Stewart Taylor left a musical legacy behind

The Cranbrook musical community is mourning the passage of one of its central personalities

The Cranbrook musical community is mourning the passage of one of its central personalities.

Stewart Taylor passed away in his home in Cranbrook on Sunday, Nov. 4, leaving behind a legacy of a life in music.

Stewart Edward Taylor was born in Kimberley, and got his start playing trombone in school — an instrument he became a past master of. After a stint with the Army Reserve Band in Cranbrook and some time at college in Vancouver digging the jazz scene, Taylor spent the next 60 years playing in all the significant jazz oriented combos and community bands in Cranbrook and Kimberley: Wham Go The Ducks, The Sounds of The Forties, the Cranbrook and Kimberley Community Bands, the Symphony of the Kootenays, The Noteables, the Don Davies Quartet, and more — not to mention innumerable pit orchestras in years of local theatre productions.

“Stewart was a wonderful man and a wonderful musician,” said longtime musical colleague Jim Cameron. “I played music with him for 45 years and never heard him hit a wrong note.”

Taylor opened Stewart’s House of Music in Cranbrook, which would exist in five different locations around town over the years (two of which burned down). He supplied pianos to the population, and tuned them as well. His store was a gathering spot for musicians around the region, until he retired from that business in the early 2000s.

Taylor kept up his piano-tuning trade, his prolific performance schedules, and his incomparable musicianship ever afterwards though.

“He was a kind and generous man, always self-effacing and always eager to learn,” Cameron said. “He defined ‘cool’ both on and off the bandstand and I will miss him more than I can possibly say. In my mind he has simply (like the sign he would would hang on the door of his store on a warm summer day) “gone fishin’.”

Steen Jorgensen, and bandmate of Taylor’s in many incarnations, said It was great privilege to be Taylor’s friend and fellow traveller through almost twenty years.

“When great talent is accompanied by true humility and open-hearted friendship by true caring, it is a moment, when lost, that one realizes just how treasured is the person who carried those qualities; such a person was my friend and fellow musician, Stewart Taylor.”

“‘How do you do that?’ I often would ask when he would soar into one of his beautiful solos as his trombone heated to a fast swing piece, his tone and phrasing a brilliant compliment to the chords and melody.

“His humility was evident as he answered, ‘ I just play what’s in my head.’”

As Stew liked to answer when I would ask him what was his favourite musical sound? ‘A Major seventh chord, my friend. A Major seventh chord.’”

Just Posted

Artist Michael Hepher selected to paint mural downtown Fernie

The mural will be located on The Beanpod, 691 2 Ave, Fernie, on the outside wall.

UPDATED: Crews remain on scene of Jaffray hay barn fires

Emergency personnel remain on scene throughout Wednesday to put out hot spots

Vehicle stolen from downtown Fernie found torched at transfer station

RCMP are seeking witnesses to the theft of a yellow 2002 Subaru… Continue reading

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Stranded hikers rescued from Mt. Hosmer

On Monday, Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) responded to two hikers stranded… Continue reading

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

River rescue near Fernie prompts log jam warning

The City of Fernie announced at the beginning of August a dangerous… Continue reading

Black Pistol Fire ignites Wapiti festival crowd

Off stage, Kevin McKeown is a calm, collected individual. On stage, he… Continue reading

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Most Read