March 8: Gerry Shatford Trio Live @ Your Library with Kingston Writers Fest

Sunday, March 8th, 2-4pm
Kingston Frontenac Public Library
2nd floor, Wilson Room
130 Johnson St., Kingston, ON
Doors 1:30pm

$20 adults / $5 students; tickets at the door or through TicketScene

This concert is a Kingston Jazz Society/Kingston Writers Fest co-presentation sponsored by Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd.

  • Gerry Shatford – piano
  • Neil Swainson – bass
  • Barry Elmes – drums


  • Bruce Kauffman – narration

We are pleased to welcome the Gerry Shatford Trio who will be performing musical pieces inspired by a number of Al Purdy’s poems.

The Gerry Shatford Trio has produced an album of musical adaptations to 8 of Al Purdy’s poems. The album’s title, taken from the title of one of the selected poems, is “When I Sat Down to Play the Piano”.

Bruce Kauffman, Kingston poet, will read the 8 Purdy poems individually, in turn with the Trio’s original musical interpretation of them.

Information about Gerry Shatford and the genesis of this project can be found on his website. He explains:

“When I Sat Down to Play the Piano” is a collection of eight original compositions inspired by the poetry of Al Purdy. This project grew out of my Master’s thesis at York University, and was generously funded through a Popular Music Recording Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. I really enjoyed pulling together a programme of compositions that would reflect my interest in various jazz piano styles and simultaneously honour the breadth of Purdy’s vision. Each tune began with my reading of the poem, rhythmically (i.e. with a specific tempo and feel in mind that would reflect the content of the poem) and transcribing the results. These rhythms then became the basic building blocks for the compositions as I added pitches to create melodies.

KINGSTON WRITERSFEST brings the best of contemporary writers to Kingston to interact with audiences and other artists for mutual inspiration, education, and the exchange of ideas that literature provokes. Through readings, performance, onstage discussion and master classes, Kingston WritersFest fosters intellectual and emotional growth on a personal and community level and raises the profile of reading and literary expression in our community.

The KJS has long admired and collaborated with Kingston WritersFest, having frequently assisted in arranging musical accompaniment of poetry readings over the years of their fantastic festival. When contacted by Gerry Shatford with his Al Purdy project, it was natural for us to reach out to our WritersFest friends, with whom we are eager to partner with for this series.

Kingston Jazz SocietyKingston Writers Fest