Ryan Oliver and the Cookers in concert next week

The Cookers will play in Williams Lake Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at the Studio Theatre at Glendale Elementary School.

By Michael Butterfield

The Cookers will be coming to Williams Lake to play two concerts, Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at the Studio Theatre at Glendale School.

This is a very exciting event, considering how often a first-rate jazz quintet performs in our town.

The reason why this group is coming here is because this is the home town of the tenor saxophonist/leader of The Cookers.

He grew up on 12th Avenue, went to Columneetza Secondary School, and his name is Ryan Oliver.

One day, many years ago, his mom called a saxophone teacher to enquire about tenor saxophone lessons, and this is how the story went.

The teacher asked her what kind of music Ryan likes to listen to. As the saying goes, “You are what you eat,” and translate that to musician’s terms, “You are what you listen to.”

Now just consider for a moment that Ryan was only 15 years old at the time, and that all of this occurred over 20 years ago.

Also keep in the back of your mind “What do kids listen to?”

His mom said to the teacher, “Just a minute and I’ll ask him,” and she quickly replied, “He likes jazz.”

So then the teacher asked: “Who does he listen to?”

And she said to the teacher, “Just a minute and I’ll ask him.” She quickly replied that he listens to John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, just to name a few of his idols.

Now if you were a young hockey player and were asked who your favorite player was, you probably would have lots of answers to that question, but when a kid is asked who his favorite jazz musician is, one doesn’t really expect a hard answer.

It surprised the teacher. This kid was genuine!

Now, 20 years later, if you were to shut your eyes and just listen to Ryan Oliver play, he would conjure up visions of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley, Branford Marsalis and other great tenor players, but all in a unique voice named Ryan.

Ryan is among the very best jazz tenor saxophonists in Canada and he has made many recordings. He plays regularly with the Derek Miller Band, the Shuffle Demons, as well as The Cookers.

The Cookers also have Tim Hamel on trumpet, Richard Whiteman on piano, Alex Coleman on bass, and Joel Haynes on drums.

Each player’s musicianship is top-shelf and they all have massively great resumes of people with whom they have played and recorded.

Their CD called, The Cookers Vol. I was featured on Katie Malloch’s final radio episode of Jazz Beat on CBC, and Katie said that it was one of her favorite albums of the year. Ryan also has a new recording soon to come out called Strive, featuring the legendary Victor Lewis on drums.

If you are not familiar with The Cookers, check them out. They are very good! Tickets are on sale at The Guitar Seller, and at the Open Book.

Michael Butterfield is a music teacher in Williams Lake and Ryan’s mentor when he was studying music in Williams Lake.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read