From left

Robron grad jazzes up Montreal stage

Chris Andrew is the piano player for the Edmonton-based Hutchinson Andrew Trio

A Robron grad who learned his musical chops in Campbell River has won a prestigious award from the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal.

Chris Andrew is the piano player for the Edmonton-based Hutchinson Andrew Trio which was deemed the best of nine jazz ensembles competing for the TD Grand Jazz Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

The Hutchinson Andrew Trio was presented the 2013 TD Grand Jazz Award by Laurent Saulnier, Vice-President Programming & Production, at a press conference on Friday in the Salle Stevie Wonder of Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan. The group performed that night on the TD stage with André Leroux as a special guest.

A festival press release says, “Very popular out west, this Alberta combo consisting of Kodi Hutchinson (double bass), Chris Andrew (piano) and Karl Schwonik (drums), specializes in contemporary acoustic jazz — their influences include such notables as Brad Mehldau and Aaron Park. In their second Festival appearance, the boys of HAT introduced us to their solid third album, Prairie Modern, with their special guest André Leroux.”

Andrew still considers Campbell River his home and it was here where he learned piano from teacher Cindy Taylor. He also was a member of various Robron bands and jazz combos which won national school band awards in the 1980s. He currently teaches and performs professionally in Edmonton.

The TD Grand Jazz Award entails:

  • The 2013 TD Grand Jazz Award and a $5,000 grant from TD;
  • The opportunity to present a second concert on July 7 at 6 p.m. on the TD stage;
  • An invitation to take part in the 2014 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, all expenses paid by the Festival;
  • Fifty hours of studio time and mastering at Karisma Studio;
  • An invitation to perform at Festival Jazz International de Rimouski, 2014 edition.
  • An invitation to perform at the Festival de Jazz de Québec, 2013 edition.