Over the past eighteen months I have had both the privilege and the pleasure of working with some of Ottawa's finest
jazz and symphony musicians along with some truly talented guest artists from Montreal and Toronto. During that time we presented
five highly successful repertory jazz concerts. My aims were to challenge both audiences and artists with ambitious programmes of rarely heard
music and to inform and entertain by presenting the music in a specific (usually historical) context. Without a doubt these concerts were
warmly received and highly praised by both audiences and critics.
I am very proud of our artistic accomplishments. We have achieved much. However, the journey to this point has not been
without logistic and financial challenges. It has been no easy feat to bring so many talented artists together, arrange and acquire music, write
programme notes, organise venues and sponsors, and publicise events, all without substantial financial loss. Today we still face many of those same
challenges even as I seek to present more ambitious programmes. I am very excited at the prospect of what lies ahead and enthused by the many other
people who share my vision and are helping to make it a reality. Together we are bringing our talents and energy together to ensure a
future for this new ensemble: the Impressions in Jazz Orchestra (IJO).
As with the orchestra itself, my dream for the supporting organisation is to bring together people who, in addition to being talented and motivated,
are committed to working in a truly collaborative and fun environment. We want to bring great music to people but above all the experience
must be fun. Many people who have attended concerts have written to say how exciting it was to see local musicians enjoying themselves while
playing fantastic, rarely performed music. That joy clearly translates into the high quality performances we give.
What we are trying to achieve with this orchestra is unique not just in Ottawa or even in Canada but in some respects, anywhere.
This is an orchestra that truly builds bridges and transcends boundaries. Our audiences reflect much the same makeup
as our collective of musicians: lovers of classical, jazz, world music and more. Whether it is Shostakovich, Gershwin or Ellington, the
music we present deserves to be heard. Ottawa audiences deserve to hear it and Ottawa musicians deserve to play it. I invite you to share this vision
with us by getting involved with this new and exciting orchestra
and the organisation that supports it. Whether it is spreading the word about the IJO, providing financial support, volunteering, or attending our concerts,
we need your help in order to reach the full potential of this great orchestra.
I look forward to seeing you at our next concert.
Founder and Artistic Director