On November 16, Winnipeggers packed the Park Theatre for Rent Party 5, a special celebration of dig! magazine’s tenth birthday! Small groups of students and alumni played while people milled in the lobby, getting their pictures taken on the red carpet, making strategic efforts to win prizes at the rainbow auction table, watching images from ten years of dig! magazine on the big screen, and finding members of the jazz community in the full-sized “Great Day in Winnipeg” print.
The University of Manitoba Jazz Orchestra, with Derrick Gardner at the helm, stole the audience’s heart with their polished, spirited performance. Many people commented on how impressive it was to watch all those young musicians work together with such obvious pleasure in the music, and to hear so many soloists step up to the microphone to share their sharply-honed skills.
In the second set, members of the Jazz Studies faculty—Steve and Anna-Lisa Kirby, Quincy Davis, Will Bonness, Larry Roy, Jon Gordon, and Derrick Gardner—performed a couple of numbers, then sat in with the UMJO in various configurations. Not only was the music fabulous, but we had a chance to witness the musical mentoring that is such a crucial aspect of the jazz art form. Our thanks to all of the young musicians in the UMJO, and to the faculty, for making the concert so memorable.
For generosity beyond measure, we offer a big shout-out to: Erick Casselman, sound tech Matt, and the staff of the Park Theatre; the Graham-Burke-Sabasch Trio and their guests; photographers Ken Tugby, Matt Duboff, and John McLeod; our volunteer brigade: Flavia, Sofia, Judy, Brooke, Chenoa, Kelsey, Max, Marc, Jim and Kathy; and especially the hardworking Rent Party organizing committee: Anna-Lisa Kirby, Lori Derraugh, Mike Diehl, Donna Tugby, Kelley Fry, and Lynne Stefanchuk.
Special thanks to the team who brought us our framed “Great Day in Winnipeg 2014” print: photographer Lindsey Bond, designer John Funk, Brian Hayhurst at Prolific, and Judy Tryon at Frame of Mind Gallery. With its halo of signatures, this collector’s item was a sought-after silent auction item; Brian Hayhurst is now the proud owner! (Full poster-sized prints are still available from Jazz Winnipeg for only $20.)
We are grateful to our generous rainbow auction donors: Asper family, Will Bonness, Boston Pizza, Cercle Molière, Colors Beauty & Wellness, Quincy Davis, Jeff Derraugh, Five Small Rooms, Frame of Mind Gallery, Teen and Trevor Gowler, Heather Harder, Dry Cold Productions, Amber Epp, Jon Gordon, Inn at the Forks, Steve Kirby, Long & McQuade, Ma Vie En Vin, Manitoba Opera Company, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Movie Village, National Leasing, Nicolino’s, NorthStar Physiotherapy, Rady Jewish Community Centre, Ashley Roch, Larry Roy, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Tim Horton’s, True North Sports & Entertainment, Tugby family, U of M Extended Ed, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg International Writers Festival, Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Your contributions generated valuable resources for us, and great delight for our audience!
Finally, a huge thanks to all of you who came to the party, and who continue to read dig! magazine. We’re here because you care about this community.
It was a great night—happy people, shiny prizes, stellar music, and the exhilaration of banding together in a big shout-out to the Jazz Capital of Canada! We are thrilled about this ten-year milestone, and looking forward to many more of them…