Barenaked Ladies and Jim Byrnes (for which Keenlyside earned a Juno Award for production on That River).
Keenlyside currently composes and produces music commercially and for personal enjoyment. He writes and produces advertising and a great amount of television and cartoon scores with partner John Mitchell. His love of jazz composition and live performance is realized through notable collaboration with many talented, local and visiting singers and instrumentalists.
Tickets for Sunday’s show, co-presented by Quality Foods, are $16. The Old School House Arts Centre is located at 122 Fern Road West in Qualicum Beach. For more info call 250-752-6133 or visit www.theoldschoolhouse.org.
—Submitted by TOSH