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Dave Babcock, jumping into Christmas


Dave Babcock and his Jump Orchestra are making the season bright – and jazzy – at the Yardbird Suite.

The famed Edmonton saxophonist, singer and bandleader has put together a “Cool Yule” evening featuring a seven-piece band plus vocalist Ariana Whitlow.

“It’ll be fun,” says Babcock. “There’ll be lots of great old tunes and a few things that are a little more recent. Some more in the swinging, jazzy, traditional style and then a few others more on the bluesy side of things. There should be something there for everybody.”

Babcock has played Christmas music his whole career but it’s the first time he’s put together a concert dedicated to festive music.

“There have been a lot of great Christmas and seasonal classics that have been written over the years that fall right into the wheelhouse of the Jump Orchestra, so I thought it would make for a good show,” he says.

The Jump Orchestra often changes size, depending on the occasion. For this evening, in addition to Babcock and Whitlow, it includes Bob Tildesley on trumpet, Peter Filice on trombone, Peter Belec on guitar, Chris Andrew on piano, Rubim de Toledo on bass and Jamie Cooper on drums.

Babcock says he personally loves Christmas music because it’s positive and uplifting. “I think that’s another good reason to come to the show,” he says. “Right now in the world there’s a lot of darkness and pain. Music is a healer, it’s a way to bring people together to celebrate in a unified, musical way. It allows people to forget their troubles and feel thankful.”

Dave Babcock’s “Cool Yule” is on at Edmonton’s Yardbird Suite, Dec. 8. Details here.