Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Long Dought is Finally Over

 After three years, many lockdowns, and many, many people who have suffered much more than we have due to COVID-19, the Bob Liley Jazz Quintet is back at Jazz Vespers on Sunday, June 5, from 4:00 - 5:00 pm. Our founding pianist, Roy Sluyter, has suffered some health problems, so we have been lucky enough to have Wayne Stewart, our former long-time pianist with the Sanctuary AllStars, join us for this performance. The rest of the band are the regulars; AAron Hardie, Norm Quinn, Mark Bender, and myself. Please come down and see/hear us at St, Andrews-Wesley Church, Burrard and Nelson Streets in Vancouver, on June 5, and listen to some classic jazz. When you're there, please come up and say hello. We love to connect with our audiences; they are the reason we continue to perform. Admission is by donation, and parking under the church is free. And remember, it's Jazz for the fun of it!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Racism is Learned

I don't normally use this site for this kind of material, but this is the time to do it. When he was about four years old, my youngest son, Will, and I went down to the swimming pool for a swim in the complex where we were then living. In the hot tub was a younger black man. Now, as a musician, I had worked with a lot of black musicians over the course of my career, and many black jazz musicians were my musical idols. I had lived in New York for several years and had lived and worked with many black folks there in the course of my daily life. However, having grown up in Canada, black folks were a very small part of the population here. At this point, we were living in Vancouver, and black folks were fairly rare here at that time. Anyway, on with the main story.

Will had seen black folks on TV, but had never encountered one before. I was watching his face; his eyes were getting as big as saucers! I decided to stand back and let things play out. Will got into the hot tub, and there was a ledge around the inside of the hot tub where this fellow was sitting. Will began slowly walking around this ledge, being watched carefully by the black fellow. After three trips around this ledge, having avoided any contact with the fellow, Will put his hand on this fellow's arm, and ran his fingers down it, all the while being watched by this fellow and me. Finally, Will said to him, "Your skin is black", to which the fellow replied, "Yes, it is". At this point Will lost interest in the hot tub and said, "Hey, Dad, let's get into the pool"! I happily agreed.

Revell (the black fellow) and I subsequently became friends. He was an ex-Navy Seal from San Francisco who was working as a stock broker in Vancouver. This was the second example of how I realized that racism is learned. I won't bore you with the first, which I encountered when I was about thirteen and was visiting my aunt in Detroit. Children are not naturally racist; just watch them. So, the question is, where do people learn racism? How do we put a stop to it?

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Sanctuary AllStars were back at Jazz Vespers

Bob Liley’s Sanctuary AllStars 17-piece big band  performed once again at Jazz Vespers (St. Andrews-Wesley Church, Burrard and Nelson Streets in downtown Vancouver) on Sunday, October 20th from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. However, there was a bit of a twist here. Because the Church is being seismically upgraded, it won’t be available for use for some time. Rather, we performed in the Salons, rooms that are part of the redevelopment project that was undertaken some years ago behind the Church proper. Feedback suggested that the sound was good (we were the first big band to play there) and that the jazz seemed more intimate. Many folks enjoyed both the ambiance and the performance. Come out and see us some time. And remember, It’s Jazz for the fun of it!

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Sanctuary AllStars Played Trout Lake July 3rd

On Wednesday, July 3rd, Bob Liley's Sanctuary AllStars 17-piece jazz band  performed once again at the Trout Lake Community Centre on Victoria Drive in Vancouver. This is a beautiful outdoor setting and it makes for a great family outing. We  performed from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, featuring big band jazz from our extensive repertoire played by some of Vancouver's finest musicians. We were pleased to see many of you there. It's a great place to bring the family and have a picnic, as many people did. The kids got to hear some music they probably don't get to hear much anymore. Best of all, it was a free performance. After all is said and done, It's Jazz, for the fun of it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Bob Liley Jazz Quintet Played Jazz Vespers Sunday, May 19th

After what seems to have been a long hiatus, the Bob Liley Jazz Quintet was back performing again at Jazz Vespers on Sunday, May 19th. However, because St. Andrews-Wesley is undergoing an extensive seismic upgrade, this performance took place right across Nelson Street at First Baptist Church, 999 Burrard Street in Vancouver. We wish to thank First Baptist for accommodating Jazz Vespers during the renovations. Same programme, same time (4:00–5:00 pm), new repertoire. Many folks who enjoy jazz that puts a smile on their faces and sets their feet to tapping, came out to give us a listen. Remember, It’s Jazz for the fun of it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Sanctuary AllStars played Jazz Vespers again

On Sunday, October 28th, 2018, Bob Liley's Sanctuary AllStars performed at Jazz Vespers once again. Where? Why at St. Andrews-Wesley Church at Burrard and Nelson streets in Vancouver. What time? Generally from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. In fact, the band has been performing here since 1998, and this was our 30th performance. This is a 17-piece jazz band, featuring some highly regarded soloists and an amazing collective playing swinging tunes from the libraries of Count Basie, Oliver Nelson, and Bob Florence, among others. If you had heard the band before, this was all new material. If you hadn't heard us before, we think you enjoyed a treat. In any event, it's hard to beat the experience of a live jazz performance. Many thanks to those who came out to hear us. And remember, It's Jazz for the fun of it!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sanctuary AllStars Played Trout Lake Once Again

On Wednesday, July 4th, Bob Liley's Sanctuary AllStars performed once again at the Trout Lake Community Centre on Victoria Drive in Vancouver. This is a beautiful outdoor setting  and it makes for a great family outing, The performance was from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and we  featured challenging big band jazz from our 17-piece orchestra. Several hundred folks were there with their children and picnicking; however, rain unexpectedly descended during our second set and we had to cut the performance (and the picnicking) short.  We had a few swing dancers show up and they were cheated, too!  We were promised beautiful weather, but this is Vancouver, after all. Maybe we'll have better luck next time. Remember, It's Jazz, for the fun of it!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sanctuary AllStars Play Jazz Vespers

Bob Liley’s Sanctuary AllStars 17-piece big band  performed once again at Jazz Vespers (St. Andrews-Wesley Church in downtown Vancouver) on Sunday, October 29th from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Based on audience response, this had to be one of our best Jazz Vespers performances yet. Lots of kudos to the band and the musicians after the performance, and a great reception after each tune. If you've heard us before, this was all new material; if you've not heard us yet, be sure to come on down some time! The energy is always better in live performance.We’d love to see you there. And remember, It’s Jazz for the fun of it!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sanctuary AllStars Jazz Sampler

We have had a number of requests from folks who wonder why we haven't posted some music on this site. So, we are posting three tunes we recorded in 2013. The first of these is a Pete Coulman tune called 'Awakening Peach'. Pete was a highly respected Toronto teacher and composer who  produced a number of amazing compositions. This one features Al Guraliuk on flugelhorn. 

The second tune is called 'Quintessence' by Quincy Jones. This amazing ballad involves the whole band but features Max Todd on alto saxophone.

The final tune is called The Rocket and was written by David Wilken. This swings along nicely, thank you, and features Wayne Stewart on piano, Dave Phyall on guitar, James Hill on tenor sax, and Rob Peskett on trumpet. 

I hope you enjoy these. Just copy and load this link into your browser. Earphones are best for listening. And come out and hear us live some time. The energy is always better in live performances.


BLJQ Plays Pat's Pub

On Saturday, October 14th, the Bob Liley Jazz Quintet played Pat's Pub, which is quickly becoming established as the place to hear great jazz in Vancouver. Pat's Pub is located in the Hotel Patricia, 403 E Hastings Street in Vancouver. It's a funky heritage place which harkens back to the earlier days of jazz with its smoke-filled rooms and great all-night parties. We performed our classic bebop repertoire from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and the place was packed, with many folks staying for the whole performance. The band was on fire and the audience loved us. We would sure like to do a return engagement there. This is why we say, It's Jazz for the fun of it!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

BLJQ Jazz Sampler

For the Bob Liley Jazz Quintet, we have two samples from a CBC 'Hot Air' program we did a few years ago. The first of these is 'Jeannine' by Duke Pearson, a pianist I first encountered when I was about twelve. The second tune is 'Little Sunflower' by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, also an American composer who plays a significant role in our repertoire. These tunes feature the members of the Quintet: Norm Quinn on trumpet; Jerry Cook on tenor saxophone; Roy Sluyter on piano; Mark Bender on bass; and yours truly on drums. We hope you enjoy them.

Just click on this Dropbox link. 


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Jerry Cook Moves On From BLJQ

After ten terrific years you begin to expect some changes in any musical aggregation and ours is no different. Jerry Cook, our excellent tenor saxophonist and all around great guy, has decided that BLJQ won't feature in his upcoming plans. Jerry is a working musician and needs to go where the income is likely to provide more versatility and flexibility for his family. We will all miss Jerry and have very much enjoyed the talent, professionalism and humour that he brought to the band.We wish him well in his future endeavours. However, we have been fortunate to recruit Aaron Hardie to join our little group on woodwinds. Aaron is another fine sax player and has worked with us on several previous occasions. We are fortunate to be able to engage Aaron and look forward to working with him as the band moves into its fall 2017 season.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

BLJQ Played Mission July 12th

BLJQ (under the direction of our stellar trumpeter Norm Quinn and with Stan Taylor on drums) played Mission's Heritage Park last Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. There was no admission charge and lots of free parking. An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the performance. Many folks brought the family and had a picnic on that beautiful day. It's the most beautiful outdoor concert venue in the Lower Mainland. Come and give us a listen sometime. After all, It's Jazz, for the fun of it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Upcoming Outdoor Big Band Jazz Concerts

Bob Liley's Sanctuary AllStars have two upcoming concerts for those who enjoy big band jazz. The first of these is at the Kitsilano Showboat by the Kits Pool in Vancouver on July 1st, Canada's 150th birthday. We are delighted to have been invited back here again to celebrate this auspicious occasion. The concert starts at 7:00 pm and goes 'till 9:00 pm. However, there are events for people of all ages going on throughout the day in this beautiful setting, so check them out.

The second concert takes place on July 5th, outdoors at the Trout Lake Community Centre on Victoria Drive in Vancouver. This concert starts at 6:30 pm and finishes around 8:30 pm. Again, this is a lovely setting with lots to do. Bring the family and have a picnic while listening to some great big band jazz. Both of these concerts are free, and you don't get a lot of that these days. We hope to see you all at these events. Make them part of your celebration of summer (finally!). And remember, It's Jazz for the fun of it!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sanctuary AllStars Play South Delta Secondary School

On Monday, June 19th, Bob Liley's Sanctuary AllStars big band played a great concert to a terrific audience at Tsawwassen's South Delta Secondary School with three of the school's stage bands. It was amazing to hear the progress these students have made in their brief participation in the school's music programmes. Music is a very important feature of living, with many benefits attributed to participating in it. Many of us got our starts in high school bands. School boards who are thinking about slashing the budgets for their music programmes should give their heads a good shake. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

BLJQ Played Jazz Vespers March 5th

Well, we are well into a new year and the Bob Liley Jazz Quintet played Jazz Vespers at St. Andrews-Wesley Church on Sunday, March 5th. The Church is located at the corner of Burrard and Nelson streets in Vancouver, and Vespers takes place between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. Many new faces and some very familiar ones despite the snow, which was threatening to be disruptive. Gary Patterson did his usual outstanding job as liturgist, and a good time seemed to be had by all - including us! If you haven’t heard the group yet, come down and give us a listen. It's toe-tapping, feel-good music that will put a smile on your face. As we like to say, It’s Jazz, for the fun of it! Hope to see you in the future. I'll keep you posted.

Check out our Del Sasser tune on YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN1VQqS49Ok

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AllStars Played Jazz Vespers October 23rd

Bob Liley's Sanctuary AllStars performed once again at Jazz Vespers, St. Andrews-Wesley United Church on Sunday, October 23rd. Jazz Vespers has been running every Sunday for over 20 years, and the band has been lucky enough to perform there every year since 1998. Well over 150 people showed up to enjoy the service and the performance. And, since most people left with smiles on their faces, we fulfilled our advertised promise of delivering Jazz, for the fun of it!

Friday, July 8, 2016

SAS Summer Concerts

Bob Liley’s Sanctuary AllStars 17-piece jazz ensemble has just completed its current series of outdoor summer concerts. Based on our observations and the feedback we received, a great time was had by all!

The first took place at Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park on Wednesday, June 29th. This is an outstanding, very pastoral setting, and the performance was part of Envision Financial’s Twilight Concert Series. The band returned to this venue after a two-year absence. Over five hundred people came out to hear us this last time, so the band seems to be very popular in this venue. It was great to  see so many of you again.

The second concert took place at the Kitsilano Showboat and celebrated Canada Day on Friday, July 1st in Vancouver. This concert continued a relationship we have enjoyed with the Showboat for the past several years. Once again, this is a beautiful setting overlooking the shores of English Bay, and a few hundred folks came down to share their Canada Day with us. This is something we look forward to every year.

Our third concert took place Wednesday, July 6th at the Trout Lake Community Centre in East Vancouver. This concert represented a return for the band after a one-year absence and we are very pleased to have been invited back. It is a lovely outdoor setting in a great park and a few hundred folks including many children came out to hear the band and soak up the sunshine.

This is toe-tapping music that puts a smile on your face. Check out our sampler below. Most importantly, these concerts were free.  As we tell everyone, It’s Jazz, for the fun of it! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

BLJQ Opens Jazz Festival at the Blue Martini Jazz Café

The Bob Liley Jazz Quintet opened the Vancouver International Jazz Festival at the Blue Martini Jazz Café (1516 Yew Street in Vancouver) on Friday, June 24th. After a somewhat slow start, the restaurant was largely full for the balance of the evening. It's a great venue and often features jazz. Based on our recent appearances there, reservations are highly recommended (604-428-2691). Check their web site for details.  As our growing fan base will attest, It’s Jazz, for the fun of it!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

BLJQ Plays the Blue Martini Jazz Cafe

The Bob Liley Jazz Quintet  performed at the Blue Martini Jazz Cafe (1516 Yew St, Vancouver) on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28 from 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm. We drew on our extensive repertoire of bebop tunes and the crowds loved us. The Blue Martini is a great new club with a lot of class. Reservations are encouraged. Phone 604-428-2691. If you haven't heard us before, come out and give us a listen. We think you'll enjoy it. We will be back at the Cafe on June 24th to open the Jazz Festival. If you have heard us in our many varied performances, come out and listen to us in an intimate club setting. Remember, It's Jazz for the fun of it!