Drummer brings his new posse to jazz club

A recent transplant from Vancouver to Toronto, drummer Morgan Childs heads back west with some of the best jazz musicians on the scene, Saturday at the Vernon Jazz Club. - Photo submitted
A recent transplant from Vancouver to Toronto, drummer Morgan Childs heads back west with some of the best jazz musicians on the scene, Saturday at the Vernon Jazz Club.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Jazz fans will enjoy a rare treat when the Morgan Childs Quartet takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

One of Canada’s foremost jazz musicians, award-winning drummer Childs is admired by peers and elders alike.

Childs’ band is a dream team of leading jazz musicians including award-winning saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, former Boss Brass pianist Dave Restivo, and one of Toronto’s hottest bassists, Jon Maharaj.

The quartet performs a playful mix of standards and ballads by artists like Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Victor Young, and George Gershwin. They also feature original tunes by Childs in the hard bop style of artists like Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, and John Coltrane.

Band leader Childs is equally influenced by the romanticism and swing of greats like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong, and master bebop drummers like Art Blakey and Max Roach.

“My musical style is a groove-based jazz approach influenced by American and Canadian jazz from the past 100 years, including people like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Wayne Shorter,” said Childs.

Childs’ sound blends forward-looking, contemporary instincts with a warm, vintage sound aesthetic.

“One of the challenges a drummer has is to be able to express romanticism on our instrument as well as power and excitement. I have worked hard to have an approach to jazz and to music in general that embraces that balance,” said Childs.

Childs listened to and performed all styles of music before embracing jazz.

“What drew me into the world of jazz was seeing it live – making connections between what I’d heard on records by people like Miles Davis and what I was seeing live,” said Childs.

Childs is a two-time winner of the Grand Prix du Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival – in 2012 as a member of the Robi Botos Trio and in 2009 with the Amanda Tosoff Quartet. He also performs with Organic, and with bassist Brandi Disterheft.

Nominated numerous times for the National Jazz Award Saxophonist of the Year, Jefferson holds a master’s degree from New York’s Manhattan School of Music and serves on the faculty at the University of Toronto. Jefferson’s busy schedule has taken him all over North America, Europe, and Asia, including a nine month stint with legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson in 2009.

Three-time National Jazz Award Pianist of the Year, Restivo is one of Canada’s most respected and influential jazz artists, including 15 years with the legendary Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass. He has performed and recorded with an incredible host of musicians like Mel Tormé, Pat LaBarbera, Randy Bachman, Molly Johnson, Jane Bunnett, Jeff Healey, and P.J. Perry, among many others.

One of Toronto’s most in-demand bassists, Maharaj is making his mark in a variety of genres. A member of the house band for the first two seasons of the CBC’s Triple Sensation, Maharaj also played bass in the Toronto productions of Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys. He also appeared on The Canadian Tenor’s double-platinum CD The Perfect Gift.

The Morgan Childs Quartet takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club, 3000-31st St,. Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open 7:15 p.m. Tickets are available in advance ($20 cash only) at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup or online via www.vernonjazzclub.ca.


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