Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Referencing that old Percy Mayfield tune, with its’ lyrics evocative of a laid-back Loo’sana lifestyle, seems kind of ironic. I haven’t had a day off since I got back to town.

I presented a paper at a seminar at Satchmo Summerfest August 6th, and Darlene and I hung out and caught a bunch of free music. Along with food and dancing, free music is what New Orleans does best. We heard a whole whack of brass bands, as well as Trombone Shorty (AKA Troy Andrews) and his new, funk oriented outfit. Troy is another one of Wynton’s protégés, and he’s also a graduate of NOCCA (The New Orleans Center For Creative Arts), New Orlean’s fine arts high school and incubator to many, many jazz musicians over the years. The guy can play the hell out of both trombone and trumpet in pretty much any genre from traditional to modern, but his new band is very much in the Maceo Parker mold. It was mostly youngbloods, the only guy I recognized was keyboardist David Torkanowsky, who’s a old guy like me.

I’ve gotten the go-ahead from the department head to proceed with the faculty band CD. Looks like it’ll shake out to be John Dobry on guitar, Frederick Sanders on keys, Kevin O’Day on drums, Jim Markway on bass and yours truly on tenor. I’m going to try to set up some preproduction rehearsals in the next week or so, with actual recording in mid September. The Deadline for submissions to the New Orleans jazzfest is Oct. 31, so there’s some time pressure. I’d dearly love to bring this band to the Vancouver festival as well, but that presents some logistical challenges. We shall see.

I’m going to try to get an article up soon on the current state of the club scene here. There’s some new joints opened up, plus a lot of the old ones, and several that look like they are, sadly, gone for good. But right now, the freight train that is the beginning of the academic year is heading down the track. Straight at me.

More later.



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