Drummer turns up the heat

Vancouver drummer Scott Robertson’s Hot Five burns up the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club this Saturday.

With a taste for swing and sizzling hot jazz, Scott Robertson’s Hot Five burns up the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club this Saturday.

Hot Five includes Glen Tremblay on trumpet and vocals, Don Ogilvie on guitar, Jens Christiansen on sax and clarinet, and Jennifer Hodge on bass.

Robertson and the band feature the ever popular New Orleans Dixieland repertoire.

Also known as “traditional” or “hot jazz,” Dixieland was born in New Orleans in the early 20th century, eventually spreading to Chicago and New York City. Hot Five plays a swinging interpretation of these great tunes.

“Each set we play is a mixture of some standard tunes and some arrangements,” said Robertson.  “We always strive to stay true to the original style of the tune we choose.”

An active bandleader, drummer, teacher, and clinician, Robertson got his jazz drumming start via the pipe band scene.

“I started out playing in Scottish pipe bands. One of my pipe band drum teachers, Willie McErlean, was a student of jazz drummer Joe Morello,” explained Robertson.  “Because of his influence I was listening to Dave Brubeck Quartet recordings in my teens.”

Robertson also developed a taste for swing.

“I was inspired by my father, Morris Robertson. While my dad was never a musician, he taught me to love the swing era. I grew up listening to his collection of big band music on vinyl,” said Robertson.

Recently, Robertson led his band at the 2011 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and in October, brought his five-piece band for a clinic and workshop at Surrey’s Johnston Heights Secondary School.

Robertson was the regular drummer for the Preservation of Swing Orchestra and has worked with musicians like Dal Richards, Gabriel Hasselbach, Simon Stribling, and Ron Thompson.  He also teaches privately and even finds time to conduct drum workshops for Metro Vancouver area schools.

Vancouver-based trumpeter Tremblay plays in the classic tradition of his swing era trumpet idols: Louis Armstrong, Cootie Williams, Hot Lips Page, Rex Stewart, and Roy Eldridge.

He has performed with artists like Michael Bublé, the Jazzmanian Devils, the Hans Staymer Blues Band, and Personal Funk Device among many others.

Ogilvie has played his guitar in almost every style imaginable. For several years he’s been playing with the Roma Swing Ensemble, including a very successful 2007 tour of China. He also stays active in the traditional jazz scene, playing with Red Beans & Rice and New Orleans North.

Sax and clarinet player Christiansen last appeared at the VJC with Robertson’s band Swing Patrol.

Talented in many musical genres, Robertson performs with the Fred Stride Orchestra, the Hoppin’ Mad Orchestra, and the Company B Jazz Band.

A versatile bass player, Hodge has been gigging since the age of 15.

She  graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in music from Capilano College’s jazz studies program. In 2006 she helped form the Company B Jazz Band, playing bass and writing arrangements. She also fronts her own traditional jazz band, the Jen Hodge’s All Stars.

Hot Five plays the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St. upstairs from Nolan’s Pharmasave) Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 and tickets are $20 ($15 for VJS members) at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup coffee houses.