With over 35 performances in their first two years and a tremendously successful debut album, Dawn, The Jazz Council looks forward to taking over the entire Kootenays, the rest of BC, Canada, and finally, the whole world. Already “huge in Japan”, The Jazz Council has a unique approach to jazz and their audiences. Non jazz-heads will never leave a JC show saying “the songs all sound the same”, or “that was boring”. On the contrary, The Jazz Council firmly believes that jazz is, at its core, pop music, and can be both authentic and accessible. Their original compositions (8 of which make up their debut album, Dawn) and their covers weave together many different strands and sub-genres of jazz, giving the listener’s ears a well-balanced diet, while their ability to select sounds from a specific palette gives them a unique, clear sound that is all their own.
-Bernie Primbs, a Grant MacEwan Music graduate, has played the sax now for 15 years. He has a great love for preforming and simply having a good time on stage. He plays the baritone and tenor saxes. He can also be found playing in a local show band called Boogie Supreme. When not playing his horn, Bernie can be found doing first aid with the ski patrol in Kimberley, or maybe even painting your house with HP Services. He has a great love for the outdoors and nature.
-Trumpeter and flautist Laurel Ralston studied classical music performance at the University of Ottawa, and she is now having a blast trying her hand at jazz. In August 2011, she attended Jazzworks to find out more about the mysteries of chord progressions and improvisation, and as a result she feels that there may be hope for her yet. Laurel is currently Second Trumpet with the Symphony of the Kootenays and she is also an active conductor, serving as director of the Kimberley United Church Choir and Kimberley Community Band. In her spare time, Laurel corrects grammatical errors on the chalk sandwichboard signs of Kimberley and ponders ways to make her master’s degree in philosophy pay off financially.
-Sven Heyde took a Diploma of Music Performance from Grant MacEwan College before completing his BA and BEd. He is a versatile percussionist who has studied with Paul Walker (U of L), Brian Thurgood (Grant MacEwan), and Tyler Hornby (Mount Royal). He also plays with redGirl, a melodically-inspired-folk-rock-alt-country band; as an occasional player for Symphony of the Kootenays, and as a pick-up player for Cranbrook blues band Grand Larseny.
-Pianist Geoff Haynes is a recent transplant to Kimberley BC, where he’s quickly developing a prolific portfolio as an accompanist, teacher, and now jazz superstar.
-Cranbrook native and Grant MacEwan College graduate Stu Driedger brings unique rhythmic sensibilities and great musicality on the bass. For his first gig with The Jazz Council, he turned Laurel’s favourite ballad into a funky shuffle.
Jazz Council alumni
The Jazz Council bid farewell to two of its founding members in August 2012. Newlywed Tim and his lovely wife Sarah have set off to explore Germany, and newly-minted teacher Joel has taken on a full-time position teaching music and drama in Sparwood. We’ll miss them, and we’ll be looking forward to a reunion concert sometime!
-Joel Kroeker picked up the bass out of necessity. He was already fluent on several other instruments, including guitar, piano, and saxophone, but the ensemble needed a bass. Joel has a great ear, which compensates for his less-than-adequate sight-reading skills. He’s been dabbling in music his whole life, always pursuing that elusive song that will inspire the world. Joel appreciates all genres, though he more than often chooses to listen to classic rock on his iPod. Jazz has always intrigued him; he finds its complexity both challenging and rewarding. If Joel were a chord, he’d be a Dm7: evocative and enchanting.
-Kimberley’s Tim Plait started piano lessons with Arne Sahlen in 1995. In Victoria, he studied piano in the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Diploma Program with instruction from Susan DeBurgh. He also studied vocal accompaniment with Robert Holliston and organ with Nicholas Fairbank. Tim currently teaches piano and music theory in Kimberley. Tim has also served as the Kimberley Summer Theatre’s accompanist and music director for four seasons.