The Jazz beat goes on… outdoors

In Memory of  Howard Tweddle

By Rochelle Handelman

Glebop Jazz and Friends performed at a Glebe outdoor “kitchen party” August 26. Photo: Marcia Krawll

What do cellist Julian Armour, founder of Music and Beyond, and violinist Elaine Klimasko, founding member of the NAC Orchestra, have in common with jazz trumpeter John Haysom and jazz pianist Bert Waslander, founding members of Glebop Jazz? They’re all playing outdoors these days?

During the pandemic, Armour has been holding outdoor concerts in Hintonburg, and Klimasko has been playing at her home in Manotick. Glebop Jazz and Friends (vocalist Helen Glover, bassist Alrick Huebener, and saxophonist Rick Moxley) brought live jazz to the great Glebe outdoors. Four of the five musicians are Glebites.

After my total deprivation of live music since mid-March, I was thrilled to receive an email from John Haysom announcing that Glebop Jazz and Friends would be performing two one-hour mini-concerts outdoors in August.

Bert Waslander came up with the idea of organizing a Maritime-style kitchen party for the public, but outdoors instead of in someone’s kitchen. During COVID-19, Haysom’s block on Second Avenue has had a regular Wednesday evening pot-banging party to salute front-line workers.

On August 19, that pot-banging party was transformed into a jazz party with 50 people in attendance. Although the event was held outdoors, attendees adhered to social distancing, with some even wearing masks.

The “jazz beat” went on at Waslander’s Third Avenue home on August 26. This performance (even better attended, with about 80 people) was just as memorable as the first, with the added bonus of snacks provided by Waslander’s wife Odile.

What touched me most during these mini-concerts was an instrumental piece that Haysom wrote in 2010 called “Stompin’ with Crompton.” Crompton was the middle name of their bassist, Howard Crompton Tweddle. The piece was performed as a tribute to Tweddle, who sadly passed away from COVID-19 on April 22.

The group played jazz standards such as “There’ll Never Be Another You,” “Tangerine,” “Our Day Will Come,” “Too Late Now,” and one of my favourite songs, “That’s All.”

The performances were also a way to raise money for the Ottawa Food Bank which Glebop Jazz usually does during the Great Glebe Garage Sale but could not this year because it was cancelled due to COVID-19. The two performances raised an impressive $1,570.

Two other kitchen parties were held in early September at Rick Moxley’s home (in deep Ottawa south) on Linden Terrace.

I look forward to hearing (soon, I hope) Glebeop Jazz and Friends perform once again at Glebe Central Pub. The last time they played there was March 1.

Rochelle Handelman is a Glebe resident and jazz enthusiast. Since her 2010 retirement from Statistics Canada, she has volunteered at the Ottawa Jazz Festival every year, with the notable exception of 2020 owing to COVID-19.

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