Katie Malloch Farewell Party

Last Wednesday a whole host of musicians and music fans gathered for a live recording at the Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver to celebrate the extraordinary broadcasting career of CBC Radio’s Katie Malloch. This event was the first of three to be held across the country with a second show this week at Toronto’s Rex Hotel followed by the final happening taking place at Lion d’Or cabaret in Montreal.

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(not my finest photographic outing. Thanks to Steve Mynett at Mynettworks.com for the photo of Katie and I)

A few of thoughts on what Jazz Beat meant to me:

It’s tough to put into words what Katie Malloch’s years of dedication to jazz music and in particular Canadian jazz music have meant to the fabric of our music scene. For many of us her show Jazz Beat was the first place that we ever heard the giants of this music. It was also the first place that young musicians such as myself were introduced to the icons of the Canadian music scene. Musicians like Don Thompson, Guido Basso, Jerry Fuller, Ed Bickert, Pj Perry, Phil Dwyer and Rob McConnell have helped to define the fabric of the Canadian jazz identity and I heard them first on Jazz Beat!

As my career developed and I moved from one coast to the other and back again Jazz Beat’s recording sessions became a way of keeping in touch with what was happening on the jazz scene around the country. Youtube and easy media streaming on the internet hadn’t quite come into it’s own yet good jazz record stores were already starting to fade. It would have been very easy to slide into a musical vacuum but you could always count on Katie, Jazz Beat and the CBC to keep you in the loop.

I was fortunate to record in the studio for Jazz Beat on three occasions. The first time I got the call it was like I’d won the lottery.

“I’ve finally arrived, I’m a jazz musician, I’m going to be on Jazz Beat!”

The band was Mike Rud on guitar with Jodi Proznick on bass and Tilden Webb at the piano. I had so much fun but I remember that we flew through the music and were done about an hour early so I packed my up gear extra slow to savour the experience.

I could go on but instead I’ll leave off by saying how grateful I am for everything Katie has done for all of us musicians (and of course music fans) all across Canada. We’ll miss hearing your voice on the CBC.

Stay tuned for broadcast details for all three events.

For more on this please check out Peter Hum’s article HERE and Paul Well’s McCleans piece HERE.