Your Comments and Good Wishes

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Listen to my Heart
That’s what you showed me
A student in your first choir class
Westlock, Alberta 1960-63

Dunderbeck Biederbecke
Yet, You and Cecilia took it ALL on
Hindemith, Oscar and Randy
Suddenly its all Tomorrow

Listening to my Heart
That is what you showed me
Without a word
Over half a century later
I still
do
Keep on rehearsing
Listening to My Heart
With gratitude, love and respect

Many More Happy Birthdays Mr. Bryant
Karren Smith

1364999537

Congratulations on your remarkable music career. I was a student of yours in the 60's. Tenor Sax. A fellow band member gave me the recording of our CBC taping a few years ago and it brought back wonderful memories of our high school band days. We were a good group of kids and all your hard work paid off. I still have the love of great jazz and band music. You were a great band leader. Happy Birthday, Mr. Bryant.

I live in Ontario now and do travel back to Westlock on occasion. June Robinson

1364999456

In 1975, Jerry Bryant placed "Concerto for Drumset" on our music stands, and challenged his Esquimalt High Concert Band, and especially me, to quit messing around in band class and play. He took us to Ottawa that year, and we played some fantastic concerts that I still think about. We wowed the crowd at Bell High School by jazzing, rocking and rolling - not your usual concert band fare. On the plane on the way back, he introduced me to Oscar Peterson. Thanks, Jerry, for the great memories. Jim Miles Ottawa

1364632852

Jerry - happy birthday old friend. I have so very many great memories of the years I played with you in The Jerry Bryant Trio. Do you remember the night we were gigging at AJ's - the trio then was you, me and Jack Wright - and Oscar, Sam Jones and Bobby Durham walked in? They sat there for 2 full sets. That was certainly one of the highlights of my playing career! And another fond/funny memory was the time we had just finished playing our version of Proud Mary and some half lit guy came up and asked if we could play Proud Mary . . . your response, as I recall, was typically "Jerry Bryant" :) And I don't know if you realize it but our trio launched my business career. I was in charge of booking our dates and we were getting so many calls that we couldn't handle, I would initially just have people call other bands. Then I got the idea of starting a booking agency and since that December in 1969, I haven't looked back since. A lot of water under the bridge my friend but my memories of our years together are still so fresh and vibrant. Congratulations on outsmarting everyone for all of these 90 years and I wish you much continued good health and many more exciting gigs.
Paul Mascioli

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I just wanted to pass on my heartfelt congrats to Jerry reaching this milestone in his incredibly active and productive life. He is such a talent, and I have a lot of fond memories of listening to him play and sing over the years. He is a real treasure to the Victoria community and to the music community at large. Hope I can be there for his 100th!!!--best - David Foster

1364758524

Mr. Bryant, best wishes for your 90th birthday and the coming years. I was not a student of EHS when you taught band, but I sometimes played trumpet with the band, while I was attending UVic. It was then that I had the pleasure of meeting you and receiving your support and guidance. You encouraged me to consider teaching music in schools as a profession and allowed me to student teach under your direction as part of my studies at UVic from 1968-70. Although I did not pursue a career teaching, I joined the RCMP Band in Ottawa as their guitarist. I had played both trumpet and guitar in many dance bands in Victoria from 1967-71. Your enthusiasm and support for music, music students and musicians are foremost in my mind when I think of Jerry Bryant. Jon McGrath, Vancouver

1364227695

Dear Jerry:

What an honour it is to know that you were my principal music guru in my youth. Little did us kids at Esquimalt High really know at the time how fortunate we were.  We knew we were lucky and privileged to have you as our band director but we really had no way of knowing HOW lucky we were — because in our young lives our world was not yet wide enough to know exactly HOW wide your world was----and how what we were learning from you had honesty and purity and came from such a pedigree and authenticity.  How could we know?  When we were learning a Basie chart from you---it was from your hometown!!!  And we would not know that.  But here is the thing.  We SENSED it.  I sensed it.   And it made us feel as if we had something special that no one else had...and we were right to think that.  In my own case I am certain that you made it possible for me to consider a life in music.  Shortly after High school Diana Krall was one of my early students for a period of time,  and I like to think that some of that pure jazz influence filtered though from you.  You also taught me by just giving me a pile of recordings to listen to...or telling me what to buy.  But most importantly you taught us by being a great role model—a brilliant musician to listen to,  a philosopher king that helped us challenge the world and try to understand the big picture, and a poet that helped us know that expression is a creative undertaking that was allowable!  If it was allowable for our teacher to be a poet, a philosopher,  and a musician,  then that made if OK for us to.  Thank you for being the great Jerry Bryant and a life-long role model.  
Your student always,
Christopher Donison

1364231766

Happy 90th Mr. Bryant

When I read your biography I realized that your stint as a music teacher at Esquimalt High School in the early ‘70’s was comparatively brief in your musical career ---- the fact that my four years of high school coincided with your 8 years in the school was truly fortuitous for me.  I have many fond memories of band class, band trips and playing the clarinet. Most importantly though – I remember you – the best teacher I had in all my years at school and university.

A few weeks ago, when the orchestra I am in began playing the opening bars of Pomp and Circumstance, I remembered performing the piece for my Grade 12 graduation and it made me wonder what had happened to my favourite teacher Jerry Bryant – and that is how I happened upon the poster about your birthday celebration. What better way to say happy birthday than to tell you that your love of music and your teaching inspired in me a love of music and performing which remains with me thirty years later.  I did not pursue a musical career, and shortly after graduating from high school I put away my clarinet.  My studies took me in many directions and many places in Canada and I ended up in Ottawa.  My continued love of music led me to many concerts --- of which there is no shortage in Ottawa.  But it was not enough, I missed the thrill of playing an instrument ---- and, about 20 years ago, at an informal gathering of musicals friends, I fell in love with the cello.  A new instrument and new clefs to learn, but I had a strong foundation in the treble clef from my years with you ---- I am now a member of a community orchestra in Ottawa – we perform three concerts a year and I occasionally perform in small ensembles.  I smile when our conductor tells us string players to think like wind players when there are rests – time to breathe!!! I still have a clarinet, add to that my daughter’s viola and violin – what can I say you can never have too many musical instruments and musicians in your house.

Happy Birthday Mr. Bryant - I wish I could be there to celebrate!!!!

With the fondest of memories.     Liane Luton 

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