Thursday, May 25 2017

With the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board we are proud to present the 2017 Provincial Tour!

Featuring a collective of world-class jazz artists, the Provincial Tour brings professional musicians and educators to small communities for creative workshops focused in jazz music. Elementary and high school aged students will have the opportunity to broaden their understanding of jazz and the influence the genre has had on contemporary music today. 

2017 Schedule and Locations

Monday, May 29th

  • Norquay School (Norquay SK)
  • Canora Composite High School (Canora, SK)

Tuesday, May 30th 

  • Churchbridge School K-12 (Churchbridge, SK)
  • Dr. Brass School (Yorkton, SK)
  • Clinic for Yorkton All That Jazz Big Band Community Band

 Wednesday, May 31st

  • Calder School (Calder, SK)
  • Yorkdale Central School (Yorkton, SK)
  • Kamsack Comprehensive Institute (Kamsack, SK)

 Thursday, June 1st

  • Columbia School (Yorkton, SK)
  • St Henry's Senior School (Melville, SK)
  • Fort Qu'Apelle Elementary Community School (Fort Qu'Apelle, SK) 

 Funded by



 Featured Artists and Educators / Dean McNeill Quintet 

 Dean McNeill

Award winning Canadian trumpet player/composer, Dean McNeill regularly performs in both the classical and jazz idioms and has been a faculty member at University of Saskatchewan Dept. of Music for the past 18 years. During this time Dean has performed and adjudicated throughout Canada and the United States, released two critically acclaimed albums as a leader, and produced and performed on over 12 albums. Dean is the recipient of the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival’s Special Recognition Award, UofS’s campus-wide Student Union Teaching Excellence Award, UofS Dept. of Music’s Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award, and, a Downbeat Magazine big band arranging award. As an ensemble conductor and engaged music educator Dean has taught the UofS Jazz Ensemble, the International Music Camp’s (IMC) student big band, IMC Faculty Jazz Ensemble, UofS Kenderdine Campus Summer Jazz Retreat, the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival Jazz Intensive, and, he has led many of his own professional bands on Canadian tours. Since its inception Dean has been the Artistic Director of the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra. Dean has performed 4 times at the Western Canadian Music Awards (W.C.M.A.) within various projects that have been nominated for W.C.M.A.s. 

John Harmon

John Harmon was born in 1935 in Oshkosh, Wis. He began playing piano at a young age with his mother, who played mostly by ear. She taught him the basics, and the two harmonized tunes together. His exposure to jazz came early, too, thanks in part to his father's extensive collection of jazz records, which included recordings of such greats as Duke Ellington, Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum.

Harmon graduated from Lawrence University in 1957 with a degree in music composition. The summer after graduation, Harmon attended the first session of the Lenox School of Jazz — the legendary summer program recognized as one of the first educational programs with a jazz curriculum. Harmon studied with Oscar Peterson, whom he credits with improving his playing immensely.

A widely commissioned composer, Harmon has written music for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, "The Orchestra" of Los Angeles, the Fox Valley Symphony and the Santa Fe Chamber Orchestra. His music contains elements of jazz, as well as, Americana and Native American influences.

Zack Harmon

Zach Harmon was born into a musical family in Wisconsin. He began studying piano at the age of three and continued for thirteen years. He started playing the drums at age 15 and quickly gravitated towards improvised music. In 2003, Zach became a member of the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars with whom he toured Japan and performed at the 2003 Monterey Jazz Festival. Also in 2003, he enrolled in the Thornton School of Music at USC where he studied with the great Terri Lyne Carrington for two years. 

After his sophomore year, he transferred to the Masters program at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz where he studied with Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Haden, Wallace Roney, Benny Golson, Robert Hurst, Lewis Nash, and many others. In 2005, as a member of the Monk Institute, he toured with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, performing in a cultural outreach program throughout Vietnam. In 2007, he toured again with Mr. Shorter and Mr. Hancock, this time throughout India. 

Zach has been studying tabla with Abhiman Kaushal and recorded tabla on Terence Blanchard’s A Tale of God’s Will for Blue Note Records (the album, which reflects on the events of Hurricane Katrina, won a GRAMMY for best large ensemble). Over the years, as a versatile drummer and percussionist, Zach has performed with artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Charles Altura, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Billy Childs, Yoonseung Cho, Romain Collin, Chris Dingman, John Doe, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Angel Luís Figueroa, Lázaro Galarraga, Sara Gazarek, Larry Goldings, Tim Green, Tigran Hamasyan, John Harmon, Noah Harmon, Geoffrey Keezer, Kris Kristofferson, Abe Laboriel, Sr., Greg Leisz, Nick Mancini, ArtyomManukyan, Josh Nelson, Gabe Noel, Vardan Ovsepian, John Pizzarelli, Austin Peralta, John C. Reilly, Nell Robinson, Otmaro Ruiz, Joe Sanders, Gina Saputo, Anoushka Shankar, Walter Smith III, Terrell Stafford, Dayna Stephens, Strangeloop, Bobby Wilmore, Anthony Wilson and many others. 

John Barron

John Baron is a young bassist currently residing in Winnipeg. As a recent grad from Brandon University’s Jazz Studies program, he finds himself busy sitting in with groups such as the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, John Harmon Quartet, and the Rebirth of the Cool, while also touring with Iowa based vocal jazz group, Harmonic Convergence. John is also heavily involved with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s music education program ‘El Sistema’ where he teaches double bass and conducts their youth orchestra.

Greg Gatien

Greg Gatien was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he began playing saxophone in the Halifax City Schools music program. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree in Music Education and Jazz Studies from Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. During this time, Greg also studied privately with saxophonist Don Palmer, and began free-lancing throughout the Maritimes with prominent Nova Scotia-based musicians, including Gene Smith, Tom Roach, Dave Staples, Al Sutherland, Jerry Granelli, Skip Beckwith and Danny Sutherland.

Greg moved to Boston for the first time in the early 1990s to study saxophone and improvisation with Jerry Bergonzi. During this two-year period, Greg continued to perform frequently, including work as a member of the Maritime Jazz Orchestra alongside Eastern Canadian jazz musicians Kirk McDonald, Chris Mitchell, Mike Murley, Jim Vivian, Greg Carter, and others. Greg would remain a member of this group until the late 1990s, performing alongside Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone and John Taylor and recording the JustinTime release, Siren Song.

In the mid-1990s Greg moved to Rochester, NY to pursue his Masters of Music (Jazz and Contemporary Media) at the Eastman School of Music. Following the completion of his Masters degree, Greg moved back to Boston where he began teaching at the New England Conservatory in both the Music Education Department (teaching graduate jazz pedagogy and supervising student teachers) and in the Jazz Studies Department (directing small ensembles). Greg’s interest in further exploring ideas of jazz pedagogy led to work with the New England Conservatory’s Research Center for Learning Through Music, where he collaborated with Larry Scripp, Warren Senders, Lyle Davidson, Jean Bamberger, Martin Gardiner, and Paul Burdick. After having been on faculty for little over a year, Greg began his DMA in Jazz Studies.

Prior to completing his DMA, Greg moved to Brandon University where he accepted a position on faculty at the School of Music that has involved the development of a jazz studies program. Since returning to Canada, Greg has been active as a teacher, performer and clinician. Greg has been the lead alto saxophonist with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra for the past six years, and has appeared frequently with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Greg has recorded for CBC on many occasions, performed at several jazz festivals throughout Canada, and was recently part of jazz composer/ trumpeter Dean McNeill’s Western-Canadian all-star recording project, Prairie Fire, released on Cellar Live, also featuring Mike Downes, Ted Warren, Brian O’Kane, Hugh Fraser, Campbell Ryga, Kelly Jefferson, and John McLeod. Greg has been a member of the Red Lodge Music Festival for the past four years, where he collaborates with jazz pianist John Harmon, and is the director of the International Music Camp’s Jazz camp.