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“I will retire from politics eventually, but musicians don’t ever stop playing.”

Tommy Banks, 2008

It is a somber day here at CKUA as we say goodbye to a treasured friend. Tommy Banks was a legendary musician, a tireless public servant and a vocal champion of culture & the arts, both in Alberta and across the country.

He was, to those who knew him personally, also a tremendous colleague and a true gentleman. His contributions to the cultural landscape of Canada and to CKUA are beyond measure – neither would be the same without his fierce passion for the arts.

We’ll be sharing some of our favourite memories of Tommy in the coming days, both here and on air. Kodi Hutchison will also have a live, two-hour tribute to the jazz great Saturday from 1-3pm MT.

Former CKUA GM talks about meeting Tommy Banks for the first time, and the immeasurable impact he had on the station’s history.

Monique Bielech from the Yardbird Suite talks about the music that inspired a young Tommy Banks when he was still a teenager, and how he was dedicated to the Alberta jazz scene.

Musician PJ Perry talks about the Tommy’s special connection with other artists, his time mentoring other musicians, and his fierce loyalty.

Edmonton’s Chris Andrew played in Tommy’s band – he talks about the lessons he learned from the legendary player.

Former Alberta politician Gene Zwozdesky describes Tommy as a fantastic, talented man who could have had success in New York or L.A. but was determined to remain in Canada.