LC: Your interpretations of pop music songs are gorgeous! What ones have you been working on that you’re most excited about for Friday’s show?
Tyler: Your readers will have to come to the show to find out! At thispoint we have a pretty long list to draw from. We're going to throw a bunch of ideas at Kaelin and see what sticks in rehearsal. But it's a safe bet that there will be a couple of Radiohead songs and a couple of Beatles' songs. Chances are that we will also touch on Joni
Mitchell, Tom Waits, St. Vincent, maybe some Genesis. People will have to come to find out!
LC: Your trumpet player, 18 year old Kaelin Murphy, sounds like quite a young prodigy. How would you describe him to new listeners?
Tyler: How would I describe Kaelin? He is certainly one of the most uniquely talented and hardest working musicians I've ever met. I don't know if HE feels like he's hard working. I think he grew up in an environment surrounded by so much different music that constantly learning new things was just what you did. I've known his parents since before he was born, and they are both really wonderful people, and talented musicians in their own right. And both his brothers are as well.
I used to hear the family busking at the Owen Sound Market and Kaelin definitely caught my ear. Several years ago we did an impromptu show at The Frog Pond, just playing standards. It seemed like a good idea, but then just before the gig I remember having second thoughts. We had never actually played together, we didn't rehearse or anything and I think he was about 14 at the time. I was hoping he would be able to
improvise on the fly at that level. But it was great! He just showed up and we called tunes and had a wonderful time just playing.
The next time I heard Kaelin was when I asked him to guest on one of my solo singer/songwriter gigs. We rehearsed and it was a little sketchy. I think it was a very different style for him, definitely
not jazz. The rehearsal wasn't great, but on the gig? Man...he played so beautifully it just about choked me up in the middle of the
So what will Kaelin sound like? He'll sound beautiful, but beyond that I don't know. Kaelin has done so much over the last few years, playing all over Toronto as well as in Ottawa and NYC. Not to mention touring across Canada with My Son The Hurricane. Every time I hear him he is evolving in leaps and bounds. I'm really looking forward to playing with him again!
LC: Who are some names in modern jazz that have been inspiring you lately?
Tyler: There's lots of great things happening in modern jazz right now. My biggest influence is probably Brad Mehldau Trio. Although I guess they've been around for close to twenty years now, it depends on how you define modern! Kamasi Washington, Christian Scott and Nate Smith all have great new records out.
Frankly, most of the time I spend just listening to records is when I'm hanging out with my one year old. And in that context I've really been reaching back into older jazz styles. Much of my jazz education has come from studying bebop and everything that came after, roughly 1945 and on. But I've been really digging Louis Armstrong's bands
from the 20's and SO much music from Duke Ellington, both big band stuff and his work with Mingus, Coltrane, Ray Brown. There's so much traditional stuff that is so heavy, I feel like I'm playing catch up.
Kaelin: Right now, I'm really enjoying listening to trumpet players Ambrose Akinmusire, Peter Evans, and Marquis Hill. I've also been listening to a lot of Vijay Iyer and Steve Lehman's music.
LC: What do you think of the Owen Sound music scene and Heartwood Hall?
Tyler: Heartwood has been such a huge influence on the music scene. Just having a beautiful venue, with good sound that people want to hang out in. It attracts more people out, so more bands from out of
town want to play, which attracts more people out....it's a beautiful circular thing. I play in a reggae band from Toronto called The Human Rights. Before Heartwood opened, when we would come to OS we would struggle to bring 60-70 people. Since playing at Heartwood we've sold
out every show there. (Also, were coming back April 21st!)
I come back to OS pretty regularly to see my family. I like to go out at night and it used to be that I would be really bored wondering
where to go for a pint. Since Heartwood opened I'm always checking the calendar looking for an excuse to come back, because more often than not something wonderful is happening there.
Kaelin: The Owen Sound music scene needs more jazz going on, and I'm glad that
Heartwood is offering this space for musicians to come and play this
type of creative music. There's a lot of music happening in Owen Sound, but it's really nice when something different than your usual
folk/indie/rock/funk show happens.
LC: Where can people go to hear more of your music?
Tyler: People can here from HWO athttps://soundcloud.com/hammerton-wagler-oneill as well as our youtube page at
Kaelin: I play a lot all over Toronto, you can find me in lots of the jazz venues there usually a couple times a month, but I have also played my music in Ottawa and New York over the past year. I am also touring
with My Son The Hurricane, so you can find me all over the continent with them.
Cheers for the excellent words, boys! This sounds like an incredible group of players and an amazing show.