[Dixielandjazz] Jack Wiard
bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Sat Mar 6 20:26:18 PST 2004
A few days ago I promised to introduce new DJMLer Jack Wiard, as he is too
modest to do so himself.
Most of the following is taken from an article I wrote in Feb 2001, with
Jack Wiard - clarinet wizard.
The outstanding jazz clarinetist, Jack Wiard, has been an integral part of
Sydney jazz for thirty years. Born in Lodi, California, his interest in
music was triggered by hearing Benny Goodman, prompting his parents to buy
him a toy nine-note clarinet and songbook of twenty tunes when he was
twelve. In one and half hours he had learned all the songs. Six months later
he was given a real clarinet and, after several years in school bands,
started private lessons. While in the high school band he formed The Dixie
Three (clarinet, guitar and drums) playing Eagles and Lions club functions,
at local churches and in bowling alleys, all the while honing his
improvisation skills accompanying jazz records.
While at San Joaquin Delta College (1963-64) Jack formed the DC 4 for
college events and joined the college big band on tenor saxophone. He
continued private clarinet lessons while completing an AA Degree in music.
During 1965-71 he studied music and clarinet at San Francisco State
College. With this strong emphasis on classical technique he was now capable
of transferring his musical ideas to jazz. He freelanced while in San
Francisco working with legendary San Francisco jazz pianist Burt Bales,
Brian Richardson¹s Jazz Band, Pops Foster¹s New Orleans Jazz Band, pianist
Joe Sullivan and various Kid Ory and Turk Murphy alumni. But Australia
With BA and BM degrees and a Teaching Certificate Jack became a teacher at
Endeavour High School, Caringbah NSW in May 1971. He joined the Sutherland
Shire Symphony Orchestra as clarinet soloist and sat in regularly with
Sydney jazz bands. In 1973 he joined Nick Boston¹s Colonial Jazz Band,
stayed three years then worked full time with the Ray Price Qintet (sic)
until 1979. They travelled throughout Australia presenting ¹History Of Jazz
school concerts and made two New Zealand tours in 1976. From 1976 to 1982
Jack also worked with the Gut Bucket Five, Mick Fowlers Jazzers, Nancy
Stuart and Her Jazzmen, the Abbey Jazz Band, Bob Barnards Jazz Band and the
Hot Dixie Flyers.
Since September 1979 Jack has been a member of Graeme Bell¹s All Stars.
During the 1980s and 1990s they toured Germany, Holland and England twice,
all Australian states, New Zealand, made several Pacific Island cruises,
attended Expo 1990 in Osaka, Japan and made a triumphant 1991 tour to
mainland China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia
and Brunei. Jack still tours Australia with the Graeme Bell band for
festivals and concert appearances.
In 1998 Jack formed the Riverside Roustabouts for concerts, club jobs and
jazz festivals in and around Sydney. From 1999 to 2003 he has toured the
jazz festival circuits in the US and Europe (Denmark, Ireland, Germany,
Switzerland, Norway, England and Scotland) and India with the Sydney-Zenith
Jazz Band. Jack will be away again with Sydney Zenith in May 2004.
Jack Wiard¹s recordings include those with Nick Boston's Colonial Jazz
Band, Mick Fowler & His Fowl House + One, Adrian Ford's Big Band, Ray Price
Qintet (sic), Graeme Bell & His All Stars, the Abbey Jazz Band, Ken Herron's
Jazz Band, Hot Dixie Flyers, Sydney-Zenith Jazz Band, Harlem Swing, Geoff
Power' Jazz Band, The Robbers Dogs Jazz Band and Jack Wiard's Riverside
Roustabouts (a Bob Helm tribute group).
Jack is also a recent naturalised Australian.
I have more-than-likely missed a few important things, but will leave Jack
to tidy up these bits.
PS: An enthusiastic local broadcaster (not me) once announced a forthcoming
festival appearance of 'Jack Weird's Riverboat Roundabouts'!
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