Jamie Mitges has been accompanied by some of Canada’s most celebrated musicians. The breadth of their influence on international jazz music, as well as other genres, is a tribute to the respect that Jamie garners from other artists.
A revered veteran of Canadian jazz, Peter Appleyard is arguably the greatest vibes player in the country’s history. Born August 26, 1928 in Cleethorpes, England, Peter Appleyard has enjoyed a stellar career with many of the greatest musicians of our time, such as Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Dick Hyman, Rob McConnell, Hagood Hardy, Guido Basso, Diana Krall, Anne Murray, and Oscar Peterson. Also a percussionist and composer, Appleyard appeared regularly on The Andy Williams Show and the Today Show in the 1950s, and he was a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet in the 1970s. Peter Appleyard was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992. He was awarded the Satchmo Award in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to jazz; other recipients include Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. Peter is the only Canadian to be honoured with the Satchmo Award.
Renowned for his immaculate tone, taste and class, Ed Bickert is one of the most respected Canadian guitarists in jazz history as a solo artist, session player and live performer. Along with his own recordings, Ed has contributed to important jazz groups such as Moe Koffman Quintet, Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass, Phil Nimmons’ bands, as well as with sax legend Paul Desmond. Born November 29, 1932 in Manitoba and raised in British Columbia, Ed developed an interest in jazz harmony by studying the recordings of Stan Kenton and of many other artists. In his early teens, he played onstage with his mother at the piano and his fiddle-playing father. Ed Bickert was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1996.
A pianist, producer, engineer and songwriter, Brent Bodrug is one of Canada’s most diverse and accomplished talents, helping shape the careers of many of the country’s top musicians, including Alannis Morissette. Equally at home with pop and rock, Brent studied under jazz great Oscar Peterson and was subsequently honoured with the Toronto Arts Protégé Award in 1993. A graduate of York University’s music program, Brent has built a career with high-profile artists such as Morissette (Maverick), Jacksoul (SonyBMG, Juno Award Winner), Ryan Malcolm (Canadian Idol Winner, Low Level Flight), Carlos Morgan (Juno Award Winner), and Son (Warner), as well as numerous independent artists. Brent’s work has been featured in television shows such as Dawson's Creek.
Joe LaBarbera has been one of the top drummers in jazz for decades, playing a diversity of styles with many of the genre’s major artists. Born February 22, 1948 in Mt. Morris, New York, Joe began his professional career with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd, followed by The Chuck Mangione Quartet. He then freelanced with Jim Hall, Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Gary Burton, Art Pepper, John Scofield, Bob Brookmeyer and Toots Thielmans. Subsequently, he joined Bill Evans in what was to become a landmark trio with bassist Marc Johnson. After Bill's passing, Joe worked with Tony Bennett. More recently, he's played with Bill Mays, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker, Joe Locke, Don Friedman, and his brother Pat LaBarbera.
Multi-talented Don Thompson is one of the most versatile and creative players in the world of jazz. A three time Juno Award winner, Thompson is a pianist, bassist, vibraphonist, drummer, composer, arranger and recording engineer. He was born January 18, 1940 in Vancouver, BC. After early work with Chris Gage, Dave Robbins, Barney Kessel and John Handy, Thompson played on Handy’s Live at Monterey in 1965, one of the most popular jazz recordings of the 1960s. Thompson has also worked with the Boss Brass, Sonny Greenwich, Moe Koffman, Lenny Breau, Jim Hall, Paul Desmond and Kenny Wheeler. He has played piano with the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, Jane Bunnett and Trudy Desmond. He has maintained a lengthy association with another Canadian king of strings, guitarist Ed Bickert. Don does a lot of work with Phil Dwyer, Reg Schwager and vocalist Diana Panton. His popular composition, Days Gone By, has been recorded many times. Don Thompson was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009.
Canadian-born Denton Whited was inspired to be a musician by his father, Donald "Spike" Whited, drummer of the legendary Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Along with Motown, Denton’s approach to drums touches many musical genres. He has performed with The Philosopher Kings, Prozzak, Jarvis Church, Nelly Furtado, Jamiroquai, bassist Victor Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flectones, legendary Jimi Hendrix sideman Buddy Miles, Vernon Isaac, Phunk Factory, Tongues & Bones, and many more.