2018 Artists and Adjudicators
Sunny Wilkinson - Featured Artist
Rejean Marois - Jazz Band and Vocal Adjudicator
Horace Alexander Young - Jazz Band Adjudicator
Dennis Esson - Jazz Band Adjudicator
Janet Warren - Vocal Adjudicator
Kinga Heming - Vocal Adjudicator
Loni Moger- Combo Adjudicator
Bernie Addington - Combo Adjudicator
Larry Roy - Combo Adjudicator
Campbell Ryga - Guest Artist
Featured Artist: Sunny Wilkinson
In addition to over four decades of professional accomplishments and performances, Sunny has sung with music icons such as The Count Basie Orchestra, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, Milt Hinton, Curtis Fuller and many more. With four CDs as leader and numerous guest appearances, her last CD is a duo project with pianist Tom Garvin entitled A Gentle Time - When Sunny Meets Tom. "The musical empathy that is shared by these two artists is truly extraordinary...Sunny Wilkinson is at the top of her game here. She has spent a lot of time refining her craft in the trenches and now emerges as a master songstress able to get inside of a song and find its essential emotional core." - Don Mizell - co-producer of "Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company." Sunny has just finished recording a new CD and is looking forward to it being released in the fall of 2017.
Sunny has also made significant contributions in jazz education. She rejoined the faulty at Western Michigan in 2016 and is thrilled to be working with the talented students there. She has been on the jazz faculty at Michigan State University, Cal State Northridge, Fullerton College, and the Dick Grove School of Music, as well as teaching numerous private voice students. Presently she is the artist in residence at the University of Michigan. Sunny served as a president of the Michigan chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators and the past chairperson for IAJE's Women's caucus. She also developed a mentoring program for young women jazz musicians called "Sisters in Jazz" that was taken to an international level through IAJE.
An inspirational voice in jazz, Sunny has a rich stage history, having performed at jazz festivals, with symphony orchestras, and at clubs and music programs across the country.
Looking ahead, Ms. Wilkinson is excited and passionate about continuing to share her music with audiences and students everywhere.
Jazz Band and Vocal Adjudicator: Rejean Marois
Réjean Marois teaches at Capilano University for the Jazz Studies Program. He conducts two vocal ensembles, NiteCap and Capital Jazz, and teaches improvisation and instrumental and vocal arranging in the Program. Furthermore, Réjean has been involved for the last 29 years as arranger and conductor for the Cap Jazz Series concerts featuring renowned jazz and world music artists from around the world. In May 2012, he has received an «Award for Empowering Learning» from Capilano University.
His recent composition: « Aerides » for clarinet, oboe and bassoon was given honorable mention for the 2017 BCMCC. « Kinesis » for flute, violin and piano was selected for the finals of the International Composition Competition “Shostakovich 2017”. His works « Chanson Ubuesque » « Bone & Bass »
« Dream Reflection » and « Bergère » have been selected by Vancouver Pro Musica’s Sonic Boom 2015 - 2017 Festivals where they were all premiered.
« na-lim’s prism » for violin and piano was premiered on July 29 in Milna, Island of Braç, Croatia as part of the Upbeat 2016 Masterclass in Composition.
« Sospeso » for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and cello has been selected for performance by Great Noise Ensemble at the 2017 West Fork New Music Festival and was premiered on September 25, 2016 by the ensemble TEMPO at California State University, Northridge (Los Angeles).
For fourteen years, he was the artistic coordinator of the Jazz Singing Workshop at Domaine Forget, St. Irénée in the magnificent Charlevoix region of Québec.
For the last 25 years, he has been in demand throughout Canada and the U.S. as a clinician, adjudicator, conductor, music advisor and arranger.
Born in Thetford-Mines, Québec, Réjean Marois moved to British Columbia in 1988. Before, he worked in Québec as a composer, arranger, trombonist, publisher, educator and performed all across North America and Europe.
In 1983 he was nominated for a Genie Award (Canadian Academy of Cinema) for his original soundtrack for the movie "Les Doux Aveux".
Jazz Band Adjudicator: Horace Alexander Young
Horace Alexander Young is a 21st Century musician whose combined saxophone and vocal style revisits the sensitivity and grit of Lester Young and Cannonball Adderley, and the smoothness and grace of Nat King Cole. While he has spent most of his 30+ years in the music business playing, arranging. composing and recording music for other artists, his focus now is on his personal artistry and mentoring the next generation of musicians. His personal intent is to leave a mark in both the domains of instrumental and vocal Jazz, as previously explored by Louis Armstrong and Chet Baker, and do so from a platform based on "the road less traveled". Stay tuned.
Horace Alexander Young uses Vandoren Reeds, Mouthpieces and Ligatures, SKB Cases and AMT Microphones exclusively.
Jazz Band Adjudicator: Dennis Esson
Since moving to Vancouver in 1980, Dennis has established himself as a highly respected and sought after trombonist and educator for a wide variety of musical endeavours. He has recorded music for cartoons, movies, jingles and soundtracks in addition to albums with many pop and rock groups. He has also been in the pit orchestras of several Broadway shows. As a jazz musician Dennis performs with groups such as the "Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation (VEJI)", "Orquesta Goma Dura", "Jill Townsend Big Band", "Hard Rubber Orchestra" and the "Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra". Some of the musicians he has performed with include Kenny Wheeler, Phil Woods, Eddie Daniels, Marvin Stamm, David Foster, Maynard Ferguson, Natalie Cole, Clark Terry, Bud Shank, and Phil Nimmons. He has appeared and performed at all of the major jazz festivals across Canada. In 1993 Dennis was the recipient of a Canada Council of the Arts "B" grant to study jazz trombone in New York where he studied with Conrad Herwig, Steve Turre, Benny Powell and Slide Hampton.
As a music educator Dennis is currently the Jazz Studies Coordinator- Resource at Capilano University where he also directs the “B” Band as well as teaching other jazz courses. He is also a faculty member at UBC where he directs the UBC Jazz Ensemble II.
He has been on the faculty of the Courtney Youth Music Center, the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts, Douglas College Jazz Intensive, UBC Summer Music School, Victoria Conservatory Summer Jazz Camp, and the Kwantlen University Summer Jazz Camp. Dennis is a Yamaha trombone artist and performs and records on the YSL697Z trombone. As well he is a frequent adjudicator and clinician at Music Festivals across B.C. as well as nationally.
Vocal Adjudicator: Kinga Heming
Jazz and Pop chanteuse Kinga was born in Poland, then moved with her family to Amsterdam before settling in Ottawa, Ontario. While being baptized at four months of age, she screamed out, and the attending priest predicted that Kinga would become a singer. Her parents gifted Kinga with appreciation for music, including and especially jazz, at an early age: Her father played in a jazz cabaret while her mother constantly played vocal pop and jazz records by The Platters, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and the like.
By age thirteen, Kinga had studied classical piano and voice theory, and began immersing herself in classical and contemporary music, both jazz and pop. She soon began performing at recitals and competitions, and helped assemble and lead a jazz quartet (called West Berlin) that played in and around Ottawa until all its members graduated from high school. She also discovered and began learning the repertoires of many great jazz vocalists, including Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Sarah Vaughan, Natalie Cole, and especially Ella Fitzgerald. Kinga moved on to Humber College, studying voice and theory under Trish Colter, Lisa Martinelli, and Lisa Sullivan; she also served as instructor for voice, piano, theory, ear training and improvisation to child and adult students. "The most important experiences during my time at Humber College were working alongside very talented and reputable musicians, learning different aspects of the jazz world, and lastly, winning the Duke Ellington Honoree award in my final year there," Kinga recalls.
Kinga has subsequently spread her vocal talents - as smooth, heady and sophisticated as well-matured brandy - throughout Canada: She has sung the American and Canadian national anthems for the Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs (in partial French, for a sold-out contest against the Montreal Canadians), the Toronto Raptors, and internationally-broadcast Hockey Night in Canada. Kinga has performed with pianist Renee Rosnes, flugelhornist Guido Basso, and Don Thompson's jazz ensemble, and appeared at the National Jazz Awards, the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada's Walk of Fame, and on CTV and CBC Radio.
Guess Who I Saw Today brings all Kinga's influences and experiences full circle. Knowing that a great singer's best friend is a great song, her debut release features new interpretations of Ellington's classic "Mood Indigo" and such familiar tunes as "Don't Len Me Be Misunderstood" and "This Bitter Earth." Its title track was first recorded by Nancy Wilson. Songs by such talented singer-songwriters as Randy Newman ("I Think It's Going to Rain Today"), Bill Withers ("Ain't No Sunshine") and Mose Allison ("What's With You" and "Swingin' Machine") round out the set.
Guess Who I Saw Today was arranged and produced by pianist Bill King. "I could tell during our first practice sessions, the voice fit comfortable around the rich melodies and could deliver a heartfelt interpretation of the lyrics," producer King recalls. For Kinga, the most important thing about this debut is her emotional connection to each track. Each song reflects a time or point in her life where she experienced an emotional roller coaster - whether it was love, happiness, anger or frustration - and these experiences speak to and through each song on Guess Who I Saw Today.
Vocal Adjudicator: Janet Warren
Janet Warren, recipient of the British Columbia Music Educator’s Professional Music Educator Award, is recognized nationally for her work in both traditional repertoire and vocal jazz. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, she completed the Diploma in Music Education in 2000. Retired from teaching in North Vancouver, she is presently a Faculty Advisor for UBC, working with pre-service teachers at the secondary level. Ms. Warren enjoys a variety of adjudicating and clinic experiences which continue to take her throughout Western Canada and as far as Japan.
Two career highlights for Ms. Warren have been conducting the BC Music Educator’s Provincial Honour Vocal Jazz Ensemble and directing the BC Choral Federation’s Provincial Youth Choir. She was honoured by colleagues in North Vancouver with the Award of Excellence, and was named 2004 Teacher of the Year by the Sylvan Learning Center. For twenty-two years, Ms. Warren organized the Sea-to-Sky Choral Festival; she formed and has conducted Higher Ground Women’s Vocal Ensemble for over ten years.
Since retirement, Ms. Warren has been performing as a solo singer, has appeared in several live shows, and is featured on the locally produced CD "A Time To Heal". Other interests include travel, dragon boating, and three awesome grand-daughters. Choral conducting continues to be Ms. Warren’s favourite and most creative musical outlet.
Combo Adjudicator: Bernie Addington
Bernie began composing, performing and recording in 1983. From 1989-91, Bernie studied Jazz at The Vancouver Community College School of Music, majoring in performance and acoustic bass. While there, he studied under the renowned bassist, Rick Kilburn. Since completing his studies, Bernie has enjoyed a successful career as a freelance musician and private instructor.
Bernie has played extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. Over the years, he has recorded with numerous artists (too many to mention), as a session musician.
Since moving to the Okanagan, Bernie continues to play and record throughout the Interior as a first call musician and band leader.
Combo Adjudicator: Loni Moger
Loni Moger is a talented and versatile musician who played his first professional gig at the age of fourteen and began teaching at the age of sixteen. After spending four years on the East Coast of the U.S. he received his bachelor’s degree from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, studying Guitar, Voice and arranging.
Loni has performed along side such international artists as “Bo Didley” and San Francisco’s “Tuck and Patti“; "Senator Tommy Banks" as well as local Calgary favorites “ The Swinging Bovines”, “Karl Roth” and former host CBC radio’s “Tonic”, “Tim Tamashiro”.
He moved to Kelowna, BC in September of 2008. Loni shares, " I've played night clubs, concerts, weddings, political rallies, live radio and television, bowling alleys, country clubs, street corners( otherwise known as Busking), churches and living rooms, all of which were equally fun!" He enjoys interpreting the works of others and performing his own material as well.
Loni is equally at home in a wide variety of musical styles ranging from Blues to Jazz to Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Pop and Country. He also harbors a secret passion for Classical music, having had several opportunities to work with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra , including Pops concerts and most recently on the Operatic work "Ainadamar, Fountain of Tears" and The "Lord of the Rings Symphony".
Combo Adjudicator: Larry Roy
Bio and Photo coming soon.
Guest Artist: Campbell Ryga
Campbell Ryga was born in 1961 in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Campbell is the eldest son of the Internationally renowned Canadian Author and Playwright - George Ryga.
Campbell was raised in the community of Summerland British Columbia, where he lived until moving to Vancouver to pursue private and post secondary study in 1979. Since 1979, Campbell has resided in the cities of Vancouver British Columbia, Toronto Ontario and in New York City.
Mr. Ryga was honoured to have received the Jazz Report Magazine Award of 'Canada's Alto Saxophonist of the Year 2000' presented to him at the annual Jazz Report Awards Ceremony held in Toronto in May of the year 2000. The two former recipients of this award were Moe Koffman and PJ Perry.
Mr. Ryga has received 3 Juno Awards, with two additional nominations, a Grammy nomination, and he appeared on Michael Buble's recording 'Crazy Love' which received a Grammy Award in 2010. Campbell Ryga's recordings have twice received the 'Western Canadian Music Award' in the Jazz category.
Campbell Ryga has toured internationally on 26 occasions, primarily to Western Europe and to Latin America, notably to the Havana International Jazz Festival, where he has been invited to perform for six consecutive years.
Mr. Ryga is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Hugh Fraser Quintet, an All Star multiple Award Winning Canadian Jazz Quintet to which Campbell has had a long term association. Campbell's affliation with Hugh Fraser and the Quintet began in 1981. On top of his International touring schedule, Campbell has also been involved in cross country Canadian touring on 24 separate occasions, and has performed week long engagements at the famed Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho - London, on 4 separate occasions. Campbell has contributed to 72 Jazz Recordings inclusive of his four current releases as a leader, 'Coastal Connection' and two years later 'Spectacular' which was released in December of 2001 and was nominated for a Juno Award. Both of these releases were handled by Radioland/Universal Records.
More recently, Campbell recorded a release with the great New York pianist Renee Rosnes for CBC Records entitled Deep Cove which features Neil Swainson on bass and Rudy Petchauer on drums, recorded by CBC Records and is distributed by Universal. Deep Cove was nominated for a Juno Award for 2005. This recording received the Western Canadian Music Awards award for Most Outstanding Jazz Recording for the Year 2005. In 2008 Campbell collaborated with the great Canadian Jazz Alto Saxophonist PJ Perry to record his most recent release 'Joined at the Hip' a live recording with Ross Taggart on Piano, Neil Swainson on Bass and Terry Clarke on Drums - available on Cellar Live Records.
Mr. Ryga continues to maintain a busy schedule as a Clinician, in association with Yamaha Canada. Campbell also maintains an active Adjudicators' Schedule.
Campbell has sat on the Jury Boards for The British Columbia Arts Council and The Canada Council for the Arts.
Campbell Ryga is currently on faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley, British Columbia.
Mr. Ryga has received the honor of having been placed on the British Columbia Secondary School District 67 - Wall of Fame - for excellence in his field.
In 2010, Mr. Ryga has been inducted to the Envisions Jazz Festival 'Hall of Fame' in honour of his accomplishments as a Performer.
Mr. Ryga is proud to be affiliated and Sponsored by the following good friends:
Campbell Ryga is a Yamaha Canada Saxophone Artist
Theo Wanne Mouthpiece Artist
D'Addario Reeds Artist