The Cookers

The Cookers

Band is cooking with jazz this weekend

The Vernon Jazz Club will be sizzling this Saturday night as The Cookers Quintet takes the stage.

The Vernon Jazz Club will be sizzling this Saturday night as The Cookers Quintet takes the stage.

The band, hailing from Toronto, is on a western tour, including the Yukon, to promote its latest album, Vol. Two.

The Cookers will be playing tunes firmly rooted in the ‘50s and ‘60s hard bop movement.  They will be delivering swinging, straight ahead, fun, rhythmic tunes with memorable melodies.

The band features Ryan Oliver (sax), Tim Hamel (trumpet), Richard Whiteman (piano), Alex Coleman (bass), and Joel Haynes (drums).

Inspired by the 1965 Blue Note recording Night Of The Cookers, featuring Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan, the group began a weekly residency where members developed the inspiration and chemistry to write tunes of their own.

Since then they have released three albums: Vol. One, They Say It’s Wonderful featuring Leron Thomas, and their most recent, Vol. Two.

Vol. Two made it to No. 1 on the Earshot Magazine jazz list and was featured by CBC Radio’s Errol Nazareth on the show Big City, Small World.

Juno-nominated saxophonist Oliver first began honing his craft on Canada’s west coast before moving to Amsterdam, Toronto, and then New York.  He has toured throughout India, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and Canada with the eclectic jazz group The Shuffle Demons.

He is also a member of Juno award winning blues and rock performer Derek Miller’s group and has been the recipient of Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants for touring and recording.

These grants have brought him to play at most of the major jazz clubs and festivals throughout Canada.

Oliver’s debut recording, Convergence, made CODA Magazine’s top 10 Canadian jazz releases of 2007. He is a featured clinician at schools throughout North America and is the artistic director for the Harbord Street Jazz Festival.

Hamel is a 20-plus-year veteran of the Toronto jazz scene.  He recorded the soundtrack for HBO’s television program Call Me Fitz and has played the circuit of major jazz festivals in Toronto and southern Ontario as well as at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

His sound can be heard on his album Relapsin’ with the Tim Hamel Quartet.

Whiteman has released five albums and is working on his sixth. He has performed throughout Canada and in Brazil, Egypt, and San Antonio.

He has performed with a variety of groups including orchestras (The Canada Pops Orchestra), big bands (The Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra), new music concerts (Hemispheres Music Projects), classical crossover groups (The Galaxy Trio), and musical theatre (Forever Plaid).

Whiteman has worked with jazz greats Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler, Pat LaBarbera, Dee Daniels, ad Marcus Belgrave.

He also teaches piano and leads ensembles at both Humber College and York University.

Coleman received his bachelor of music from the University of Toronto and has performed across Canada with artists P.J. Perry, Terry Clarke, Barry Elmes, and his uncle and mentor, Pat Coleman.

He is the leader and arranger of the band Tonight at Noon, an eight-piece group that performs music of the bassist and composer Charles Mingus.

Haynes studied at Humber College, McGill University, and the University of Toronto.

His playing has taken him to festivals in North America, South America, The Caribbean, and Europe.

He was nominated for a National Jazz Award in 2003 and was also invited to perform with Oscar Peterson and Dave Young for the Toronto Tsunami Relief Benefit in 2005.

The Cookers hit the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000 31st St.) Saturday, Oct. 17 with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup, and at with a $5 rebate at the door for members.  Cash only bar.