February 2, 2024

"Journeys to the Bandstand" by Chris Wong

Journeys to the Bandstand: Thirty Jazz Lives in Vancouver chronicles the creative lives and musical journeys of thirty extraordinary artists who have helped shape the jazz scene in the west coast Canadian city, and further afield. Each chapter focuses on one remarkable artist, or a small group of impactful musicians, mostly based in Vancouver (Al Neil, Dave Quarin, Brad Turner, Cory Weeds, Jodi Proznick, Natasha D’Agostino, and others). The book also highlights some American musicians (Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Dr. Lonnie Smith, George Coleman, and others) who have made an indelible impression on the city’s jazz community.


1 / Living the Jazz Life: John Dawe
2 / The Electrical Guitarist and his Only Son: Jim and Rick Kilburn
3 / The Man with the Plastic Saxophone: Ornette Coleman
4 / Far Out: Al Neil
5 / Father and Son: Barry and Dylan Cramer
6 / Mind of Mingus: Charles Mingus
7 / Fisherman’s Jazz: Dave Quarin
8 / The Road from Avonlea to the Cellar: Bobby Hales
9 / Total Honesty: PJ Perry
10 / Jazz Dreamer: Carol Fox
11 / The Voice: Ron Small
12 / Deep Connection: Bob Murphy
13 / Let Your Voice Be Heard: Hugh Fraser
14 / Thankfully: Ross Taggart
15 / Here Now: Brad Turner
16 / Life of Bruno: Bruno Hubert
17 / How My Heart Sings: Kate Hammett-Vaughan
18 / Hardest Working Man in Jazz Business Cory Weeds / Part 1: How to Succeed as a Jazz Club Owner / Part 2: Fin de l’Affaire, Living the Jazz Dream
19 / The Doctor and the Ambassador: Dr. Lonnie Smith and Seleno Clarke
20 / Big G: George Coleman
21 / The Rhythm Section: Tilden Webb, Jodi Proznick, and Jesse Cahill
22 / Keeping It Real: Roy McCurdy
23 / Sense and Sensibility: Amanda Tosoff
24 / Love Walked In: Mike Allen
25 / Endings Rarely Are: Natasha D’Agostino

I self-published Journeys to the Bandstand with support from more than 130 musicians and others who kindly agreed to be interviewed (multiple times in some cases), editor David Ferman, FriesenPress, a volunteer community of generous souls, a wonderful benefactor/jazz fan, and my family and friends. I’m very grateful.

The book includes the 25 chapters listed above, a Foreword by Nou Dadoun, a chronology of key events in Vancouver’s jazz history, a discography, more than 140 black and white images, and other elements on 605 pages.

-- Chris Wong