Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine


Al Kay: Talking Trombone

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Calling all trombone players—the brass department at the University of Manitoba has booked in one of Canada’s top trombonists for a two-day weekend seminar in mid-November.

Al Kay is one of Toronto’s busiest musicians, performing and recording for nearly three decades. For the last fifteen years, he’s been the lead trombone with Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass. He’s a first-call musician for Toronto’s major musical theatre productions, including “The Producers,” “Ragtime,” and “Crazy for You.” More recently, he’s been pouring his energies into True North Brass, an ensemble which performs a wide range of musical styles and showcases the virtuosity of its members. Over the course of his career, he has worked with a long list of jazz artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Connick Jr, Phil Woods, Diana Krall, and Slide Hampton. Kay is also a gifted teacher—as well as numerous clinics and masterclasses, he teaches at Humber College where he’s Head of the Brass Department.

The two-day seminar focuses on general trombone skills—tone, technique, range, endurance, and such. It’s not intended particularly for jazz musicians, but the opportunity to tackle fundamentals with an experienced professional and clinician will be a boon for any interested player. Seminar participants will be split into two groups: the junior level ($75) targets musicians who have not yet had sustained individual instruction on the trombone, and the senior level ($175) builds on a solid familiarity with the instrument. Kay will play a concert of mixed repertoire on the final evening.

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