Don Phillimore (left)

Don Phillimore (left)

Veteran bandleader celebrated

South Surrey's Rice Honeywell named 'Conservator of Jazz'

One of the highlights of last month’s Jazz Band Ball festival was special recognition for veteran bandleader Rice Honeywell, Sr.

Honeywell, 83 – leader of popular Dixieland band Red Beans & Rice – was presented at Pacific Inn with the ‘Conservator of Jazz’ award Sept. 27 by White Rock Traditional Jazz Society president Don Phillimore.

The award recognizes the popular cornetist/pianist/vocalist’s contributions to music on the local scene, and his continued championing of the idiom he fell in love with as a young man in the early-1950s.

While Red Beans & Rice is official house band for the society, the band actually came first – formed in 1990 when Honeywell retired from musical-instrument sales in Toronto and he and late-wife Helen moved west.

As a longtime aficionado of the Dixie style – and a collector of classic jazz – Honeywell put together Red Beans & Rice around a core of established Vancouver-area players, including the late Eggy Lay on reeds, Dave Griggs on trombone, Jim Marsh on banjo, Mike Cox on drums and Mike Hobbs on bass.

Key to the group dynamic, then and now, is Honeywell’s own approach on cornet – a pared-down, driving lead line inspired by one of his idols, 1920s-30s jazzman Muggsy Spanier.

“The best thing a cornet player can do in ensembles is drive it down the middle and keep out of the way of the other guys,” Honeywell said. “Traditional jazz only works when you weave all the lines together – you can’t have everyone playing like a soloist all the time.”

First regular gig for the band locally came when Howard LeTroy, owner of a restaurant called Oasis on the Bay, agreed to have the band play on weekends. It immediately connected with residents.

“Helen went around and passed the hat to customers and people said let’s keep it going,” Honeywell said. “Eventually it became a society.”

When the Oasis went under, the band went on to play at such Peninsula venues as Judy’s On Top and the Sandcastle Club, before settling into the Pacific Inn for an eight-year run.

The society switched its activities to Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240 in 2000, where it now presents regular Sunday sessions from 2-5 p.m., along with guest bands from the traditional jazz circuit. As well, Red Beans & Rice plays alternate Friday nights at Porter’s Bistro in Murrayville.

 

He and wife Nancy also keep the jazz going strong at the Legion during the society’s summer hiatus by producing their own 10-session series of Sunday dances.

 

 

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course – a 15-acre property that also includes a residence – has been sold. (Colliers Canada photo)
South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course sold to new owners

Deal for popular par 3 course expected to close by end of the year

Gymnast Shallon Olsen. (Photo: olympic.ca)
Olympics-bound Surrey gymnast Shallon Olsen enters sports hall of fame – in Coquitlam

She was the youngest member of Team Canada when she made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Screenshot from Sebastian Sajda YouTube video)
VIDEO: Surrey mayor unceremoniously cuts off 22 speakers during public hearing

Speakers plead with Doug McCallum not to be disconnected but mayor reminds them to stay on topic

The Penner family is fighting once again this year to have their son’s educational assistant hours increased, after the district determined it should be cut to 20 hours a week, from 22.5. Pictured are Shawn and Kathryn Penner (front), with their nine-year-old twins Micah and Lena, both of whom have heart conditions and are on the autism spectrum. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
This year is not a ‘benchmark’ as Surrey parents say support-worker hours cut once again

But the district says it’s forecasting a seven per cent increase

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Homicide investigators say the disappearance of a 33-year-old Burnaby man is linked to ongoing gang warfare in the Lower Mainland. (IHIT)
Disappearance of Burnaby man no accident, foul play suspected: IHIT

Parminder Paul Rai, 33, is known to police for his connection to drug and gang activity, says Sgt. Frank Jang

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated for construction workers in Lower Mainland

Sites in Abbosford, Burnaby and Vancouver holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits he failed to supervise his staff and find or report the shortages

Most Read