Music Memory – Tara Davidson

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the “Music For Memory Project”: a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week we hear from 2016 Juno Nominee Tara Davidson. She is an alto and soprano saxophonist who has performed around the world. Tara is on faculty at York University, the Humber College Community Music School and the National Music Camp of Canada (Jazz Faculty).

“Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my musical journey (with so many great memories along the way) since I had to say goodbye to my biggest fan, my Dad, this past December.

One of my earliest jazz memories is from when I was about seven years old. My Dad had decided to take the family (myself, my big brother and my step mom) to New York City for a long weekend. My Dad was a music teacher, trumpet player and jazz lover and he often planned impromptu trips, This particular long weekend in 1987 saw the Davidsons taking in Broadway shows and jazz club sets in the Big Apple. The special event for THIS particular long weekend was hearing Dizzy Gillespie perform at Carnegie Hall. My memory only gives me that bright image of Dizzy, centre stage with his bent-bell trumpet, playing high, fast and masterfully with those famous puffed cheeks. I remember being moved by the music and in awe of beautiful Carnegie Hall. In 2003, I had an exceptional opportunity to participate in the Carnegie Hall Jazz Workshop with Laila Biali, Brandi Disterheft and Sly Juhas.

Sixteen years after hearing Dizzy play on that stage, my childhood memory somehow transformed into an incredible adulthood reality when my Dad, stepmom and brother came to New York City to hear me perform at Carnegie Hall.”