Posted on January 7, 2011 by Tia Lalani



Fresh off their Western Canadian Music Awards nomination for "Jazz Recording of the Year", the Karl Schwonik Jazz Quartet will perform the Camrose segment of their Alberta/Saskatchewan follow-up Visions from the Farm tour at Augustana Campus, University of Alberta, in Camrose on Monday, January 10th, 2011 at 7:30 pm in the university chapel. The quartet, consisting of Karl Schwonik, drums (originally from Gwynne); Chris Andrew, piano (Edmonton); Kodi Hutchinson, bass; and Brent Mah, saxophone; will feature Brittany Bailey (originally from Camrose) as guest vocalist for the evening. Both the Quartet and Ms. Bailey have been received very warmly by Camrose audiences last year. The evening promises to be an exciting blend of jazz standards and new material. This is a great opportunity for Camrose and area residents to support rising Canadian talent who have local roots. Tickets may be purchased at the door. For further information, call 780-679-1532.

Karl Schwonik, drummer – from Camrose area (Gwynne)
Karl Schwonik, grew up on a farm near Gwynne where he was exposed to countless musical situations ranging from polka to jazz. Fresh out of high school, Schwonik embarked on a tour with 2-time Canadian Country Music Award Nominee Heather-Dawn. This was followed by an invitation to study at the Banff Centre where Schwonik was the youngest artist ever to be part of the long-term career residency program. Since then he’s completed a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance at McGill University, and is currently working on a Masters degree at the University of Toronto. In the past two years, Schwonik was featured nationally on CBC Radio 2 as part of a series "Next: Canada’s Music Future", was featured nationally on CBC’s "Canada Live!", was the winner of the AFM International Diversity award, was the winner of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Arts Award, and was the winner of the VSA Arts International young Soloist Award, clinching him a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Schwonik was also named one of Calgary’s "Top 40 Under 40" for 2009 by Avenue magazine (the youngest person ever to be given this honour) and has won a DownBeat Magazine composition award. Further, Schwonik received the 2008 Queen’s Jubilee Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Richard Cowie Scholarship for Young Jazz Musicians, has performed at Carnegie Hall, and was named "Alternate Drumset" for the Henry Mancini Institute. He is President and Founder of the Wetaskiwin Jazz Society and Artistic Director of the Wetaskiwin Jazz Camp. His Quartet’s newly released recording "Visions From the Farm" has debuted to rave reviews across the country and has been nominated for a 2010 Western Canadian Music Award for "Jazz Recording of the Year". Schwonik’s performing credits include: Tommy Banks, Jens Lindemann,
and P.J. Perry (to name only a few).

Brittany Bailey (guest vocalist) – former Camrosian
Brittany studied voice, dance, and piano throughout her school years in Camrose, playing trumpet and singing in various school and provincial honour ensembles. She was the recipient of many scholarships, awards and honours in music, dance, academics, and drama. She honed her initial dramatic skills working with local theatre directors in shows such as The Sound of Music, Annie, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Music Man, The Boyfriend, and Stubble Jumpers, before graduating from high school and studying (under scholarship) at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Brittany has worked in regional theatre in the United States, including at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and the Granbury Opera House in Texas where her Gypsy performance was reviewed as “brilliant” with “a sublime soprano voice” (Talkin’ Broadway). After moving to Toronto for several years, Brittany continued to train, taking acting classes at the Pro Actor’s Lab and vocal coachings with Jeffrey Huard. She has worked in film, television, music videos and commercials. Notable TV credits include the part of Gail Miller on Global, in Cold Blood. She began cutting her jazz chops while in Toronto, performing in jazz clubs throughout the city and collaborating with such artists as Bruce Harvey, Rob McBride, and Don Vickery. She recently moved to the west coast and has introduced herself to the jazz scene there and is now distributing a jazz demo she completed recently.

Chris Andrew (piano) – from Edmonton
Since graduating from Grant MacEwan College in 1990, Chris has become a key player in the Alberta music scene. His musical diversity can be seen through his numerous performances over the years in genres such as jazz, funk, pop, latin, and musical theatre. He has studied in Cuba and has toured across Canada countless times in a number of bands in various musical styles. He also jazz piano at Augustana Campus, University of Alberta, in Camrose for several years. Chris’ resume lists a veritable who’s who of jazz: P.J. Perry, Brad Turner, Bud Shank, Joshua Redman, to name some highlights. On the local scene, Chris has performed or recorded with various well-known groups, including The Swinging Bovines, The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Jump Orchestra, Maracujah, Bomba, Kelly Allana, Tim Tamashiro, Phatty, and The Devoties. Chris has recently been honoured with the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award for his virtuosic talent.

Brent Mah (saxophone) – from Calgary
Brent is an award-winning saxophonist and engaging modern improvisor known for his fiery, exciting and innovative playing. He has toured extensively across Canada and appears on two groundbreaking jazz CDs. He began playing piano in Calgary at a young age, garnering numerous awards and scholarships and studying with some of the world’s most prolific performers and educators. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance from Capilano University in North Vancouver and has been performing across Canada as both a band-leader and sideman at major Jazz Festivals and Jazz clubs.

Kodi Hutchinson (bass) – from Calgary
Creative and introspective, Kodi has established himself as one of the top call bassists in Western Canada, getting the opportunity to perform with artists like P.J. Perry, Cara Matthews, Clan Terra, and the Destino Tenors, along the way.

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