Roy has a bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Humber College in Toronto, Canada. He has also studied at the Banff School under Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Ed Blackwell, John Abercrombie and Don Thompson. In 1992 Roy was awarded a Canada Council grant to study in New York with Dick Oatts from the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band, and the great saxophonist David Liebman. As well as studying music, Roy has been active as a leader, performer and composer for the past twenty five years. Some notable highlights have been performing with Ed Bickert, Kenny Wheeler, Daniel Lapp, Tony Genge, Pat Collins, John McLeod, Neil Swainson, Phil Dwyer, Pat LaBarbara, Phil Woods, Rene Rosnes, Hal McKusick and touring with Don Thompson's Banff Alumni Jazz Ensemble. In 1986 Roy played with The Temptations for Expo '86, and in 1988 he played with Rob McConnell in his big band at the Calgary Winter Olympics. Roy has recorded two CD's under his own leadership, and has recorded with Duncan Hopkins, Free Flight Big Band, and the Juno award winning NOJO Big Band. Now living in Victoria B.C., Roy is currently working with the great pianist George McFetridge, and they have recently recorded their new C.D. "Dream World". Roy has also performed with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and has done work in musical theatre. Roy has also been collaborating with the Kelby McNayr quintet, Phil Dwyer, Sean Drabitt's Jaco Band and a collective unit called "Eccentric Orbits" comprised of Alfonse Fear, Kelby McNayr, Roy Styffe and the wonderful German bassist Scott White. Here are some musings about George's Compositional Process: In an interview with composer Alex Goehr, he raised a point about musical influences. In discussion about Olivier Messiaen, he noted Messiaen's modal system, and said that if one follows that, one's music will always sound like Messiaen's. The likely implication is that one will be less than a personal voice in music thereby. But system and style are distinct. While it's true that many saxophone improvisers sound like less than they could be because of overwhelming influence from Parker and Coltrane, isn't it possible to arrive at a personal music while working from specific systematic sources? Difficult, to be sure. This composer feels the effect coming through in the music written - following faithfully the pitch organization of Messiaen's 3rd mode of limited transposition - of the living of how one thinks. Put another way, the world is not seen as 'tonal'! And the music structures come upon here effectively convey this sense of the world. And this sense feels right, and rightly expressed to boot! Posterity will judge. The composer is not scared of being 'minor in importance'. He's caught up in expression through music foremost, and doors are opening most interestingly.
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