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Ed Bickert at 80 - A Jazz Celebration
(Published: October 19, 2012)

Jennifer "Red" Thorpe Presents

"Ed Bickert at 80 - A Jazz Celebration"

Hosted by Noted Jazz Broadcaster Katie Malloch

Featuring: Terry Clarke, Barry Elmes, Oliver Gannon, Jake Langley, Lorne Lofsky, Mike Murley, Chris Norley, David Occhipinti, Michael Occhipinti, Reg Schwager, Neil Swainson, Don Thompson, Kevin Turcotte, Steve Wallace and Ted Quinlan



CBC Building - 250 Front Street - Toronto, Ontario - Canada

"Ed Bickert is unique... When I work with Ed, I find myself turning around several times a night to count the strings on his guitar... how does he get to play chorus after chorus of chord sequences which could not possibly sound better on a keyboard? Or, in some cases, written for orchestra? This all becomes more impressive when I play a tape of Ed's for a guitarist and suddenly realize, between the hypnotized gaze of fascination and the flicker of disbelief, that what I had cherished as a musical phrase is also totally impossible to play on guitar." - Alto Saxophonist/Jazz Legend Paul Desmond ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TORONTO - OCTOBER 16, 2012 - On the evening of November 6th, at 7:00 PM, the Canadian jazz community will honour one of its living legends and cultural heroes - iconic jazz guitarist Ed Bickert. On the occasion of his eightieth birthday, we will celebrate Ed's inestimable impact on Canadian and international jazz with a special concert featuring fifteen of Canada's jazz luminaries, all with a special connection to "Mr. Ed". The evening will be hosted by Katie Malloch, highly respected broadcaster and former host of the CBC's popular programmes, "Jazz Beat" and "Tonic". Performers will include drummers Terry Clarke and Barry Elmes, guitarists Oliver Gannon, Jake Langley and Lorne Lofsky, saxophonist Mike Murley, guitarists Chris Norley, David Occhipinti, Michael Occhipinti, and Reg Schwager, bassist Neil Swainson, multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, bassist Steve Wallace and guitarist Ted Quinlan. What promises to be a memorable concert will take place at The Glenn Gould Studio (CBC Building - 250 Front Street - Toronto), and will be recorded by the CBC for air on the popular national music performance programme, "CANADA LIVE!" - and in special acknowledgment of Ed Bickert, his musical artistry and global jazz influence, the event will air Canada-wide on the occasion of his 80th birthday - November 29th.

General Admission Tickets are $45.00, and are available through the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office by phone at (416) 872-4255, online at http://www.roythomsonhall.com/calendar

or at the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office, located at 60 Simcoe Street in Toronto. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Canadian jazz guitar icon, Ed Bickert was born in Hochfeld, Manitoba on November 29th, 1932, and raised in Vernon, British Columbia. His early interest in guitar was in part influenced by his musical household (his mother and father played piano and guitar in country bands).

Ed was largely self-taught, developing an interest in jazz harmony by studying and analyzing the big-band recordings of Stan Kenton. As a result of listening to radio broadcasts from the American West Coast, he heard and was influenced by the late, great Nat "King" Cole Trio guitarist Oscar Moore, as well as jazz legends Barney Kessel and Les Paul. By the time that Ed Bickert reached his early teens, he had already gained experience by performing onstage alongside his parents. In 1952, Ed moved to Canada's jazz mecca, Toronto. He initially found work as a radio station engineer and also began playing "after-hours" jazz clubs throughout the city. Shy and retiring, he was slow to work himself into the Toronto jazz circuit, but by 1955 he was a regular club performer, and in 1957, he made his first studio recording date, appearing on Moe Koffman's fluke hit single "The Swinging Shepherd Blues".

Throughout the 60s, Ed worked regularly with Koffman, Phil Nimmons, Rob McConnell and many other major figures of Canadian jazz. He was invited to be a founding member of Rob McConnell's Boss Brass in 1968 and played with that Grammy-winning world-class ensemble throughout its many incarnations, for more than thirty years. Ed Bickert became increasingly in demand as a session guitarist, and in 1974, on the recommendation of the legendary Jim Hall, the equally legendary Paul Desmond sought out Ed to form a performing quartet, marking Desmond's return to the musical stage after an absence of seven years. Desmond, a jazz star who had seen the world and played with the best, was utterly blown away by Ed's playing, and determined to record with him - this marked Ed's first session for an American label, which subsequently resulted in his wide, international exposure. During the next three years (Desmond's last), "The Desmond-Bickert Quartet" performed frequently, and happily, many of these gigs were recorded. Without a doubt, Paul and Ed brought out the best in each other, and their records together constitute a profound high-water mark in jazz.

In 1979, Ed recorded a duo album with his fellow Desmond Quartet alumnus, multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson. It was no surprise that the album won the 1980 Juno Award for "Best Jazz Recording of the Year". Throughout the 80s, Ed continued to work regularly with Koffman and McConnell, and performed on an array of CBC and other Canadian produced variety shows. In addition, at this time he also signed with the late Carl Jefferson's California-based, award winning CONCORD JAZZ record label, which added to even greater exposure for Ed in the United States. While recording for Concord Jazz, he frequently backed up Rosemary Clooney, toured with the Concord Jazz All-Stars, and (finally) began to regularly record as a session "leader". In 1983, Ed also became co-leader of a dual-guitar quartet with Lorne Lofsky, an arrangement that lasted for a decade.

In the 90s, Ed performed unstoppably - working with Canada's jazz élite, hotly sought after by fellow musicians, but shunning the limelight - playing like God on that same old, worn, creamy-yellow Telecaster.On January 7, 1997, our Governor-General (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's representative in Canada) appointed Ed as a Member of the Order of Canada. This is Canada's highest civilian honour, and was presented in recognition of his "distinguished service" to Canadian music. No doubt, Ed greeted the news of his prestigious award with a "aw shucks" worthy of Gary Cooper.

Following the untimely passing of his beloved wife, Madeleine, Ed stepped out of the spotlight, and began a well-deserved hiatus, which eventually morphed into his professional retirement. Although no longer performing, Ed continues to be an international inspiration and influence for generations of jazz musicians. In addition to his support of young jazz guitarists, instrumentalists and vocalists, Ed is also a proud father of four children, and a doting grandfather.

For further event information, please visit:


For photo art, music, or to arrange a media opportunity with

Ed Bickert

or any of the artists performing in

Ed Bickert at 80 - A Jazz Celebration

Please contact LMC Media

by phone at 416-486-6742, or by e-mail at lmcmedia@sympatico.ca

To Contribute to The Madeleine and Ed Bickert Jazz Guitar Scholarship Fund please contact the Steeltown Friends of Mohawk Music, or Event Producer Jennifer "Red" Thorpe at jennifer.red.thorpe@gmail.com

More Information: http://www.facebook.com/EdBickertAt80AJazzCelebration

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