Thought you should know
Good times at The Jazz Room, October 9, 2020. The Grand River Jazz Society are leaders in providing a COVID safe environment for everyone. Unfortunately, things are closed down for the moment. We look forward to seeing you when this is over.
New Vibes Jazz with Penderecki Strings, Derek Hines, Joni NehRita and Mary Catherine Pazzano at the Jazz Room, December 1, 2017.
West Tracks Runnin’
Here's a sample of John's writing and our performance at The Jazz Room in February, 2020. Recorded and mixed by Jeremy Bernard. Photo credit Gee Wong.
May 3, 2021NVJQ at the Sun Life Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival
The New Vibes Jazz Quartet began as a trio in the spring of 1999 with Andy Macpherson (vibes, drums), Dan Brennan (bass), and Tom Wilson (piano) and evolved quickly into a quartet with the addition of Gary Tomlin on drums. Andy leads the NVJQ that now features Dan (bass), John Zadro (piano), Jerzy Kaplanek (violin) and Jay Boehmer (drums). Not a gig goes by when Andy and Dan don’t remember Tom (2019) and Gary (2018) and play with gratitude for their special presence and influence in their music and lives.
The group interprets jazz standards with a polished sound and fluid improvisation. Their two percussionists provide an extensive range of rhythmic expression. The combination of vibraphone and violin is not often heard… but what a beautiful sound! They have often collaborated with other musicians including the Breightaupt Brothers (N.Y.C. and L.A.), the Penderecki String Quartet, Joni NehRita, Derek Hines, and many others.
NVJQ now also features a number of original compositions by members of the group as they begin to prepare for a new recording in the future.
vibraphone & percussion
Andy Macpherson has been playing vibes and percussion for over three decades and is the leader of the NVJQ. He has worked in many large and small ensemble settings, spanning Latin, classical, rock, and jazz. His studies at Humber College under the tutelage of Canadian jazz giants Ron Collier and Pat Labarbara in the late 80’s were very formative. He continues to make music with many of the region’s finest musicians and recently performed with Canadian jazz icon Don Thompson. Besides the NVJQ, which he co-founded, he currently plays with Kitchener Waterloo’s Big Band Theory and occasionally with Jazz Farm, an eclectic band that plays folk, jazz, jigs, reels, and polkas. He was the principal percussionist with the former Waterloo Stage Theatre. He loves playing the vibraphone, a visually interesting instrument with lots of tonal variety whose classic jazz sound is not often heard in a live setting.
Andy has retired from teaching mathematics at St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener where he also directed the SMH Hypercussion Ensemble. He now dedicates his time to being active, creative, his learning and lending a hand where he can.
Dan Brennan is often called on by local jazz musicians to play stand-up bass for their groups in performance and recordings. Dan’s percussive bass playing style is very complementary to the sound of the NVJQ that already boasts two other percussionists. While Dan is classically trained, he grew up playing everything from rock to R&B, classical to jazz. Dan continues to play with the Waterloo Chamber Players as well as the NVJQ. He has recently retired from teaching the strings program at Waterloo Collegiate, getting many local musicians off to a great start in their musical careers.
John Zadro who has brought many genres and stylings to the group as well as a vast repetoire of tunes. He is an experienced soloist and band member and has wowed our audiences with his Gospel influenced, striding honky-tonk, traditional and contemporary jazz playing. He is both exciting and expressive in his playing.
Jerzy Kaplanek has been playing violin regularly with NVJQ since May of 2012. Jerzy brings virtuosity and sensitivity to his interpretation of jazz standards and is a wonderful addition to the sound of the New Vibes Jazz Quartet. Regularly, Jerzy leads the The Pendercki String Quartet and plays as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America over 80 concerts each season. His impressive discography includes over two dozen CDs (Marquis, Eclectra, CBC, CMC, EMI labels), including the acclaimed recording of the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók with the PSQ, and Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Blue Rider Ensemble… Jerzy Kaplanek is presently an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where he has been teaching violin and chamber music since 1991. In addition to his duties at the WLU, he is in great demand as a soloist, adjudicator and teacher at international competitions and summer festivals, and masterclasses given in Canada and abroad. He is playing a 1680 Antonio Casini violin made in Modena, Italy.
Jay Boehmer has been playing the drums with NVJQ since 2018. He is an active musician in the Toronto scene heading up his own trio and quartet as well as ‘driving the bus’ with the Mississauga Big Band. Jay is a drumset clinician partnering with Charlie Cooley and available for school and educational shows. He composes and arranges and has now contributed a couple of original tunes to the New Vibes repertoire.
Friends of the Band
Ted Gibbons occasionally augments the sound of New Vibes Jazz on his custom Tedecaster guitar. Ted’s past endeavours are broad: from music to physics, geometry to creative writing. He presently works at The Working Centre as an employment counsellor.
Inspiration for the Band
Tom Wilson is one of the founding members of the New Vibes Jazz Quartet in 1999. Sadly, Tom passed away January 8, 2019. Tom was the ever funny, optimistic, positive, loving person who is dearly missed by Dan and Andy and the New Vibes community. Tom introduced Dan and Andy to many wonderful jazz standards. Duke Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” is often now part of our set list and is always in memory of Tom. Tom’s wish for us, in his own words: “that you also show extra compassion toward other friends and family. As friends of mine, I know that you have the capacity to bring the Kingdom of God a little closer in this way.”
Gary Tomlin was a well-known percussionist in the K-W area. He started playing the drums while attending K-W Collegiate and has worked in many aspects of percussion. He was head of percussion at Waterloo Music for 10 years and worked 25 years as percussion specialist with the Separate School Board. He has conducted clinics and served as an adjudicator for many music competitions across Canada. For many years Gary has taught privately through the Tomlin Percussion Studio and at Sherwood Music in Kitchener. In fact, Andy Macpherson was one of his students, as were a great many other drummers in the region. Gary is a graduate of the Advanced School of Contemporary Music, where he studied with Ed Thigpen, Ray Brown, and Oscar Peterson. He has played on the air, in musicals, and with many local bands, including: George Kadwell Trio, Pat Ludwig Trio, Fritz-Patrick Trio, Bill Gillard, the John Kostigan Big Band, the Sensation Jazz Band, and of course, the New Vibes Jazz Quartet. Gary passed away April 2, 2018 and is dearly missed.
With the passing of Tom and Gary, there is the makings of a wonderful jazz band in heaven with New Vibes roots. Rest in peace friends.
NVJQ at the Sun Life Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival
Unfortunately, the Waterloo Jazz Festival has been cancelled for 2021. Plans are underway for a festival reboot in the summer of 2022. Stay tuned. Thanks to the organizers for their commitment to live music and all the work they do to make live music possible. It can not be an easy decision to cancel or delay. Stay tuned for updates.
During this crazy time [COVID-19 pandemic, 2020], [New Vibes Jazz Quartet] exhibited a wonderful feeling of grace and musicianship that was heartily received by the audience.
Stephen Preece, President, Grand River Jazz Society
“At our recent sold-out fundraiser, New Vibes Jazz Quintet hit it out of the park. They were consummate professionals in every way. Their music created just the right atmosphere to make our attendees feel welcome, relaxed and engaged in something special. They are at the top of my callback list.”
Bob Egan, Kitchener Public Library, Studio Central Kick-off Event “Party in the Stacks”
“New Vibes Jazz Quintet came and performed at WCI’s Senior Music retreat. Not only was their performance world class and informative, but the students were engaged from start to finish. Their improvisation workshop was also very fun and was appreciated by all of the students. I would highly recommend this ensemble to any school!”
Matt Piche, WCI music department head
“Having recently asked Kitchener based New Vibes Jazz Quartet to perform at a networking event, I would, in a heartbeat bring them back again. The group is very professional and can play tunes from all eras in a jazz style that everyone enjoys. I had very positive feedback about the group from attendees. I have also attended several shows by New Vibes Jazz at the Jazz Room in Waterloo where they always draw a capacity crowd. The local arts community is fortunate to have talent of this calibre that calls Waterloo Region it’s home.”
Angela Vieth, Event Specialist
“I must say how much I loved your music – you added so much to setting the ambience for last night.”
Mary Jane, REEP Green Solutions
“The NVJQ were informative, professional, and obviously love what they do; Andy even got my music students singing along. Would love to have them back anytime and would highly recommend them to any group that wants to further their understanding of the jazz idiom.”
Joan Harris, program head of the arts, SBCSS
“You really made our day. Thank you so much for creating the wonderful ambience at our party with your music.”
Ivan and Toni
“Our guests were absolutely delighted with the sounds of the New Vibes Jazz Quartet. Your music was a great addition to our festive, yet sophisticated atmosphere. The group was engaging, professional, easy to work with, and flexible to our schedule – not to mention, extremely talented musicians. You really brought a great ‘vibe’ to our fundraiser!”
Sue Lockett, Development Officer, Cambridge Memorial Hospital
“Just want to say that the Friday night music was WONDERFUL!!!!! Thank you so much. It really livens up the café.”
Margaret O’Shea Bonner, Queen Street Commons Cafe, Working Centre
“I don’t know what I enjoyed more about this great evening – the terrific music-making these four guys created, or the wonderful relationship that they clearly enjoyed onstage throughout their show. There are very few vibes players around that inspire me the way that Andy Macpherson does with the creative lines that he weaves. Andy, Tom, Dan and Gary put me in a mood that I definitely did not want to leave that night! Way to go, guys!”
Larry Larson, first trumpet, K-W Symphony
“We loved having your great vibes at our wedding celebration… there was a great buzzing feeling at (the reception) and your music was a big part of that. Many people commented on it… we hope to hear you play more!”
Julian and Sarah
“Recently, for a very special celebration at our home, we booked the New Vibes Jazz Quartet. Along with their exceptional musicianship, the NVJQ established an easy rapport with our guests and provided just the right balance of sophistication and fun. People still talk about that party and our ‘house band’ – the New Vibes Jazz Quartet.”
Ann and Mark Clare, Cambridge
The NVJQ “has worked for Homer Watson House & Gallery on several occasions providing musical entertainment at special events, openings, and receptions. Andy has always provided high quality work in a professional and business-like manner. His skills as a musician are superior and his reviews from visitors and guests are always positive… the best entertainment Homer Watson House & Gallery has had the privilege of signing.”
Faith Hielblinger, Director/Curator