Art and Jazz
Fabienne Tosi, Kitchener, produced these large paintings while listening to live performances of New Vibes Jazz, one while at the Jazz Room and one while at the Homer Watson House & Gallery.
The New Vibes Jazz Quartet began as a trio in the spring of 1999 and evolved quickly into a quartet with the addition of Gary Tomlin on drums. Andy Macpherson (percussion & vibraphone) leads the NVJQ that features Dan Brennan (bass), Gary Tomlin (drums) and John Zadro (piano). The quartet has expanded into a quintet with the sweet violin of Jerzy Kaplanek.
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 vibrophone and violin is not often heard… but what a beautiful sound!
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 principle percussionist with the former Waterloo Stage Theatre. He loves playing vibraphone, a visually interesting instrument with lots of tonal variety whose classic jazz sound is not often heard in a live setting.
Andy also teaches mathematics at St. Mary’s High School in Kitchener and directs the SMH Hypercussion Ensemble.
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 complimentary 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.
Gary Tomlin is a well-known percussionist in the K-W area. He started playing 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 Kichener. 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.
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 master classes given in Canada and abroad. He is playing a 1680 Antonio Casini violin made in Modena, Italy.
Friends of the Band
Ted Gibbons occassionally 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.
Tom Wilson is one of the founding members of the New Vibes Jazz Quartet in 1999. Tom now lives close to his family in Maryland, USA and so his performances with NVJQ are rare though thrilling. Gary, Dan, and Andy travelled to see Tom in the fall of 2015 for a reunion concert and look forward to any opportunity to reunite with their friend Tom.
After two sold-out shows at the Registry Theatre with The Penderecki String Quartet and many local vocalists, NVJQ will bring a number of Breithaupt Brothers tunes to the December show at the Jazz Room.
“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 heart beat 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 caliber 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