Primary Instrument: Trumpet
“Not exactly an underachiever, Summers wrote 46 new-old songs for the album before choosing the ones that sounded most like him. He’s now working on something completely different, a groove-oriented album written specifically to attract spin on the radio.” Cam Fuller, Star Phoenix In the beginning there were trumpet lessons in Grade 7 and an epiphany in Grade 9. “I heard a copy of Blue Light Red Light by Harry Connick Jr.and some Louis Armstrong. It blew me away. This music was so much more soulful, meaningful and real than the plastic music of the day. It was real people, really talented people and it was art through music.” Summers immerses himself in his new passion listening to everyone under the jazz umbrella from Chet Baker to Dizzy Gillespie and Tony Bennett to name a few. Classical training in trumpet and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Calgary in 1999 follows and Johnny Summers is really on a roll or in his case a riff that resonates with a growing following. He continues to expand his musical horizons through performing, composing and arranging. Two albums soon follow. His first CD, Volume 1 showcases six original songs as well as five standards recorded with the Johnny Summers Quartet. Summers’ second album takes a relaxed, straight-ahead approach to originals composed in the style of Gershwin, Porter, Ellington and the like and features the exquisite guest vocals of Tim Tamashiro and Johanna Silanpaa along with the Quartet. The music is intensely heartfelt, lyrical and fresh. Tackling a third album, the Groove Project, Summers is aiming for heavy radio play. As an entrepreneur he runs his own production company, Summertime Music Corporation, “the infrastructure that lets me fulfill all my crazy ideas.” He performs with his ensembles which include the Johnny Summers Trio, Quartet, Quintet and the Johnny Summers Little Big Band which can be complimented with 3 Wise Guys, crooners who get people dancing and laughing, also his 17 piece the Johnny Summer Orchestra. Summers has traveled from Spain, and Britain to Hawaii, Los Angeles to New Orleans to play with outstanding musicians and drawing an ever growing following. Always on the lookout for the next musical venture Summers formed the Calgary Jazz Orchestra in 2004 with 17 of the best of the best jazz artists. Summers and the orchestra gives us their own take on the rich acoustic traditional Big Band sound and fill a room with a full, energetic swing sound that moves and connect players with each other and the audience.