John Ordiway
John Ordiway
My musical career was officially launched when I signed up for trumpet lessons in grade 4. After hundreds of hours of practice, the sour notes and screechy noise that gave my family members a persistent headache eventually turned into real music that earned me a place in the school band.

My first gig was providing parking lot entertainment at a local restaurant where a few of us from the school band played show tunes from the back of a pick-up truck. That earned us a free meal - my first paying job as a musician!

My "aha moment" hit me while watching a trio of trumpet, guitar and drums play the Peter Gunn theme at my school talent show.  I was mesmerized. It was the coolest sound I'd ever heard and I knew that was my destiny - to create that same feeling in others through "live" music. 

The school talent show soon became the focus of all my energy which paid off with a 3rd place finish and a newly found recognition of actually being "kind a' cool".  Back in those early 60's, guitar players like Chuck Berry & Eric Clapton inspired many young "hopefuls" to take up guitar - and I was one of them. I dedicated every spare minute to learning how to play that 6-stringed instrument and found myself playing with several bands that earned us gigs at school dances - again, helping to elevate my status on the "somewhat cool guy" meter. 

Playing for "The Echoes", "The Chantelles", "Renaissance Fair", "Rotten Jack" and "Gutwagon" to name a few, helped to hone my skills as an accomplished guitarist and well as a song writer. We played at any event that offered a pay cheque including weddings, local bars, military gigs, VFW's and private parties - a very exciting and nostalgic time for me. It was a time in musical history where iconic groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors were hitting their stride and became such an inspiration to us "up-and-coming" bands. 

Even though it was almost 50 years ago and our paths have long gone separate ways, I need to acknowledge my fellow band mates who I shared those incredible and memorable times with - Larry Larson, a truly talented drummer - Joel Champagne, a fabulous bass player - Larry McGahey, a guitarist who could play anything - Rich Demolen, what a great keyboardist - Richard Rand, an amazing drummer - Robert Benjamin, a rockin' bass player.

In 1969, Sandra and I left the U.S. (and, yes, we've been together that long), and formed a duo playing bars and parties eventually teaming up with two other players taking our band on the road in 1970. That band was the "Masque" included Chuck Gassi on Drums and Jack Marquis on bass.  After 2 years, Sandra and I knew our strength and passion was performing as a duo and reclaimed that status forming "GEMINI" that launched an 8 year career playing non-stop gigs all over Ontario.

Eventually settling in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, our musical careers were placed on the back burner as we took immense joy in raising our 2 daughters, Hayley and Lesley.  I soon found myself in a successful real estate career while Sandra became a nurse and then a social worker. Whether genetics or just being immersed in music growing up, our daughters found their way into the music profession.  Hayley, myself and Jeff Carter made a successful CD which drew me back in to my former love, "live" music, where we teamed with Sylviane LeBlanc, Ryan Powell as well as our daughter Lesley to have such a fabulous time performing "live" gigs as well as recording another CD called "Let's Get Together". 

In 2006, I recorded a CD with Ryan, my brother Phil and a dear friend Dave Blackburn from Michigan. We made another CD in 2007 which paved the way for us to perform many shows over the next few years.

As one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received, my daughter Hayley purchased studio time for me to record my latest CD "It Ain't Over" with an abundance of help from Hayley, Ryan, Sylviane, Jeff, Sandy, Horne, Sandra and Carolina.... a real group effort which contributed greatly to the success and quality of the CD.

To broaden the overall concept of always living life to its fullest and on your own terms, Sandra came up with the idea of the T-shirt and promoting the whole culture of "It Ain't Over"... where us folks of advancing years simply are not ready to dim the lights and leave the stage just yet... AND SO IT GOES.