Jane Fair Rosemary Galloway Quintet releases their new CD Playin’ Jane
Jane Fair – Sax
Lina Allemano – Trumpet
Nancy Walker – Piano
Rosemary Galloway – Bass
Nick Fraser – Drums
Jane Fair bio:
BORN in 1948, Jane Fair grew up in Guelph and Barrie, Ontario. One of the first Canadian women to play jazz, she began by playing saxophone in high school and in dance bands in Barrie, Ontario. Jazz recordings made their way into Jane’s life at home through her brother’s interest in the music. Listening endlessly to John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis, Jane missed out on Beatlemania, developing an unshakable love for jazz.
Jane moved to Montreal in 1966 to study at McGill University. It was not until the end of her undergraduate studies in French Literature, that she started to experiment with learning to play the music. She began performing in 1971 with Richard Robinson at Jazz et Café in Val-David, Quebec and spent the early ’70s learning songs, struggling with chord changes, playing time, and studying flute. Eventually Jane began playing gigs in Montreal’s cafes with Peter Leitch, Guy Nadon, Claude Ranger, and Andrew Homzy.
In ’76 Jane moved to Toronto where she continued with part-time jobs, doing a few gigs, playing with Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band, Memo Acevedo’s Banda Brava, and leading her own quartet, playing with her contemporaries like Mark Eisenman, Lorne Lofsky, Frank Falco, Steve Wallace, Neil Swainson, and Barry Elmes, to name a few.
At this time Jane also began some private teaching. After the birth of her son in ’82, Jane took on a part-time position teaching music to young children. This experience inspired Jane to return to university where she completed a Master’s in Music Education in 2001.
Fair has appeared in the USA at women’s jazz events, including the Kansas City Women’s Jazz Festival in 1980, and has led bands at George’s Spaghetti House and other Toronto clubs. With the flutist and soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett (a former Fair pupil), the pianist Jill Hoople, and others, she led the Ladies of Jazz 1986-9; with Bunnett and others she established Music in Monk Time, a band devoted to the compositions of Thelonious Monk, in 1988.
In 2001, Jane began teaching at the Humber College Community Music School. Here Jane works with kids from age 7 to 18. Jane is dedicated to having kids experience contrasting musical traditions. Her students always enjoy learning jazz repertoire at earlier stages of their development, using Orff instruments and drums and percussion.
Jane continues to play and write, albeit less frequently. Currently Jane co-leads a quintet with Rosemary Galloway. This group, including Nancy Walker on piano, Lina Allemano on trumpet, and Terry Clarke on drums, can be heard on their independently produced CD Waltz Out.
In January 2003 Fair received the Lil Hardin Armstrong Jazz Heritage Award from the Women’s Caucus of the International Association for Jazz Education. The award honours ‘a pioneering female jazz musician’ for her ‘artistic excellence and outstanding contributions to jazz and to the history of women in jazz.’
Her compositions include incidental music for the films Passages (NFB 1978) and Taking Care (1987) as well as several jazz themes. She has taught saxophone privately, specializing in adult beginners. Fair is married to the jazz pianist and teacher Frank Falco.