The Kennedy Center

Chicago Goes West


The Chicago Goes West jazz trio was founded in 2008 by Calgary-based drummer Karl Schwonik for one of his many Canadian touring projects. Upon meeting James Davis while teaching at a jazz camp in Connecticut, Schwonik was immediately impressed with Davis’ impeccable tone and facility on his instrument. Schwonik met Nic Bedard while they were both studying at the prestigious McGill University. Bedard already had a reputation of being one of the top young bass players in Montreal and Schwonik quickly worked with him as much as possible.

In their travels through Canada and the U.S., CGW has performed at jazz clubs, universities, concert halls and performance spaces of all kinds. Their performances over the last year have been very well attended and given much critical acclaim. The trio has also given numerous clinics at elementary, junior high and high schools throughout Canada. As a post-secondary educator, Mr. Davis is exceptionally talented and inspiring in this area. Performance highlights have included: The J.F. Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Cellar Jazz Club (Vancouver), Beat Niq Jazz Club (Calgary), University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), Augustana University (Camrose, AB) and The Matchbox (Red Deer, AB).

Blind drummer Karl Schwonik has quickly become "one of Canada’s youngest, most creative and hardest working jazz musicians." His musical study began with an invitation to attend the Banff Centre where he was the youngest artist ever to be a part of the long-term residency program. Along with winning countless grants, awards and honours, he is in demand as both an educator and performer. Schwonik has been featured on CBC National Radio, ABC and NBC national television, at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and in over 60 newspapers and magazines all across North America. Schwonik has performed with: Tommy Banks, P.J. Perry, Jens Lindeman, Hugh Fraser, Dave Douglas, Chucho Valdes, Sonny Fortune, Dave Liebman, David Braid, Jeff Johnston, and many others.

James Davis is an innovative young Chicago trumpeter and music maker. Along with being a finalist in some of the world’s premier trumpet competitions (including the International Trumpet Guild and Carmine Caruso Competitions), Davis holds a Master’s degree from the University of North Texas where he recorded and toured with the famed ‘One O’Clock Lab Band’. Davis’ diverse experience includes performances with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chuchito Valdes, Tomorrow Music Orchestra, Zing!, the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Wind Symphony, and more. He is currently on faculty at Triton College in River Grove, IL as director of jazz bands.

Nicolas Bedard is a multi-lingual, multi-faceted bass player. He is equally at home in either of Canada's 2 official languages as he is playing almost any style of music. In just a few years since graduation from McGill University, Bedard has become one of the most in-demand bass players in Montreal and has experienced great success touring and performing throughout Canada. Bedard has performed with many of the country’s top jazz musicians including Remi Bolduc, Daniel Lessard, Joel Miller, Jeff Johnston, and Wali Muhammadand. In addition, Bedard is a part of the Rafael Zaldivar Trio that is the 2009 winner of Montreal’s prestigious ‘Jazz en Rafale’ contest sponsored by Effendi Records.
Chicago Goes West