Opening Performance: The Hogtown Brass Quintet
Pee Wee Ellis and Jason Wilson
Legendary sax-man Pee Wee Ellis and Canadian global-roots visionary Jason Wilson are once again teaming up for a special night at Hugh’s Room. Ellis was an essential part of James Brown’s band and later served as Van Morrison’s bandleader. Pee Wee co-wrote ‘Cold Sweat’ with Brown, as well as several other instrumental hits. Jason Wilson is a two-time Juno-Awards nominee who fuses reggae with jazz and folk. He has recorded with artists such as Dave Swarbrick, UB40, Jackie Mittoo and Ron Sexsmith. Together, Ellis and Wilson’s funky-reggae mix has charmed audiences across Canada, the UK and Jamaica.
Pee Wee Ellis
Widely credited with inventing funk jazz, Pee Wee Ellis is a saxophonist, arranger and composer who was an essential part of James Brown’s band in the 1960s. During his time with Brown, Ellis co-wrote such classic hits as “Cold Sweat”, “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” and “Lickin’ Stick”. In the early 1980s, Jaco Pastorius enjoyed commercial success with Ellis’ “The Chicken”. In 1979, Ellis began working with Van Morrison. Ellis appeared on several of Morrison’s albums and also served as Van’s musical director and arranger from 1979 until 1986, and then again from 1995 until 1999. The sax-man has also worked with artists such as George Benson, Hank Crawford and Esther Phillips, David Liebman and Oumou Sangare. Most recently, Pee Wee has been collaborating with Scottish-Canadian reggae artist Jason Wilson. The resultant funky-reggae mix has been charming live audiences across Canada, Scotland, England and Jamaica.
Dr. Jason Wilson is a two-time Juno-Awards nominee, Canadian Reggae Music Award winner and a national best-selling author-historian from Downsview, Ontario. The Scottish-Canadian musician is the protégé of Studio One legendary keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and has recorded with, among others, UB40, Alanis Morissette, Pee Wee Ellis, Sly & Robbie, Ron Sexsmith and Dave Swarbrick. Wilson’s various projects include his own Perennials (“post-reggae”), a funky-reggae collaboration with legendary sax-man Pee Wee Ellis, as well as reggae-folk combinations with such icons as Dave Swarbrick, Martin Carthy and Dick Gaughan. Wilson also wrote and produced Soldiers of Song, a touring theatrical tribute to Canada’s First World War concert party the Dumbells based on his eponymous book. The Adjunct-Professor has six books to his name to go along with seven critically-acclaimed albums.
The Hogtown Brass Quintet
The Hogtown Brass Quintet is a Toronto-based chamber ensemble dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the traditional brass ensemble. Formed in 2013, HBQ is a collaboration among five accomplished and diverse musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds, ranging from Classical to pop to jazz. Already gaining attention with their unique arrangements, collaborations with vocalists and instrumentalists, along with their affinity for non-traditional performance spaces, the mandate of the HBQ is to bring brass chamber music to new audiences and to reinvigorate the classic brass ensemble.
Some of the Proceeds will go to Ride to Conquer Cancer
Jason and Pee Wee on Canadian TV:
Jason and Pee Wee live at Hugh’s Room 2014