“A Day in the Life” with Artistic Programmer & Musician Cole Schmidt

Cole Schmidt is a composer, guitarist and programmer from Vancouver – the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil- Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Cole composes music for multi-genre band PUGS & CROWS, improvising psychedelic chamber jazz ensemble SICK BOSS, and post-noise soul loopers I THINK I SAW YOU SEE ME. As a guitarist, he performs regularly with Marin Patenaude, Peggy Lee, Gowns, and Tony Wilson’s Homeless Project. Cole has been curating DIY shows in Vancouver for over 10 years. He is part of the multidisciplinary outfit Sawdust Collector and works as a programmer for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. He is also the Artistic Director for Barking Sphinx Performing Society.

-Written by Amélie Malissard, Founder of act·art·mgt

Cole Schmidt
Vancouver seawall walk by Science World
Cole Schmidt
Vancouver International Jazz Festival at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Live music
Cole Schmidt. Photo by: John Raham
Cole Schmidt Music
Cole Schmidt
Cole Schmidt Instruments
Cole Schmidt
Coastal Jazz and Blues Society Office


Which ’hood are you in?

We moved to Fairview earlier this year. 10-minute walk from Afterlife Studios, Granville Island, and a dog park when things start to feel a bit too serious. The Coastal Jazz office is nearby in Mt. Pleasant.

What do you do?

I book bands. I also write music, play the guitar, and try to somehow keep connected to live music happening in our city. All these things are more interesting and feel a lot more meaningful when other people are involved in the process.

What are you currently working on?

We’re currently working on a year-round program and starting to dream up ideas for next year’s Jazz Festival in June. As a musician, I’m finishing a new album with SICK BOSS which will come out in the new year on Jesse Zubot’s Drip Audio label.

Another group that I compose for, I THINK I SAW YOU SEE ME, is in the final stages of completing its first recording, and an assortment of other new music has been written in collaboration with cellist/composer, Peggy Lee, that’ll involve a long list of brilliant musicians from all over. I’ve also been slowly finishing a book of notated guitar duets.

Where can we find your work?

As much as I’d prefer to steer everyone back toward the analogue listening experiences, it’s all out there with a couple of clicks on the screen. You can find it here.

I’ve also been very fortunate to share my ideas with Coastal Jazz since 2016, which has allowed me to work with some amazing people and help generate opportunities for thousands of artists to play music each year.