Latin Jazz Pianist Turiya Mareya Launches a New Weekly Jam Session at Hermann’s
Latin jazz pianist Turiya Mareya, who hails from Mexico but has spent a good chunk of time in Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria, is on a mission to bring, as she puts it, “a new community” to Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria.
Mareya, who first came to Canada in 2005 in search of another female Latin jazz pianist (Vancouver’s Kathy Kidd, who, unbeknownst to Mareya, had passed away five years earlier), found instead a whole country that has embraced her. “Victoria and Canada have been so good to me and I just wanted to give back to the city,” she says.
Giving back means Read more…
U-JAM (Universal Jazz Advocates and Mentors Society) is a jazz society with a difference. Unlike the network of societies across Canada that put their main emphasis on bringing in touring musicians, U-JAM’s entire raison d’etre is supporting the activities of local musicians and the local jazz audience.
Back in the fall when I wrote a major feature on the Victoria jazz scene for Monday Magazine, musician and businessman Dave Paulson, a co-founder of U-JAM and its current president, told me Read more…
Pianist Karel Roessingh, one of the Island’s most prolific composers and performers, plays two gigs this Sunday, one an afternoon art show opening for Joe Norris and Paul Burke at the Winchester Gallery in Oak Bay, and the other an evening jazz vespers gig at St. John’s United in Deep Cove. Island Jazz sat down with Roessingh to learn more about his beginnings, his influences, his composing and his playing.
1. To give our readers a biographical context, can you talk a bit how you found your way into jazz?
I began classical lessons with Henry L. Peters in piano classes after school, though more informal than the usual. I wasn’t forced to do scales or exams, which suited me fine since I wasn’t particularly a disciplined player. By the time I was ten I was hooked on instrumental pop tunes (there were many instrumental pop hits in the 60s), beginning with Bent Fabric’s Alley Cat, and went about learning every pop hit, ad, or TV theme I heard, from Coke commercials to Classical Gas. I quit classical lessons in my early teens, and my mother found a jazz teacher, Ray Petch, with whom I studied for 2 years while I was in high school. Ray knew many Read more…
In these downloading days, it’s easy to forget the value of a 19th century invention…
Radio. Now there’s a concept. Turn it on, tune it in, and drop, not out, but in to the comforting ritual of a weekly program presented by a host who knows a subject intimately.
Residents of southern Vancouver Island and vicinity are particularly fortunate in that they receive a signal loud and clear from Seattle’s National Public Radio jazz station KPLU at 88.5 on the FM dial. Without a computer or any other fancy doodad, we can enjoy great jazz conversations, spoken and musical, hosted by the likes of piano great Marion McPartland.
Even closer to home, of course, Read more…
Two stellar, not-to-be-missed acts perform at Hermann’s this weekend in Victoria.
Vocalist/instrumentalist Anne Schaefer appears tonight with Emily Braden (vocals and kazoo), Brooke Maxwell (also vocals and kazoo), Kelby MacNayr (drums), and Sean Drabitt (bass) in a special presentation of new material from her in-production-CD, The Waiting Room.
And Juno-award winner Hugh Fraser turns up the piano power Saturday night when he appears with Ken Lister on bass and Josh Dixon on drums in a special piano trio performance that will feature the works of Duke Ellington, McCoy Tyner, Red Garland, Thelonius Monk and Dave Brubeck. Read more…
Guitarist Marc Atkinson is one of the most successful jazz/roots/world music players to emerge from the Victoria scene. Now living on Hornby Island and touring internationally, Atkinson keeps stretching the boundaries of his own remarkable musicianship with various projects, including a brand new electric band. Island Jazz had the opportunity to sit down with Atkinson (virtually speaking) and ask him a few questions about his influences and his latest projects.
1. What are your most important influences and how has each one been significant in your development as a musician?
Well, that’s a big question because my influences are ever-changing, yet they remain a part of my musical endeavors no matter how long ago the particular phase was my focus. For example, I grew up on Led Zeppelin and Bach, became introduced to Miles Davis and Pat Metheny, and have always listened to new groups such as Radio Head, and old groups such as The Hot Club of France. I am a big fan of Tarraff De Hadouks, Jaco Do Bandolim and many other world groups. In short, I listen Read more…
Six of Canada’s jazz greats will appear at the Westcoast Jazz Festival next week at Vancouver Island University(VIU) in Nanaimo.
Saxophonist/pianist Ross Taggart, drummer/vibes player Michael Wood, guitarist Pat Coleman, trumpeter Lina Allemano, pianist Brent Jarvis, and bassist Ken Lister will adjudicate student performances and appear themselves in their own combo performance at the university theatre.
The festival, which runs from Thursday (April 30) to Sunday (May 2) features 96 student jazz bands and combos from schools throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island (Grades 6-12).
Established in the mid-1970′s by a group of mid-Island educators, including Diana Krall’s teacher Brian Stovell, the festival Read more…
CBC’s national arts producer Paul Grant recently interviewed Island Jazz publisher Rick Gibbs for Hot Air, the longest-running jazz radio program in North America.
Clips from the interview, which focussed not only on the blog but more generally on Vancouver Island’s jazz scene, can be heard on the Hot Air website as part of the April 18th broadcast.
In this broadcast Grant features Vancouver Island performers like Marc Atkinson, Hugh Fraser, Phil Dwyer and Miranda Sage, pointing out that the Island is a remarkable breeding ground of fine musicians.
Go to http://www.cbc.ca/hotair/ and click on the “latest show”link in the Coming Up section of the page to hear the broadcast.
Despite producing a critically acclaimed debut album and winning a handful of music awards, singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Anne Schaefer still finds herself gathering the resources needed to release her second album.
With luck, singer/songwriter Anne Schaefer won’t have to wait much longer to launch her sophomore album, The Waiting Room. Almost a year after recording the follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut Twelve Easy Pieces (2005), Schaefer hopes she’ll soon have the funds needed to mix, master and manufacture what promises to be another stunning recording.
Twelve Easy Pieces won the unconditional praise of music writers from across the country and helped Schaefer win a handful of music awards in 2004-2005, but this success didn’t translate into the pocketful of money needed to finance the next project, and so she embarked on a series of fundraising concerts that allowed her to workshop the tunes and complete the recording, but fell short of the resources needed to actually finish the project. Read more…
Pianist/trombonist Hugh Fraser and saxophonist Campbell Ryga, two of the most highly regarded players in the country, appear this Sunday in a special duo jazz vespers performance at the Church of the Advent in Colwood.
Between them, Fraser and Ryga have appeared on more recordings, garnered more awards (including multiple Juno wins and a pair of Grammy nominations), and performed in more countries than probably any other similar pair of musicians on the Canadian jazz scene today.
Fraser is a dynamic performer on both of his instruments but is particularly exciting on piano – which he will be playing at the gig – with an explosive, percussive style that jazz audiences love to watch. This man plays with a truckload of passion.
On alto saxophone, the understated Ryga is an acknowledged grandmaster who produces remarkably fluid lines and a tone that even other highly accomplished sax players would likely kill for.
Fraser and Ryga, who are close friends, have been playing together in multiple settings for nearly thirty years, and Ryga is a founding member of the Hugh Fraser Quintet, which has garnered many of the awards they’ve received. Read more…