Grand Dominion Jazz Band

The Grand Dominion Jazz Band came together in 1982 as the musical vision of Vancouver banjoist Mike Cox, immigrant to Canada from Wales, who was steeped in the music of the New Orleans revivalist musicians such as George Lewis, Bunk Johnson, Kid Ory, Baby Dodds and others. Mike and his expatriate friends in Vancouver had grown up in the UK listening to Ken Colyer, Chris Barber , Humphrey Lyttelton, and others on the trad jazz scene. Mike decided to put a band of like-minded players together from both sides of the Canada - US border, a band that embodied all the rough-and-ready, hard-driving, ensemble playing characteristics of the revivalist bands. For two weekend concerts, July 16 - 17th, 1982, Mike assembled members of three Pacific Northwestern bands to play two concert dances at the Hot Jazz Club in Vancouver.

The band just clicked, and has been going ever since.

Inevitably there have been changes over the years and the band has seen the coming and going of some wonderful musicians and friends.

There are still three of the original members in the band – leader and piano player Bob Pelland, Gerry Green and Jim Armstrong. The newest member of the band is Clint Baker, a great asset, as his love and knowledge of the music helps the band continue to 'Keep The Spirit Alive'.

For a more detailed history of the band click here: (Just Jazz article)

Upcoming Gigs

2014:

September 5 - 7 "Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival" - Penticton, BC, Canada
www.pentasticjazz.com
September 26 - 28 "Vancouver Dixieland Society - Jazz Band Ball" - Pacific Inn, White Rock, BC, Canada
www.vcn.bc.ca
November 27 - 30 "35th Annual San Diego Jazz Festival" - San Diego, CA
www.dixielandjazzfestival.org

2015:

January 20 - February 7 "Hawaiian Cruise" - Round trip from San Diego, CA
www.jazzdagen.com
February 12 - 15 "Fresno Mardi Gras" - Fresno, CA
www.fresnodixie.com
February 20 – 22 "Seaside Jazz Festival" - Seaside, OR
www.jazzseaside.com
June 25 - 28 "Olympia Dixieland Jazz Festival" - Lacey, WA
www.olyjazz.com
Nov. 5 - 8 "Arizona Classic Jazz Festival" - Chandler, AZ
www.azclassicjazz.org

The Band

The band has been exceptionally stable over the years but when ill health or other priorities come up there has been a need to finds subs. We have been very fortunate to have had many of traditional jazz's top players help us out, among them are, on trumpet/cornet, Tony Pringle, Duke Heitger, Bob Erwig, Marc Caperone, on reeds, Brian Ogilvy, Jim Buchman, Tom Sharpsteen, Steve Wright, on drums, Trevor Richards, Colin Bowden, Hal Smith. Jay Hansen. Throughout the life of the band, nobody has ever substituted for Bob Pelland (piano). Bob gets extra credit for perfect attendance.

Here are brief biographies of today's band:

Bob Pelland

For many years Bob has been a central figure among band leaders and musicians in the Northwest traditional jazz scene. Retired from his own business building machinery for the lumber industry, Bob was one of the early board members of the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society and, for many years, leader of the Rainier Jazz Band. Now, when not playing or taking care of GDJB business, he plays for the Vancouver Classic Jazz Band and often substitutes in other bands. Bob cut his musical teeth playing with dance bands in the American Legions and VFW and Grange Halls of the Skagit Valley region around Mount Vernon, Washington. Since July 2002 Bob and his wife Mary live on Camano Island WA, an idyllic, out of the way spot. In his spare time (such as it is), Bob also manages to orchestrate and cook exceptional gourmet meals for family and friends. Bob and Mary have two children and twin grandchildren.

Clint Baker

Clint and his wife Alisa and their twins Ramona and Riley live in San Bruno CA, where Alisa is involved in radio broadcasting. Clint is a multi-instrumentalist, including trumpet, trombone, reeds, drums, string bass and banjo/guitar. Quite possibly there are several others I have overlooked. Clint has subbed with Grand Dominion over time on all of the foregoing instruments, but is now taking over the trumpet chair following the retirement of Bob Jackson. Clint has led a number of his own bands and also currently plays string bass with The Hot Club of San Francisco and tuba with the Yerba Buena Stompers. He leads a regular Friday night session at the Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park CA, where the band has played since 1990!

 

 

Jim Armstrong

Jim, whose passions include cats, rugby, and steam locomotives, is a multi-talented musician and a fine tenor vocalist. The return of Bob Jackson to the band in March 2005 and then Clint Baker in 2009 allowed Jim to revert to trombone, his original instrument.

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jim immigrated to Canada in the 60s to find new opportunities in teaching and music. Jim is also a member of CanUS, based in Victoria, BC. Now retired from teaching, Jim and wife Vicki have put down roots in White Rock a pleasant suburb of Vancouver B.C.

Gerry Green

Gerry emigrated to Canada from England in 1967 and now lives in Burnaby, an eastern suburb of Vancouver. Gerry started playing in the UK during the "trad" boom' of the early 60s, introduced to the style by Barry Martyn, well-known drummer and authority on traditional New Orleans music.

Since retiring from the advertising/design business in 2005 Gerry has spent more time playing the music he loves. An original member of Grand Dominion since 1982, he also plays with his own quintet – The Crescent City Shaker's a new band on the local scene, and over the years has played with many other local bands and musicians in the UK and North America.

Bill Dixon

Bill Dixon, was born in London, England. During the British 'Trad' boom of the late 1950s and early 60s. Bill played with several bands including those of Dick Charlesworth and Kenny Ball. He emigrated to Canada in 1971 and has since gigged alongside GDJB alumni Gerry Green, Bob Pelland, Mike Duffy and Mike Cox, as well as Bob Erwig and Simon Stribling.

Since Bill retired from pharmaceutical sales in 2005, he and his wife Chris have had more time to enjoy their favourite hobby, traveling. They live in White Rock, very close to the U.S. border which allows them convenient access to their second favourite hobby, that of sampling the products of the excellent microbreweries of the Pacific Northwest!

Jeff Hamilton

Since starting his musical career at the tender age of two, Jeff's long association with the music of New Orleans and Swing drumming make him ideally suited to be a member of Grand Dominion with its unique swinging trad style. Citing influences like Cie Frazier, Minor 'Ram'Hall and 'Big' Sid Catlett among others, Jeff's musical style and sensitivity to what the rest of the band is doing, produces much excitement and drive in the band. An accomplished pianist as well as drummer, we recently discovered he's no slouch on trombone either. Jeff is the consummate musician; he and Barbara live in Hercules, CA, a little way north of Oakland.

 

Mike Fay

Mike brings a powerful presence to the Grand Dominion rhythm section. His percussive, propulsive style produces the foundation on which the rest of the band can build. This style is the result of many years spent absorbing the sounds and styles of the whole gamut of great traditional bassists, ranging from 'Slow Drag' Pavageau to Chester Zardis to Welman Braud to Pops Foster, and then blending these skills into the glorious sound we hear today. Now retired from an engineering career, Mike and wife Jo reside in Claremont, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.

A man of few words, Mike answers the question of what other interests he has in life with the single word 'Music'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recordings

Grand Dominion Jazz Band has had the pleasure of recording numerous CDs over the years. Feel free to sample a track from each CD by pressing the speaker button. You can also purchase our CDs by filling out this order form and mailing it to us.

Keeping The Spirit Alive

One Sweet Letter From You, Hesitatin' Blues, Buona Sera, Jerusalem Blues, Should I Reveal, Careless Love, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Willie The Weeper, Breeze, Lead Me Savior, It's A Long Way To Tipperary, I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody, Minor Drag, I'll See You In My Dreams

Live At The Choo Choo

Gatemouth, Short Dress Gal, Oriental Strut, Joe Louis Stomp, Jelly Bean Blues, June Night, My Memphis Baby, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, Mandy, Make Up Your Mind, Bogalusa Strut, Black Snake Blues, Joe Avery's Piece

Straight Ahead

When You and I Were Young Maggie, Feel So Good, Does Jesus Care, You Broke Your Promise, Tomorrow Night, Get Out Of Here And Go On Home, Tishomingo Blues, Salty Dog, Sleepy Time Gal, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, Water From An Ancient Well, Chicken Ain't Nothing But A Bird, Gravier Street Blues, Tiger Rag

San Jacinto Stomp

San Jacinto Stomp, Bugle Boy March, Wild Man Blues, Old Fashioned Swing, Call Of The Freaks, Trouble In Mind, Mobile Stomp, Michigan Water Blues, My Gal Sal, Jelly Bean Blues, Let The Great Big World Keep Turning

Has It Really Been 20 Years – Vol. 1

Bouncing Around, A Rose In A Garden of Weeds, Mountain Top Blues, Mary Wore a Golden Chain, The White Cliffs of Dover, The Skeleton in the Closet, Jerusalem Blues, Big Mamou, Moose March, My Buddy, I'll Fly Away, Thriller Rag, Lights Out, Oh How I Miss You Tonight

Has It Really Been 20 Years – Vol. 2

Underneath Hawaiian Skies, That Rhythm Man, Keep Your Hand On The Plow, Put 'Em Down Blues, Roll Along Prairie Moon, Down In Jungle Town, Si Tu Vois Ma Mere, Just Once Again, Delia's Gone, Paramount On Parade Theme Song, Hushabye, Too Busy, Short Dress Gal, It Looks Like A Big Time Tonight, I Love You Samantha

Grand Dominion Jazz Band

Flatfoot, Buddy Bolden's Blues, Down In Honky Tonk Town, Mecca Flat Blues; Willie The Weeper; Weary Blues; Breeze; Lady Love; Goin'Home; The Bear Missed The Train, One Sweet Letter From You, Pontchartrain, Bogalusa Strut, Come Back Sweet Papa, Friendless Blues, J'ai De La Fiévre, The Minor Drag

Odds & Sods

Cakewalking Babies From Home, Burgundy Street Blues, Magnolia's Wedding Day; I'm Travelin'; Give Me Your Telephone Number; Sleepy Blues; Boodle Am Shake, La Harpe Street Blues, The Royal Telephone, Should I Reveal?, Ti-Pi-Tin, Sweethearts On Parade, Blame It On The Blues, Viper Mad, Texas Moaner, Li'l Liza Jane, I Shall Not Be Moved, Old Man Mose

Pictures

Band Photos – some old, some new.

Kalispell photos courtesy of Lauri Block

Contact

Email : bob@gdjb.com

855 E. Port Susan Terrace Rd.
Camano Island, WA 98282
USA
Phone: 360-387-2500