200 200 Cut
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200 200 Cut

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Jazz




"Medicinal Muse"

Medicinal muse

By day, Jeff Harris is one of the city’s top cancer surgeons (chief of the head and neck cancer team at the University of Alberta Hospital). But when he finds time to relax, he picks up a trumpet to play classic jazz in a new quintet project called 200200Cut. “I’m absolutely convinced that music and the discipline needed to do music well was the reason I’ve been successful in other areas of my life,” Harris offers, adding “I’ve found that musical references are also becoming an important model for people in corporate and business backgrounds too. Playing jazz is still something I take very seriously but it’s also a great way to deal with the stress of my day job.”

Don’t get the idea that this is just some sort of idle hobby. Checking out one of their video clips online shows off the group’s obvious talents, but the former U of A music major played for many years both here and in Vancouver before he turned down a scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College, switching to medicine.

And while the band is only a year old, they bring together players with considerable collective experience in music. Former University of Saskatchewan prof Paul Newton plays trumpet too, with Mel Rodrigues on keyboards, Halifax bassist Chris Grapel and veteran drummer Larry Schrum, better known as director of the River City Big Band.

Schrum also shows real ingenuity as chief arranger for the quintet. While their inspiration takes off from the popular bop and ballads repertoire of greats like Miles Davis and Chet Baker, they manage to avoid sounding too predictable.

If you’re wondering about that band name, Harris explains a “200200 cut” is a common surgical procedure wherein a surgeon cuts a vein or an artery between two small surgical clips known as 200s. That’s one way to put a band on the cutting edge.

Using two trumpets upfront is not unprecedented but it is atypical for the standard jazz quintet lineup. Harris says the band has been careful to use arrangements that don’t lead to brass fatigue for their audience.

“You can never have too many trumpet players,” he jokes, “but arriving at our lineup was a mixture of intention and opportunity. It started as a quartet but that changed when we found Paul. We arrange things to ensure a real distinction between what the two horns are playing, sometimes using trumpet and flugelhorn, often featuring one trumpeter with the other playing backup, and by using mutes we can really alter their sounds.”

When they do choose to use both horns together, the harmonies can be glorious, as on a version of My Funny Valentine, which starts in a pleasingly unexpected samba groove. As time goes on, they hope to work original tunes into the repertoire but the band has already been recording some of their shows with an ear to putting out a live album in the new year.

Two other acts, Tangle and A Love Supreme will play warm-up sets from 8 p.m. when 200200Cut headlines at the new downtown club Brittany’s Lounge (10225 97th St., across the street from the Winspear Centre rear entrance) on Saturday. If you can’t make that show they’re scheduled to play Blue Chair Café on Jan. 4.

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal
- The Edmonton Journal


Live at The Haven - Coming Soon!!!



Created as an outlet for accomplished players to pursue their love of small ensemble jazz, 200 200 Cut has become a close knit ensemble with the intertwined sound and feel that only comes with time. This is a group that plays for the love of the music and for the opportunity to share that joy with their audience.

The Edmonton Journal raves "When they do choose to use both horns together, the harmonies can be glorious, as on a version of My Funny Valentine, which starts in a pleasingly unexpected samba groove"

The Band:
Paul Newton: Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Paul is a recent arrival from Saskatoon with a strong music performance and education background. Paul directed the U of S Jazz ensemble and has performed and recorded across Canada.

Jeff Harris: Trumpet/Flugelhorn
After taking a break from the music life, Jeff has returned in full force. He is currently solo trumpet for the Trocadero Orchestra and in the recent past has played with Laurence Mollerup's "Short Fuse" ensemble in Vancouver and as soloist with the UBC Jazz Ensemble. He has performed extensively in Edmonton and Vancouver and has shared the stage with many of Edmonton's top performers.

Mel Rodrigues: Keyboards
Mel has played with many of Edmonton's Jazz groups including The River City Big Band and The Trocadero Orchestra, and is one of the busiest jazz pianists in town.

Chris Grapel: Bass
Originally from Nova Scotia, Chris Grapel has played electric and upright bass with a variety of jazz, fusion, blues and roots bands in the Edmonton area, including Tangele, Pete Turland, Always Often, Rockin Ron and the Radiators and the 40 Below Blues Band.

Larry Schrum: Drums
Larry is a local music legend. Current director of the River City Big Band, Edmonton's premiere Jazz Orchestra, and drummer for the Trocadero Orchestra, Larry has been a performer, educator and arranger in Edmonton for decades.