Song for Dave Drew
Dave Drew was my first bass teacher. He was also a mover and shaker in the Kitchener-Waterloo music community, especially for the local jazz scene. He organized concerts in the parks, at the universities, and in the libraries. In 1967, he organized the Contemporary Music Appreciation workshop, a weeklong event that brought Oscar Peterson and his trio (with Sam Jones and Louis Hayes) to Kitchener. Every day we assembled to hear Oscar deliver a series of lectures on the history and appreciation of jazz, accompanied by his playing and personal anecdotes.
Jazz groups, mainly in the form of piano-based trios, were flourishing at that time. We worked every weekend at an assortment of clubs: The Golden Glow Lounge, The Kress Hotel, Westmount G&C Club, The Glenbriar, etc. For me, and for my contemporaries (Bernie Carroll, Ron Drake, Pat Ludwig, Gary Tomlin, Fritz Boegli, Barry Wills, Bill Gillard, Peter Rand, Bob Green, Ginni Grant, Larry Crawford, Art Lang, and so many others) it was the ideal environment for us all to learn the craft. Dave Drew was the person who created the scene and kept it going. Dave left Kitchener-Waterloo (c.1968-69) for a position with the CNIB in Winnipeg. He passed away in 1975.
Immediately following his passing, Barry Wills and I collaborated in composing, “Song for Dave Drew,” which was first performed at a Kitchener Library concert in January 1976. If you’re interested in receiving a free pdf of this composition, please message me with your email address.