The five artists that make up the Hugh Fraser Quintet, all prolific composers, performers, leaders and educators in their own right include;
Hugh Fraser – Piano, Trombone
Campbell Ryga – Soprano, Alto Saxophone
Ross Taggart – Tenor Saxophone, Piano
Ken Lister – Bass
Dave Robbins – Drums
Drawn from the ranks of VEJI (the “Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation” – a 13 piece collective founded in 1980 that is still very active), the Quintet drew from its large group experience, improvisational content and the excitement of regular live performances to have their first break as winners of the 1987 Alcan/Festival de Jazz de Montreal.
This lead to their first release, Looking Up, on CBC’s Jazzimage Records which won the 1988 Juno Award for Best Jazz Album.
They carried on to tour Europe including a life changing two week double-bill at Europe’s oldest jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s in London, England, performing opposite Chucho Valdes’ Irakere.
The Quintet carried on to record:
Pas de Problem (nominated for a 1989 Juno Award); Hugh Fraser’s Boathouse Record label’s debut album,
Red and Blue (winner of the 1996 Pacific Music Industry Award for Best Jazz Album);
In the Mean Time (1998 Juno Award for Best Mainstream Jazz Album); and,
A Night in Vancouver recorded live at Rossini’s in Gastown with New York jazz legend, Slide Hampton.
The Quintet has won incredible popularity during their frequent performances in Europe, the United States and especially Central America, South America and Cuba where their highly original and energized Western Canadian definition of North American Classical Music (Jazz) always and inspires and infuses their audiences with a deeper understanding of the past, incredible joy in the moment while fostering a feeling of optimism for the future.
Now in their third decade of recording, touring and presenting educational workshops, the Hugh Fraser Quintet is looking ahead to a full touring and recording schedule and the immanent release of a DVD.
With a collective performance experience of over 150 years, this intensely personal partnership always creates an exciting, thoughtful and moving experience to all those that contribute the gift of their presence to complete our goal of peace & love through music.
Performance highlights have included:
Festival de jazz de Montreal;
Festivals in Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria, Nanaimo, Gibsons, Sechelt, Courtenay, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Whitehorse, Kaslo, Summerland, Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Canmore, Banff, Peterborough, Fredericton;
The Blue Note, New York City (Pas de Problem record release party);
Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C.; Boston;
Catalinas, The Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles;
Yoshi’s, San Francisco; The New Orleans, Seattle;
Western Washington University, Bellingham;
Tacoma, Portland, Ashland, Sacramento; San Pedro;
UNITED KINGDOM & IRELAND
Ronnie Scott’s Club, London;
Purcell Room, Royal Academy of Music, London;
Festivals in Glasgow, Dundee, Scotland; Cardiff, Wales; Manchester, Leeds;
Queen’s Festival, Belfast, Ireland;
Cork International Jazz Festival, Ireland;
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland;
Paris International Jazz Festival;
Mas y Mas, Barcelona, Spain;
Berlin; Hamburg; Cologne;
New Morning Club, Geneva, Switzerland;
Terneuzen, Middleburg, Holland;
CUBA, CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
Regular appearances at the Havana, Cuba Jazz Plaza Festival
with guest Chucho Valdes;
Panama, Guatemala, Bogota, Colombia
San Paulo, Salvador da Bahia, Brazillia, Brazil