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Journeys to the Bandstand cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-916162-7
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-916160-3
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 624 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-916161-0
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 624 pages
  • Keywords
    • Vancouver jazz history,
    • the Cellar jazz club,
    • Cory Weeds,
    • historical non-fiction,
    • Canadian jazz,
    • jazz musician biographies,
    • Charles Mingus

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Journeys to the Bandstand
Thirty Jazz Lives in Vancouver
by Chris Wong

What I didn’t know [when starting to research and write this book]: I would become full-on, hopelessly obsessed with finding out every arcane detail about the artists gathered in these pages, whether they are living or long gone. Those myriad facts are puzzle pieces that—even though some pieces are missing—form portraits of extraordinary people with a hunger for jazz and other creative artforms, a determination to overcome struggles, and a deep joy for creating profound expression. —Chris Wong, from the Preface and Introduction to Journeys to the Bandstand. Journeys to the Bandstand: Thirty Jazz Lives in Vancouver chronicles the creative lives and musical journeys of thirty extraordinary artists who have helped shape the jazz scene in the west coast Canadian city, and further afield. Each chapter focuses on one remarkable artist, or a small group of impactful musicians, mostly based in Vancouver (Al Neil, Dave Quarin, Brad Turner, Cory Weeds, Jodi Proznick, Natasha D’Agostino, and others). The book also highlights some American musicians (Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Dr. Lonnie Smith, George Coleman, and others) who have made an indelible impression on the city’s jazz community. Weaving a first-person perspective—through the author’s experiences hearing the musicians perform and documenting oral history from in-depth interviews—with extensive written and audio-visual history gathered from articles, letters, recordings, films, and more, Journeys to the Bandstand is a compelling collection of long-form portraits. The unique life stories of each subject include challenges—addictions, anxiety and self-doubt, racism, abuse, and other hard realities—and triumphs when they succeeded in making expressive and memorable music. Each individual path forms a complex and fascinating passage—the journey to the bandstand.

“As the newest essential book on Vancouver jazz, Journeys to the Bandstand is inviting and personal. Chris Wong unlocks the decisions and emotions from the subjects’ lives from a well-researched vantage point, applying the same care to those tales from decades past as the ones from recent memory. Otherwise hidden personalities emerge as captivating stars on the scene alongside the more well-known names. You'll learn a lot, whether you lived within these stories yourself or you're discovering them for the first time.” —Will Chernoff, Rhythm Changes

Chris Wong is a lifelong music nerd, who is an aficionado of jazz and many other genres. His affinity for writing about music emerged in high school, when Chris received his first byline for a review of the punk band the K-Tels. While writing for the University of British Columbia’s The Ubyssey student newspaper, he landed an in-person interview with Dizzy Gillespie, which had some tense moments. Chris went on to cover music and other subjects for the Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight, Vancouver Courier, and other publications. He has also written liner notes. It has been an honour for him to write about both international jazz greats and local heroes. Journeys to the Bandstand is a passion project that Chris honed for more than a decade. This is his first book. Born in Regina, Chris lives in Vancouver, Canada with his wife Maria Chu and they have two children, both involved in the arts: Miles Wong and Sarah Wong.


Chris Wong
David Ferman

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