Past Members

Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye … The Bruce James Orchestra would like to acknowledge its friends and former members for sharing their time and talents with our ensemble.

Ken Moss: Trumpet

As a founding member of the Bruce James Orchestra, Ken played with the ensemble for nearly 20 years!

Semi-retired, Ken is kept busy with his own business, a heavy equipment paint and body shop but is now on the road to permanent retirement. In his spare time, Ken and his wife Noreen enjoy travelling, and are kept busy with 5 energetic grandchildren

Ken started playing trumpet at age 12 and has been playing ever since. As a child, Ken performed with the New Westminster District Bands, and the Burnaby Central High School band. After graduating and getting married, Ken and his wife Noreen, joined the Maple Ridge Community Band (MRCB) in which they both still play 40 years later. While playing in MRCB Ken met Bruce Flello, Tom Walker and Jim Thompson and was invited to join “Fat Jazz”, a local big band directed by Jim Thompson, in which he played in for many years. In 1999 when Bruce Flello decided to form his new Big Band – the Bruce James Orchestra – Ken was asked to play trumpet as a founding member with BJO.

Ken has also played the Last Post at the Maple Ridge Cenotaph for Remembrance Day for more 30 years. He also enjoys playing with local groups doing plays and musicals.

Michael Kim: Trumpet

It was a genuine privilege for the Bruce James Orchestra to have Michael as a member of our trumpet section in our Lead Trumpet chair for many years. Now a working professional in the Canadian music industry, Michael still “subs” with the band as gigs arise, for which we are very grateful!

As an in-demand session trumpet player and one of Canada’s top lead trumpet players, Michael focuses on precision and consistency. He plays lead trumpet in Daniel Hersog Jazz Orchestra, Jaelem Bhate Jazz Orchestra, Super Trumpets, and Vancouver Legacy Jazz Orchestra. He has also played lead and solo trumpet in Orquesta Goma Dura, James Danderfer’s Hummingbird Brigade, Dal Richards Orchestra, and Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra, to name a few.

As a leadership figure, Michael has led multiple bands since the age of 17: Kim-Melgar Jazz Orchestra, Michael Kim Quintet, and Spontaneous Function. He is now an active leader of West Coast Big Band, Super Trumpets and Jazz Powerhouse. Most notably, he co-leads the prestigious Vancouver Legacy Jazz Orchestra with his lifetime mentor, Fred Stride; one of the greatest composers/arrangers alive.

Michael performs with Latin Jazz/Salsa ensembles such as Adonis Puentes and the Voices of the Cuba Orchestra, Orquesta Tabasko, Orquesta Goma Dura and Orquesta Santa Lucia, and is also a member of the premier Mariachi Band in Canada: Mariachi Los Dorados.

Since late 2020, Michael is an active producer of online big band videos. With his musical partners Jaelem Bhate, Jared Richardson, and Jim Hopson, he continues to bring a new light to crowd favourite songs.

As a recording artist, Michael has had the opportunity to record with some of the greatest jazz musicians alive: Frank Carlberg, Noah Preminger, Brad Turner and Steve Kaldestad to name a few. He has also had the privilege to work with jazz greats such as Steve Wiest, Jason Palmer, Paul Baron, Chase Sanborn, Alan Matheson, Ian McDougall and Terry Promane and shared the stage or recorded with internationally known musical artists such as: American/Iranian singers Omid and Rana Mansour, Canadian-Cuban artist Adonis Puentes, The Tex Mex All Stars, Jim Byrnes, Josh Ramsay from Marianas Trench just to name a few.

Amanda Angus: Saxophone

Amanda plays saxophone and is a vocalist. She performs with both Bruce James Orchestra, Vancouver Travelling Band and TopLine Vocal Collective. Amanda is a busy wife and mother to a beautiful little girl and lives in the Tri-Cities. When she isn’t chasing around after her daughter, Amanda works in the automotive retail administration industry, and enjoys spending time with her family, friends and travelling.

Lyn Murray: Trombone

Lyn has been playing trombone for many years as a hobbyist musician with various groups and organizations all over the lower mainland. He is an avid lover of big band and jazz music, and is proud to have been one of the founding members of the Bruce James Orchestra. Mr. Murray was – pardon the pun – instrumental to the formation of the BJO. His dedication to the ensemble over the past 15 years is appreciated more than words can convey.

Darrell Swanson: Piano

Entrepreneur, Pianist, and Writer, Darrell is a man of many talents. Currently living in Maple Ridge, Darrell owns Swanson Agencies which represents and distributes throughout Canada the finest name brand products in the consumer electronics arena. Musically, Darrell is involved with many different pursuits, his two current harmonic preoccupations are his own vocal trio Toute Sweet, and a sophisticated piano-vocal duo with the lovely and talented Katherine Grefner. Red Velvet Music.

Kevin Shan: Tenor Sax

Kevin is a Vancouver based arranger, composer, and tenor saxophonist. Kevin’s interest in jazz led him to study at Capilano College’s Jazz Studies program where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance. Kevin studied tenor saxophone with Stan Karp and Mike Allen, piano with Ross Taggart, composition with Brad Turner, jazz theory and arranging with Mike Reveley and Rob McKenzie. Kevin has performed with various musical groups at numerous venues in the city. He has been seen performing with the James Productions Orchestra at the Michael J. Fox Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park, Royal City Musical at the Massey Theatre, Capilano Jazz Band, Douglas College Jazz Band, and Fat Jazz. Kevin’s arrangements, compositions, and saxophone solos are featured on numerous recordings that include jazz, funk, hip-hop, pop, big band, and musical theatre. Besides being an active freelancer within the Vancouver music scene, he also taught for many years at Lynn Valley Music in North Vancouver where he shares his love and passion with others. He has recently graduated from the North Texas State with his Masters in Music Education degree. Kevin can still be seen (and heard!) with the Bruce James Orchestra as he often subs on one of our saxophone chairs.

Bill Ogden: Trumpet

When Bruce was planning on putting a Big Band together, Bill was the first person he talked to. Bill and Bruce played together in other bands including the Douglas College Night Band, and F.A.T Jazz. Bruce found that Bill’s phrasing and stylings were so similar to his own, that he would be able to put together a top notch band with such a fine musician in his lead trumpet chair. Bill played lead trumpet with the BJO since the band’s beginning in 1999 until he passed away in 2006.

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