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Take Five With Tyler Hornby

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Tyler Hornby:

Tyler started drumming at age ten, honed his artistry in high school big bands and experimental jazz combos, and has since blossomed into one of Canada's most innovative and sought-after young drummers.

Hornby has also become a gifted composer by expanding his musical tastes, studying the craft with Grammy Award-winning pianist Chip Stephens, and immersing himself in the work of other great players from all over the planet.

His list of collaborators is wide and wealthy, including Bob Mintzer, Ingrid Jensen, Wycliffe Gordon, Frank Mantooth, Alain Caron, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Tom Harrell, Jiggs Whigham, Irvin Mayfield, James Carter, Brad Goode, Chip Stephens, Hugh Fraser, Tommy Banks, PJ Perry, Shelly Berg, Ralph Bowen, Maciek Grzywacz (with a 2007 Polish Music Award nomination for their collaboration), Maciej Sikala, Piotr Lemanczyk, Pat Bianchi, John Gunther, Ken Walker, Phil Dwyer, Mike Murley, David Braid, Joel Miller, Campbell Ryga, Jeff Johnston, Brad Turner, Victor Goines, Kirk MacDonald, and {Jens Lindemann}}.

Tyler is also the drummer for Sillan & Young. He has served as composer and musical director on a handful of live productions, and he has developed clinics and workshops in Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland, the United States, and Venezuela.

Hornby has performed at festivals, clubs and concerts in North America, South America and Europe, and has appeared on more than thirty recordings. His first solo album is a critically acclaimed exploration of post bop released in 2005, called Shadows of a Brighter Day. His newest record, A Road to Remember, is a testament to his continuing evolution as a musician, delving into the free-flowing textures of groove, swing and ECM jazz.



Teachers and/or influences?

I have been influenced by many people including Paul Romaine, Tim McIntyre, John Riley, Chip Stephens.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I wanted to be a musician after watching my father play guitar in bands and watching them rehearse in our basement, everyone was having so much fun!

Your sound and approach to music:

My approach to music is really based on what the melody and harmony are expressing, that plays a huge factor in determining how I approach a composition—the collective is more important than the individual.

Your teaching approach:

My approach to teaching is looking at each student as an individual, addressing their weaknesses and moving forward from there. I tend to avoid super-imposing one formula over everyone. The goal is to learn everyday and try to improve each week.

Your dream band:

My dream band is anyone who is committed to the music first and foremost—but playing with Brad Mehldau would be a trip!

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Touring in Poland, such an amazing spirit many of those players have, they drive 10 hours and get out of the car and play like it's their last gig, very inspiring.

Favorite venue:

Beat Niq—Calgary, Yardbird Suite—Edmonton, Dazzles—Denver, Poklad—Gdynia, Blue Note—Poznan.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Miles Davis, Four & More ,(1964), is absolutely incredible!

The first Jazz album I bought was:

I basically just started to raid my brothers collection, he was very much into Miles.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Musically, I hope I am contributing more original compositions and continuing the lineage of some many great drummers.

Did you know...

I started as classical percussion major, although my heart was always with the drum set first.

CDs you are listening to now:

Brad Mehldau, Highway Rider;

Joshua Redman, Compass;

Vijay Iyer, Historicity;

Robert Glasper, Double Booked;

Ari Hoenig, Inversations.

Desert Island picks:

Miles Davis, Four & More;

Chris Potter, Traveling Mercies;

Chick Corea, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs;

Clifford Brown & Max Roach;

Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie: Ella & Basie On the Sunny Side of the Street.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Ever-changing and always in flux.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Getting early exposure to young audiences is key, once that door is opened up they will always be willing to walk through it.

What is in the near future?

Recently released a new record A Road to Remember, and will be touring Europe this summer.

By Day:

I teach in the Jazz Department at Mount Royal University.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Maybe an athlete?

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Tyler Hornby.


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