Sax Drive, episode #4

My new band Sax Drive is playing later this week.

November Sax Drive - Made with PosterMyWall

Lauren Barnett, who plays alto sax in Sax Drive, hosts this really cool event on the third Thursday of each month at Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave.  At 10pm until midnight you can sit in a cozy lounge, listen to great music and draw to your heart’s content – Lauren provides the supplies.

This month Lauren has connected her Drawing Free For All with the groovy jazz sounds of Sax Drive: five saxophones, bass and drums. Joining her are Scott Pearce on alto, Nicole Auger and Micaela Morey on tenor, Tavo Diez De Bonilla on bass, Trevor Yearwood on drums and yours truly on the bari sax.

Sax Drive plays from 10-11-pm and is followed by Tom Richards on piano.

It’s our fourth appearance and we’re premiering a couple new tunes. It’s bound to be a fun time.

I’ll be dedicating the show to the memory of my teacher and friend, Paul Bendzsa, who passed away last Thursday.  I know he’d appreciate our music and also the connection with visual art.

Sax Drive begins!

So, first of all, we had a tremendously successful HONK! OFF event on July 7th, meeting with tons of good vibes, support, and raising about $500 in funds for our inaugural HONK! ON Festival coming up in less than two weeks!

HUGE thanks to Drom Taberna for hosting the event and being such gracious hosts to boot.  Thank you to Marion Lougheed, my love and partner, for helping me to put all this together! And special thanks go as well to Micaela Morey, who not only was crucial in helping us organize, but also did an amazing performance of various cover songs with her band.  Lauren Barnett and her partner Demetri Petsalakis – known as Catchfiyah in their duo appearances – also were wonderful (and it was so much fun to sit in with them playing bari sax!)  Both Micaela and Lauren play in my new band…

which leads me to…

Sax Drive - Drom Taberna July 2019

A significant detail for me, personally: the launch of Sax Drive.  We played a great five-sax set of some of my original tunes, which seemed to go over extremely with our crowd.  We are pumped to play our next gig at HONK! ON on the afternoon of Saturday, July 27th at Trinity Bellwoods Park (exact time TBA).

A brief description of Sax Drive goes something like this:

Sax Drive is a new funky jazz combo based in Toronto and led by composer/saxophonist Jason Hayward. The group also features Lauren Barnett and Scott Pearce on alto sax, Nicole Auger and Micaela Morey on tenor sax, along with Tavo Diez de Bonilla on bass and Trevor Yearwood on drums. Beyond that of a traditional jazz combo eschewing a chordal comping instrument, the band’s groove-based aesthetic is informed by diverse influences, including New Orleans street bands, Big Band sax sections, chamber music and EDM.

“Sax Drive” is a name I’ve had in mind for this project for ages!  However, seems like some people have beat me to the name.  Before we get too far along, I may have to change it or add something to it.  Maybe not.  We are way, way cooler after all.

In the meantime…

We started our Sax Drive Facebook page.

And next, we take the world by storm!

Eventually.