They call themselves The Old Guys, but these boys play with the passion and energy of youth.
Together, The Old Guys have more than 320 years of combined playing experience, which they will showcase at next Thursday’s Jazz Club performance.
With great enthusiasm, longtime Salmon Arm musician Sandy Cameron talks about his musical comrades, some of whom he played with during his three-year “hiatus” in Victoria, and others he has jammed with over many years.
“When I was in Victoria, I ended up playing in four different ensembles,” he says of one of the group members. “I met a trumpet player older than I am and Chuck Howard and I went out together on all these gigs.”
Cameron describes Donnie Clark, another Old Guy member, as a wonderful jazz trumpet player, who retired in the Kootenays.
“He played all over the world and is very well-known in the jazz scene in Canada,” says Cameron, noting Clark was a musical director for a couple of CBC television shows.
Cameron, who will play a number of instruments at next week’s concert, is also delighted to be introducing Howard to Clark, as Howard’s father was a musician who played with Clark years ago when he was just beginning his career.
Rounding out the Old Guys lineup are talented homegrown bass player Bill Lockie and, from Kelowna, Cameron’s favourite piano player, octogenarian Don Ross.
“We’re all old, except for Gareth Seys; he’s just a youngster,” laughs Cameron of the drummer and trombone player who will play with The Old Guys. “And, hopefully joining us will be an even younger guest, an incredible saxophone player named Chris Petterson.”
Cameron says the idea for the group’s name came to him following a concert he was in with the Island Big Band and where he thought about getting some of the musicians to perform with him for the Salmon Arm Jazz group – old guys from Victoria with old guys from Salmon Arm and the B.C. interior, all playing together.
The name also appealed to Cameron because SAS grad and award-winning musician Richard Underhill wrote a song called Old Guys and dedicated it to his mentors.
“In the early years, Jim Johnston and I were there and we might have rubbed off on him a little bit; some of his old guys are my old guys too.”
Underhill’s Old Guys will be on the concert program, as will other old favourites, among them, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Only a Paper Moon, Darn that Dream, A Nightingale Sang in Barclay Square and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 25 at the Nexus at First United Church.
Admission is by donation and Cameron assure there will be “delightful treats” at intermission.