Stettler Jazz Guys have released their fall schedule, which includes an invitation to perform at The International Christmas Market at Spruce Meadows.
The 11-piece jazz band will be featured on the main stage in the Equi-Plex on Sunday, Nov. 17th with two shows, the first at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m.
From Castor to Red Deer, from Big Valley to Donalda, Central Alberta’s The Jazz Guys have taken their love for jazz music and transformed it into a tight musical unit playing a cross section of popular jazz styles.
The group originally formed 12 years ago when adult members of the Stettler Regional Band came together to prepare a single jazz tune, Jumping Jack Jive, for the Stettler Music Festival. Urged on by community members, the band has continued to play gigs all over Central Alberta, growing into a popular musical attraction for local community groups, events and fundraisers.
One of the band’s earliest invitations was to perform in the Grand Concert of Stettler’s Music Festival. When organizers were preparing the program, no one knew the name of the group as none existed, so they were listed as The Jazz Guys. Despite regular band discussions on the issue, the name has stuck.
The band’s repertoire covers a wide-range of jazz styles, from the Dixie sound of St. Louis Blues to soul-tinged arrangements of In the Midnight Hour, from the cool style of Miles Davis’ Milestones to the Jazz-pop tune All of Me. The 11-piece combo takes a relaxed and jovial approach to their music, sharing together many decades of musical experience.
Bandleader and Pianist Eric Rahn is joined by Jon McKnickle, Ethan Rahn and Marvyn Harris on Trumpets, Saxophonists John Ireland, Ted Nibourg and Scott Pfeiffer, Trombone-player Jeff Lee, backed by the rhythm section Alan Willis on Drums, Geoff Long on bass and Joe Melnyk on guitar.
As enjoyable and laid-back as their name, The Jazz Guys deliver a humble good time. The Jazz Guys, play regularly at community fundraisers, the annual hospital foundations Festival of Lights, November 26, Entertainment in the Park, on Alberta Prairie Steam Train Excursions and collaborate with Stettler Cantus Choir for an annual Christmas Evening of jazz and vocal arrangements, Dec. 1st.
The Jazz Guys continue to donate funds to the local school band programs and help less fortunate students with festival entry fees or scholarships for band students to attend workshops.