Piano, drums, vibes, keys… the beat, the swing and, well, the vibes kind of say it all. There was a distinct charm in how Peter Appleyard played and respected the music. Truly, it was all about a vibe, and that was instantly a trait. You could not only hear his playing but feel the groove and the vibes.
He was a jazzman in all senses of the word. His artistry touched on every point of the instrument’s range, his creativity and emotion and expression, from crystalline tones to the softest and gentlest sounds.
An English-born Canadian, he became one of Canada’s jazz superstars, gracing the stage, radio and television and representing the country as a Canadian jazz ambassador. The respect from his peers in Canada and internationally glowed and continues to glow. Toronto-based Calvin Jackson gave Appleyard his first big push and place of recognition, including playing with Jackson’s big band appearing with them in recording and on television. With his own band came even wider recognition and fame and an increased popularity of the vibraphone.
We lost this master of the vibes in July of 2013. Nothing shines brighter than the expressions of respect from peers of an artist. The greatness was beautifully described by trumpet and flugelhorn player Guido Basso: “The world of music has lost a champion and a spark plug internationally.” The beat, swing, and vibes of the vibes of Peter Appleyard live on.