Former lakecity resident Ryan Oliver, with his band The Cookers, is returning to the lakecity for two concerts this week.
The Cookers will be in concert at the Studio Theatre Friday, April 12 and Saturday April 13. Tickets are available at the Guitar Seller and the Open Book.
The Cookers was formed in 2009 in an effort for the musicians to share their passion for swinging, traditional jazz music with Canadian audiences and, along the way, developed a catalogue of original music and a unique Canadian sound, states the group’s biography.
The band’s freshman album, The Cookers, Volume 1, was warmly received by Canada’s jazz community, and even had the honour of being featured on Katie Malloch’s final radio episode on CBC as one of her favourite albums of the year.
Juno-nominated, and now Toronto based saxophonist Oliver has taught, recorded and performed with various musicians and groups throughout the world.
After graduation in Williams Lake he honed his craft on the West Coast before moving to Amsterdam, Toronto and then New York.
Since returning to Toronto, Oliver has maintained a busy schedule as one of the city’s in demand saxophonists.
Oliver’s latest album STRIVE, features jazz legend Victor Lewis on drums and records nine of Oliver’s contemporary original compositions.
Oliver’s debut recording, Convergence, was selected by several CODA Magazine critics as one of the top 10 Canadian jazz releases of 2007.
He maintains a weekly Sunday night residency at Joe Mamas with Organic, a quartet that features Canadian great Bernie Senensky on Hammond B3 organ.
Their debut recording, Organic, Live was released in the winter of 2012.
Oliver has toured India, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada with legendary Canadian saxophone group the Shuffle Demons and is also a featured sideman in Tonight at Noon, an octet that plays the music of Charles Mingus.
Oliver is also a member of Juno award winning blues/rock performer Derek Miller’s group. Oliver is featured in the horn section on Derek Miller’s recording, Derek Miller and Double Trouble, featuring Stevie Ray Vaughn’s heralded rhythm section Double Trouble and musical icon Willie Nelson. The recording was nominated for a Juno in 2011.
Jazz education is also an important part of Oliver’s professional life. A saxophone instructor at York University’s jazz program, he has also been a featured clinician at Malaspina College, Western University, the University of Windsor and high schools throughout New York, New Jersey, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Alongside all of his efforts as a musician and educator, Oliver is also the artistic director for the Harbord St. Jazz Festival, an annual festival that celebrates the pairing of fine dining and jazz.