©David Howells 2013 www.davehowellsphoto.com

Congratulations to Craig Squires of Night Music, winner of the inaugural Gerry Porter Award for Creative Improvised Music at Sound Symposium XIX.

As the coordinator of the monthly Night Music series, Craig is a leader in the St. John’s free jazz and improv scene. Night Music was first featured at Sound Symposium almost two decades ago. Instantly popular with musicians and audiences alike, Craig expanded it to a monthly concert and improv session at The Ship Pub. Night Music has been a cornerstone of the St. John’s music scene for 16 years.

Gerry Porter was a frequent attendee at Night Music. “Gerry was an omnivorous music lover who was always on the lookout for new sounds and prized anything that’s innovative, surprising and passionate,” says Gerry’s son, Chris McGee. “He loved music and particularly the kind that most people turn off,” says Debbie McGee, who was married to Gerry until his death in 2016.

Gerry supported the arts community of Newfoundland and Labrador not only with his presence at countless events, but also with his work and wit as a graphic artist, designer, computer expert, and idea generator.

The idea for the award arose in the last months of Gerry’s life. Debbie says he was enthusiastic about it, “I remember Mack (Furlong) came over to the house and we all sat at the kitchen table and planned the wording.”

The Gerry Porter Award for Creative Improvised Music is intended for an individual, group, or organization based in Newfoundland and Labrador that produces or supports challenging music created by the will and spirit of the practitioner – creative improvised music. All genres of music are eligible, as long as they meet the key criteria of creative improvisation.

It is through the generosity of Gerry’s friends and family that the award has been established with a $1000 prize. It will be given to a new artist at every Sound Symposium to come.

Chris McGee will present the inaugural award on stage at D.F. Cook Recital Hall (Memorial University School of Music) on Friday, July 13 at 7:00pm.