Written By: Rebecca Blake Edited By: Philip Barton
Dr Patrick Boyle is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Victoria. Playing on over 50 releases and Composing 3 solo albums, his trumpet playing as put Newfoundland on the map in the jazz world; Playing Carnegie Hall, Newport Folk Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, Sound Symposium, SXSW and many more. We had the absolute pleasure of speaking to him about music and his upcoming show. He’s playing Memorial University’s School of Music on December 13th delivering his distinct version of jazz back to the island in a free show, collecting donations for the local food bank.
“ In jazz, I like the humour, the spirit, and the willingness to work together.”
– Patrick Boyle
Tell me how you got into jazz?
I was fortunate to be involved in music at an early age. My elementary and high school band programs were very strong and there was a lot of teamwork and encouragement between students. My favourite thing about jazz music is improvising. When I first started seeing this music live when I was about 13 or 14, I witnessed musicians having an excellent time on stage all while appearing to just make it all up on the spot. That is intoxicating. In jazz, I like the humour, the spirit, and the willingness to work together.
What inspired you to make a fourth solo album?
I love making records. I still love the physical product. Sure, I listen to streams and I download music but I have a great record collection. I think the jazz world is one of the last to really value the physical product, the liner notes etc.
What was it like to make the album?
Making this record was pure pleasure. It was produced by Glen Tilley. He is a master at attenuating the right vibe in the studio. He creates a comfortable but serious atmosphere in order to get the best out of us. I’m so proud to work with all of these great musicians: Bill Brennan (piano) Mike Downes (bass) and Mike Billard (drums).
With this particular project, there was a couple of years in between the actual recording (which only took a single day) and the actual manufacture and release. The reason for that is simple. Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. I have a busy job at the University of Victoria. I also got married. The time was right to finally release it. We also took the big step in pressing a limited edition vinyl release in addition to CD and downloadable formats.
How do you connect your hometown to your current album?
I’m not sure that I do so specifically on this record.
Where did you learn to synthesize a range of influences?
I don’t get hung up on style. I love music and sound. Style sometimes gets in the way of music. For instance, I don’t like the idea of a style or instrument getting in the way of what I want to express musically. There’s no question this is a “jazz” album, but I don’t think anyone needs to know anything about jazz music or improvisation to enjoy it.
Why are you coming back to play at MUN?
Suncor Energy Hall is a beautiful room with a terrific grand piano. Bill Brennan and I have performed there in the past and it makes sense. Plus, I am a proud graduate of the MUN School of Music (B.Mus 2000) and I love being there. It feels like home. There’s no admission fee to attend the concert, but I strongly encourage folks to bring a donation for the MUN Food Bank.
What have been some challenges since you began recording?
I guess the usual challenges which include getting the music “out there.” In a lot of ways, that’s never been easier than it is today. I really like the Bandcamp platform. At long last, I have a little online store where anyone can buy physical or digital copies of my music. https://patrickboyle.bandcamp.com/
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am lucky to have a great job as Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Victoria. In 5 years I’d like to see the graduate offerings in improvisation at my School increase. As well, I’m working on an album of Irish and Newfoundland traditional music for trumpet. Look out for that!