Dan Craven - Program Coordinator

Dan Craven

Dan Craven is a 2001 recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and has also had the privilege of sharing the stage with top musicians like Phil Dwyer, Arnie Chycoski, Ian McDougall, P.J. Perry, John McDermott, Campbell Ryga, Mike Herriott, and many others.

Dan currently performs with both The Arrowsmith Big Band and a West Coast influenced octet, Project 8. Recent projects of note include the Boss Tenors “Unsafe Sax” tour in 2014, and the Big Bossa, celebrating Jobim’s extensive library. Dan has performed frequently around Canada’s West from Victoria to Fort Nelson, is the Artistic Director of The CYMC Summer Jazz Program, and has served the greater jazz community as a clinician, honour band conductor, festival host, and guest performer.

Dan’s website

John Capon - Trombone and Combo

John started his career as a Bass Trombonist in Vancouver, BC in 1960. He played with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Fraser McPherson Orchestra at the Cave Theatre Restaurant, the Bobby Hales Orchestra at Izzy’s Supper Club and a variety of CBC shows under the leadership of Dave Robbins.

 In 1967, after completing a Bachelor of Music at UBC, Capon moved to Toronto, Ontario. His soloistic approach to the Bass Trombone became a regular feature in many TV commercials and film score recordings. While in Toronto, Capon also played for 20 years with the Canadian Opera Orchestra, the National Ballet Orchestra and 15 years with Phil Nimmons’ Nimmons ‘n’ 9 + 6.

 In 1986 Capon moved back to the west coast with his wife, artist Tawny Maclachlan Capon and their three young children to live on Gabriola Island. Since then he has had a very diverse career as a conductor (Malaspina Choir 1987 to 2001, Gabriola Chamber Players), performer, teacher (Malaspina University/College, Shawnigan Lake School) and arts administrator (Artistic Director, Malaspina University/College (now VIU) Summer Jazz Academy. His CD “Full Circle” is in regular rotation on Jazz radio all over North America. His new CD, “Twosome”, is with the great guitarist Reg Schwager. 

Capon’s arranging and composing career started in the early sixties with commissions works for CBC’s Jazz Radio Canada played by the Dave Robbins Band and Nimmons ‘n’ 9 + 6. Capon has written extensively for various brass ensembles and the Malaspina Choir. He has also co-written many songs and composed a number of Jazz tunes.

John Capon

Jeff Drummond - Guitar

Jeff Drummond


  • Music Performance Diploma, Mount Royal College
  • Freelance Producer & Sound Engineer
  • Performing across North America and U.K.
  • Performing on national TV and radio such as Muchmore Music, Mike Bullard, Canada AM and CBC
  • Extensive teaching experience with students of all levels
  • Actively involved in folk & jazz festivals

Jeff has  been playing guitar for 28 years and has been teaching and performing professionally for 20 years. He  took lessons learning rock n’ roll and studied classical guitar up to a grade 8 level. He  went to Mount Royal College in Calgary where he obtained a Jazz performance degree. He has played with jazz, rock, pop, blues/r n’ b and country acts all over Canada and the U.K. During the last 10 years he has produced and played on numerous recordings by Canadian artists, as well as his own original projects.

Jeff has an extensive background as an instructor and a performer has performed on national TV and radio such as Muchmore Music, Mike Bullard, Canada AM and CBC. Jeff is happy to teach a variety of music styles from Jazz to folk guitar.

Blaine Dunaway - Trumpet, Strings, Combo, Big Band

Performer, teacher, composer, conductor,Blaine Dunaway, has a B.A. in music, (jazz), from Western Washington University. He has studied at UBC, U of A in Edmonton, Brandon University, the Banff School of Fine Arts, and Bullfrog recording school.

Blaine has taught music in public school throughout BC and Manitoba and has taught at the college level in BC and Alberta. As a composer, his compositions range from String Quartets to 15 piece bands to meditation tracks.Blaine has worked as a studio recording artist in many studios across the country, and has played in most of the finest Big Bands in Western Canada. As an improvising violinist and trumpet player, there are dozens of albums with his touch adding to the magic, in many different genres, from jazz to classical to folk to world music to blues to popular.

Blaine's website.

Blaine Dunaway

Ben Henriques - Saxophone

Ben Henriques

Originally from Surrey, B.C., Ben Henriques has been composing and performing jazz for the last 20+ years. Ben has a Master of Jazz Performance from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, and he currently teaches woodwinds at Vancouver Island University. While in Montreal, Ben was an integral part of the jazz scene, and had the opportunity to play with many greats including Joe Lovano, John Taylor and Ben Monder. Ben has released two albums as a leader, The Responsibility Club (2009) and Captain Awesome (2013) and has appeared on several others, including Suzie Arioli’s All the Way (2012) and Sarah Kennedy’s Portraits (2015). Ben has also appeared on network television playing jazz in Once Upon a Time and other popular shows.

Ben can be found performing a variety of styles of jazz (and teaching) around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

Ben's website.

Brian Dickinson - Jazz Piano

This year's Artist in Residence is Brian Dickinson, world-class performer and head of piano at Humber College in Toronto

Brian Dickinson has been a mainstay on the Canadian jazz scene for over thirty-five
years. His skills in jazz piano and as composer and arranger have been heard on well
over sixty recordings including eleven of his own releases as leader. A two-time Juno
Award winner, Brian has also been nominated for his last two releases.

As a sideman, Brian has performed and recorded with many of the greatest
international players including: Jerry Bergonzi, Randy Brecker, Kenny Wheeler, John
Abercrombie, Pat LaBarbera, Kirk MacDonald, Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza,
Dave Liebman, George Garzone, Donny McCaslin, Seamus Blake, Ron McClure, Bob
Mintzer, Phil Nimmons, Rob McConnell, Mike Murley, Tom Harrell, Lee Konitz, the
Woody Herman Band, Cab Calloway, Nick Brignola, Sonny Greenwich, Eddie Daniels,
Don Thompson, Jane Bunnett, and Dewey Redman.

In the fall of 2016, Brian released a recording with a new quintet. “The Rhythm
Method” was released on ADDO Records and is comprised of Kelly Jefferson and
Luis Deniz (saxophones), Neil Swainson (bass) and Ted Warren (drums). The
original music from this session will be featured in a new publication also titled “The
Rhythm Method”.

In the fall of 2017, Brian released “Music for Jazz Orchestra” on ADDO Records. This
recording features a three-movement suite, “The Gentle Giant” as well as four other
original compositions orchestrated by the composer/pianist. It features the playing
of Kelly Jefferson (saxophone), John MacLeod (trumpet), Jim Vivian (bass), Al Kay
(trombone) as well as the leader on piano.

As well as touring Canada extensively, Brian has also toured the US, Europe and

Brian Dickinson's website.

Brian Dickinson

Jen Hodge - Bass

Jen Hodge - bass

Jennifer Hodge, a busy Vancouver-based bass player, bandleader, and arranger, is a versatile musician who can be found playing with a wide variety of artists all over the world. When Jen is leading the band, she likes it hot – hard swinging grooves, boisterous New Orleans style horns, cheeky lyrics, intriguing arrangements, plenty of spontaneous fun, and an evident, infectious love for making music. Jen’s particular expertise in the arena of traditional jazz has taken her to stages all over Canada, the USA, China, Spain, France, the UK, and the Caribbean. On home turf, Jen can be found leading a band on Wednesday nights at Guilt & Co, a bar in Vancouver’s historic Gastown district and a major hub for the city’s musical creative minds, where she has held a regular gig since January 2011.

Originally from Courtenay, BC, on Vancouver Island, Jen began playing bass at age 11 with the full intention of making a career out of it. She started to do her first paid musical gigs at age 15, both in pit orchestras for local musicals and with a rock band which rehearsed in her friends’ garage and performed in local festivals and restaurants. Jen relocated to Vancouver in 2002 to attend the Jazz Studies program at Capilano University, through which she completed a B.Mus. degree in 2007 and was named the first recipient of the Linton Garner Memorial Jazz Award in 2005. In recent years, Jen is in frequent rotation on CBC Radio through over two dozen recordings in both the side player and bandleader context; has been hired by CBC British Columbia five years running to program the musical selections and direct the Company B Jazz Band during high-profile live broadcasts for the annual CBC British Columbia Food Bank Day; has backed up internationally acclaimed artists such as Bria Skonberg, Brad Turner, Conal Fowkes, Casey MacGill, Rebecca Kilgore, Ken Lavigne, Petunia & The Vipers, and Canadian big band legend Dal Richards, both locally and internationally; and has been hired twice (2011 and 2013) by CTV/Bell Media to provide custom ensembles and music for their television commercials advertising the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. 2017 marked Jen’s tenth year performing in said festival, an occasion which she marked by presenting a program of music written solely by living Canadian traditional jazz musicians on Canada Day.

Jen Hodge’s website.

Kelby MacNayr - Drums

Drummer / composer / band-leader Kelby MacNayr performs groundbreaking original music; a beautifully crafted blend of innovation and tradition that engages and inspires audiences.  A dynamic and creative musician MacNayr performs in Canada and abroad with leading musicians from New York, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.  A faculty member of the world-renowned Jazz Port Townsend Festival under director John Clayton, staff at the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, Kelby is continually reinventing himself as a performer, composer and educator.  In November 2013 the Kelby MacNayr Quintet released has the much-anticipated album The Measure of Light featuring Phil Dwyer, Dan Lapp, Miles Black & Tom Wakeling.

Born and raised on Canada’s west coast, Kelby is connected to small but mighty musical community in his home-town, a great and varied musical community across the country and an ever-changing world of musicians in the Pacific Northwest, and across the US.  His passion for the human-element in music-making has fostered a love of numerous world-music traditions as well as artists of all styles and mediums.

Kelby’s website

Kelby MacNayr

Ryan Oliver - Saxophone and Flute

Juno-nominated saxophonist Ryan Oliver honed his craft living on Canada’s west coast, and in Amsterdam, Toronto and New York.  He has maintained a busy schedule as one of Canada’s most in-demand saxophonists, recently releasing Strive!, featuring jazz legend Victor Lewis. Or the last 10 years, Oliver has toured throughout the world with legendary Canadian group, The Shuffle Demons.  He is a member of Juno-award-winning Aboriginal blues/rock performer Derek Miller’s band, and appears on Miller’s most recent recording, featuring Stevie Ray Vaughn’s rhythm section Double Trouble and Willie Nelson.  Oliver is also a member of the house band for Miller’s television series, airing on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Oliver’s band, The Cookers, has toured extensively throughout Canada, appearing on numerous recordings and broadcasts including live video and radio broadcasts for CBC. He has received numerous Canada and Ontario Arts Council grants for touring, recording and education and was nominated for the 2013 Prix De Jazz.

Oliver holds a Masters degree in Music Performance from Rutgers University, where he led the undergraduate big band, and has taught saxophone and ensemble clinics at universities and schools throughout the world for over 20 years. He has worked as an adjudicator for the Fraser MacPherson Scholarship Fund and the Victoria Jazz Festival. In addition to his faculty position for the Island Jazz Intensive, Ryan is the new Executive Director for CYMC beginning 2018. The passion for innovation and forging meaningful connections with communities that Ryan brings with him stands well for guiding CYMC through the next years.

Ryan's website

“Ryan Oliver is one of the most promising Canadian jazz musicians to emerge on the scene at the dawn of the 21st century” – ALL MUSIC GUIDE

“Canadian jazz is in good hands with players like Ryan Oliver.” – Pat Labarbera

Dave Stewart - Trumpet, Big Band

Dave Stewart is a 30-year veteran of jazz trumpet performance in large and small ensembles.  He is one of Canada’s foremost music educators, recipient of both the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the prestigious Keith Mann Top Canadian Band Director Award.   He currently teaches music at Kwalikum Secondary School.

Dave Stewart