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Kick back with Jazz for Kicks at SFU Burnaby

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November 23, 2006
Contact:  Michael Cummings, 604.469.3005,,
               Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 604.291.3035,

Jazz for Kicks, a duo with deep academic roots at Simon Fraser University, performs "Jazz and Other Musical Vespers" at Renaissance Coffee in the Cornerstone Building at UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Cummings, a Grade 4 teacher in Coquitlam, and Jim Morrison, an SFU doctoral grad who works with special needs adolescents through the Surrey School Board, comprise the duo. Together they get Renaissance customers crooning, hopping and playing shakers, drums and beaters to old jazz standards.

"It's cool sometimes to see five or six players up front and at least another five or six in the audience providing the percussion to a Fats Waller tune," says Cummings.

Allan MacKinnon, an SFU education professor who helped found the original band, and Renaissance owner Parminder Singh Parhar first conceived of "Jazz and Other Musical Vespers" when the Cornerstone building was just a twinkle in the eye of UniverCity's developer. "Music for and from the community was their concept," explains Cummings.

As for the origins of the name? The band is named after Kathryn Alexander, Cummings' wife and a faculty member in SFU's writing-intensive learning office. Alexander's twin brother used to pronounce Kathryn's name as  "kickers" when the two were tots-which eventually became kicks. Cummings and MacKinnon called the band Jazz for Kicks to honor her on-going support of the group.
(Photo available by request)