About the Bands
The Nepean All-City Jazz Band
Once Upon A Time
Once upon a time, there were two teenaged girls named Kim Buckland and M-J Malcolm; when they were in grade 8, they had played in the 1985/86 Meadowlands Jazz Ensemble. They both lived in Barrhaven, as did Neil. They rang his doorbell in late August 1987, and asked him if he would start up a Meadowlands Alumni Jazz Ensemble. They took a piece of paper and wrote down the names of the band members from the 86/87 and the 87/88 band that they thought would join together to make an alumni band. It was up to Kim and M-J to call them all and see if they wanted to do it. Their first rehearsal was on a Sunday night in mid-September 1987 in the music room at Meadowlands Public School. The first piece they ever played as NACJB in that first rehearsal was Grand Avenue Groove, by Doug Beach.
The Nepean All-City Jazz Band (known to many as 'NACJB' or simply 'All-City') comprises 18 musicians between the ages of 15 and 19 drawn from all over the greater Ottawa area. Many NACJB alumni have gone on to study music at prestigious institutions in Canada and the U.S., most with financial scholarship assistance awarded for excellence at Musicfest Canada's National Finals. NACJB has had great success at Musicfest Nationals, earning Gold standing in each of the past 30 years.
The Nepean All-City Jazz Band is recognized as one of the pre-eminent teenage jazz ensembles in Canada. Over the past 30 years, the band has been awarded numerous accolades, including the CMAE/MIAC Don Wright Award for excellence in Canadian Jazz (1993-1996, 1999-2004, and 2007-2012), and "The Jazz Report" magazine's award for Canadian Amateur Ensemble of the year (1995). NACJB has performed for conferences of the IAJE, CEMA and OMEA, the Music & Beyond Festival, the Ottawa Internarional Jazz Festival, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the Thousand Island Jazz Festival, the Governor General's Summer Concert Series at Rideau Hall. In April 2015, NACJB performed two concerts with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
NACJB has performed with many jazz artists, including Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Oliver Jones, Guido Basso, Pat LaBarbera, Ian McDougall, Christine Jensen, Mike Tomaro, Denny Christianson, Kirk MacDonald, Brian Lynch,Ted Quinlan, Alex Dean, Al Kay, Steve McDade and Chase Sanborn.
The Nepean All-City Lab Band
Formed in September 2017, the Nepean All-City Lab Band is the new "sister" band of the Nepean All-City organization, generated by a need to form a new High School level Jazz Ensemble in Ottawa, for young players who couldn't be part of the NACJB could showcase their talents.
This new ensemble is comprised of young talented players, age 14 to 17 years old, in need of deepening their craft and engaging in an advanced level repertoire. Their inaugural concert in December 2017, was mentioned in an article by Ottawa Jazz Scene, discussing the rationale behind the birth of NACLB.
Their inaugural season Spring concert featured the talented Jazz artist Christine Jensen on Alto/Soprano saxophone, performing selections from her Juno Award winning 2010 album Treelines: Seafever and Vernal Suite.