Meet the Band
Michael Kearns has been the Musical Director of the AHBB since 2012. He has a BM in Jazz Performance (University of Toronto), a MM in Jazz Pedagogy (University of Miami, FL), and a Doctor of Music Education degree (Indiana University). He has performed at Carnegie Hall; toured Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Luxembourg; and has traveled the world as a cruise ship entertainer. Michael currently teaches at Georgian College and performs locally with the Octokats. A noted trombonist, arranger, and researcher on Canadian jazz education, his work can be found at www.drkmusic.com
George has been with the After Hours Big Band for about 5 yrs. His home town is Winnipeg and he was the vocalist in a very successful Rock and Roll band that made the pilgrimage to Toronto. He now calls Sutton/Toronto his home and really enjoys playing with the After Hours Big Band. If you don’t find him behind a microphone, try searching some of the golf courses in the Newmarket area.
Jess has been singing her whole life, from elementary school concerts to high-school bands and beyond to professional gigs as an adult. She earned her music degree (Jazz Studies: Vocalist) from Capilano University in Vancouver and went on to earn her teaching degree at UBC. As a full time music teacher, Jess enjoys sharing her love of music with children of all ages. Jess feels proud and fortunate to share the stage with the incredibly talented members of the After Hours Big Band
As a new full time member of the band, Robert is excited to share the stage with such an energetic group. Robert earned his Masters of Music at Wichita State University and a Bachelor of Music Education at Western University. He is a full time private music teacher and loves sharing the joy of music with his student community. Learn more about Robert at roberthessmusic.com.
Fred joined the After Hours Big Band on alto saxophone in the spring of 2018. He studied jazz performance at Humber College and York University, and can be seen performing regularly throughout Toronto in various jazz, funk, R&B groups.
Wes plays Baritone Saxophone in the After Hours Big Band and also in the Newmarket Citizens Band. He can play any sax, but would love to someday have a Bass Saxophone to round out his collection. Other interests are restoring and riding classic British motorcycles, spending time at his cottage, traveling and wintering in Florida. Wes has been with the AHBB since its formation.
Terry has been with the AHBB, along with several other current members, since the inception of the band. Over the yeas he has played alto and tenor saxophones. He also plays saxophone in the Newmarket Citizens’ Band. Other interests include photography, travel, reading and listening to music.
Alto saxophonist Lawrence Moule joined the After Hours Big Band circa 2008. Lawrence has performed music in York Region for many years. He is a percussionist with the Newmarket Citizens Band and a bass guitarist with the Richmond Hill Concert Band. He is also one-half of a jazz duo called Take 2, with pianist Andre Soares.
Jim Rodgers began his musical journey in 1947 in Glasgow Scotland with the Albert Senior Secondary School orchestra. After a period of 15 years playing in many different bands and styles, the trombone and music were sidelined to raise a family along with the pursuit of a career that would support this worthwhile endeavour. Jim took up his horn again in earnest in 2008 by joining the Newmarket Citizens Band and shortly after that he began playing with the After Hours Big Band. Jim is also a member of the recently formed Toronto Tribute Big Band. Jim feels strongly that the love of music and the friendships he enjoys with all his fellow musicians makes his life better. He loves golf, reading and travel…gardening, not so much. He would rather be called Jimmy, but very few people do.
Don started playing the trombone in the Georgina Brass Band in 1962 and joined the Newmarket Citizens Band in 2000. He has been playing second trombone with the After Hours Big Band since its first sitting after the Citizens Band regular rehearsal. He also plays trombone and euphonium in the Aurora Community Band and the York Region Brass Band. A variety of music styles from british brass band to ‘40s big band to modern concert band compositions keeps his interest in music alive.
John has played Bass Trombone with AHBB for the last 5 Years . He has been playing trombone for over 40 years and has played with local Big Bands over the last decade. John enjoys music of all types, he sang tenor and played backup Trombone for a Gospel Quartet for 17 Years. John would like to acknowledge the quality and professionalism of all the members of the AHBB.
Dale began her musical studies on piano at the age of 6. She is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music (A.R.C.T.), Concordia University (B.A.) and the University of Toronto (B.Ed.). She has devoted her life to teaching high school music in York Region. She has been a dedicated and proud member of the After Hours Big Band (trombone) since 2006. Recently retired from teaching, Dale continues her musical activities not only in this band but as trombonist/conductor of the Newmarket Citizens Band, accompanist and singer in the chamber choir Take Note and creative team member of Marquee Theatrical Productions in Aurora.
Gord has been playing trumpet since 1960 except for one 10-year period. He has played in 2 high school bands, a university marching band, a brass quintet, and the Newmarket Citizens Band, as well as being a soloist at 2 churches. He joined the After Hours Big Band in 2002, before it even had a name. Despite the many years of playing, he is continuing to learn and loves performing.
Jim started playing the trumpet in Grade 5 and played through high school and with the Queen’s University Bands where he was studying Metallurgical Engineering. He added the flugelhorn a few years ago when he picked up a used horn in Calgary while travelling. He joined the AHBB shortly after starting with the Newmarket Citizens Band. Ice dancing is another passion and Jim played and skated when the band played for Social Ice Dancing in Richmond Hill annually for a couple of years.
Les began playing music with the Salvation Army in England, becoming the youth band conductor at age 19. He later joined the Chapeltown Silver Band as their principle cornet and assistant conductor. Upon winning the Yorkshire area competition, they played in the National Finals in London. He later moved on to The City of Sheffield Band playing the soprano cornet. After emigrating to Canada, he became the principle trumpet with the Newmarket Citizens Band and in 1991, was appointed conductor, a position he still holds today. Les is a founding member of the After Hours Big Band playing lead trumpet and was instrumental in the origin of its name.
Connie began playing trumpet as a 9 year old in a village concert band. She is a longtime member of the Newmarket Citizens Band who welcomed the opportunity to play with the After Hours Big Band over a decade ago. Connie is a keen supporter of community music-making and appreciates Michael Kearns' enthusiastic leadership and guidance.
Todd has been playing trumpet since he was in Grade 7 with several stops and starts along the way. He joined the After Hours Big Band in 2008ish soon after joining the Newmarket Citizens Band where many other band members had been playing.
Andre Soares is a classically trained pianist with a BFA (Music), and B.Ed from York University. He has also attended the Humber College Music Program. He has been teaching and performing in the Toronto area. His focus is Jazz. As a freelance musician, he performs as a soloist, as well as with duos, trios, quartets and ensembles. He has enjoyed performing with the After Hours Big Band for 5 years. www.andresoarestrio.com
Rick started taking lessons on drums when he was 6 years old. He actually played his first paid gig when he was 7 years old. Rick has studied with Stan Perry ( Phil Nimmons, Woody Herman) and Peter Magadini. He also teaches occasionally at Drummer’s Hangout in Aurora. Rick also plays with well known local band - The Kingfishers and played with the Metro Big Band previously.
Greg Cox recently joined the AHBB in December of 2019 as guitarist. He is a recently retired high school teacher from the Peel District School board. During the 1970s and '80s, Greg played extensively in the GTA club scene, colleges and universities. He has played throughout much of southern Ontario and has toured Europe and the United States. In 1988 Greg changed his focus from rock to jazz and continued to play throughout the GTA, including regular play with busy big bands. Greg has earned credits as a sideman on six CDs and has self published two solo albums.