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.’”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

14 car batteries cleared from Elk River near Elkford

The ERA is encouraging eager volunteers to reach out to help keep the river clean

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Conservation groups blast province for logging in caribou habitat near Revelstoke

In the last year, 104 cuts have been approved near Revelstoke in caribou habitat

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Most Read