A few of the more notable events coming up in the next week:
Jazz at the Gallery
This new series kicks off on Sunday afternoon with a special appearance by the Marc Atkinson Trio. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which side of the door you are on, it’s sold out and has a waiting list. However, don’t despair – tickets are still available for upcoming shows in the series, beginning with a unique west coast appearance by Montreal’s Marianne Trudel at the end of February. You can still get in on a four-show series subscription for $79 or purchase individual tickets ($25/$23) by phoning the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria at 250 384-4171 Ext. 0
Everyone Welcome Jam Session
In concert with Jazz at the Gallery (JATG), Kelby MacNayr has organized a monthly Sunday night jam at Hermann’s. The first one happens this weekend, featuring a stellar rhythm section with Sean Drabitt on bass, Storm Nilson on guitar, and MacNayr on drums. I was lucky enough to hear this trio perform last Sunday night. In a word – incredible. Nilson is a guitarist of the first order, beautifully supported by Drabitt and MacNayr. The session is open to all musicians and the general public and you never know who may drop in. There could be two amazing guitarists there Sunday night. (8pm $5/$10/free for participating players).
Concerts in Support of Haiti
The first of these benefits takes place at the Zocalo Cafe and Gallery in Courtenay on Saturday. Courtenay Helps Haiti Now features eight different jazz groups. All donations to the Red Cross.(2-11pm/by donation). And on Thursday, Feb. 4, A Benefit Evening for the Children of Haiti features six other groups appearing at the Elks Hall in Courtenay (5-11pm/ by donation). All proceeds from this one go to Save the Children. A benefit is also planned in Victoria at Hermann’s on Wednesday Feb. 3 but you won’t be hearing jazz. Instead you’ll get a selection of acoustic folk and pop material from three different groups. Well worth checking out, however.
For more jazz listings see the Jazz Links at side of the page and the Venues links at the top. Oh, and don’t forget…for Steely Dan fans, The Pretzel Logic Orchestra performs tonight at Hermann’s (8pm/$15).
Miranda Sage and Ron Hadley
Vocalist Miranda Sage appears with Ron Hadley on piano Friday night at The Superior in James Bay. The Superior has changed its music policy and is now encouraging folks to do their eating and talking earlier in the evening and then enjoy the music from 8 -10:30 pm. Sounds sensible since you can now drop down there and catch some great local acts just by paying a small cover and enjoying dessert and coffee. Let’s hope it works out for the musicians. You might want to give it a try. (Friday, 8pm, $4).
Noah Becker Quartet
Victoria’s very own renaissance man, saxophonist Noah Becker, performs this Saturday at Hermann’s in a quartet with Josh Dixon on drums, Phil Albert on bass and Tyler Lieb on guitar. Becker and other musicians are reporting that Lieb is an incredible young guitarist well worth hearing. He’s recently joined the Brent Jarvis Academy of Music as a teacher and won a major performance award in 2008 from St. Francis Xavier University. Combine great guitar work and a talented rhythm section with Becker’s original bebop voice on sax and you’ve got the makings for a great show. (Saturday, 8 pm, $12)
Kelby MacNayr and the Intimate Art of Jazz
With U-JAM’s Jazz at the Gallery series launch just a week away, Artistic Director Kelby MacNayr will be giving an informal talk on the art of jazz at the Art Gallery of Greater of Victoria this Sunday afternoon. While the presentation is directed mainly to series ticket holders, MacNayr says others are most welcome to attend. He plans to introduce the series but also explore some of the finer points of the great art of jazz – and he’ll be inviting questions and comments from the audience. Refreshments provided and its free! (Sunday, 2 pm, 1040 Moss)
The Storm Nilson Trio
Macnayr has other things on the go on Sunday as well, including an appearance with the Storm Nilson Trio in its first ever performance at Hermann’s. Nilson is a virtuoso guitarist from LA who recently completed a Masters at McGill and who has performed with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Haden, and Steve Cardenas. Backed by MacNayr on drums and Sean Drabitt on bass, he’s likely to create more than a little smoke. Not to be missed. ( Sunday, 8pm, $10).
The Michelle Richard Trio
Ron Hadley continues his superb Music on Sunday series at The Old School House in Qualicum with an appearance by the Michelle Richard Trio. Richard is a Bermudan/Francophone singer born in the heart of Acadie in New Brunswick, who has a penchant for blending jazz and traditional songs in French and English. Her influences range from Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf. Promises to be a great show (Sunday, 2:30 pm, $15).
Ian McDougall-Al Kay Quintet
It doesn’t get any better than this: the two lead and solo trombonists from the legendary Boss Brass in the same room at the same time with a dynamic rhythm section. Canadian music legends Ian McDougall and Al Kay join forces for this unique two-trombone quintet appearance at Hermann’s next Wednesday night. If you love the great jazz standards, don’t miss this one! (Wednesday, January 27, 7:30 pm $20)
Pretzel Logic Orchestra
Steely Dan fans will be pleased to hear that the Pretzel Logic Orchestra is back with a performance next week at Hermann’s. This perennial favourite has some incredible players at its core, including Karel Roessingh, Joey Smith and Nick La Riviere. Should be a great night. (Friday, January 29, 8pm $15).
– Rick Gibbs
It seems there is an audience for jazz after all.
The new Jazz at the Gallery series recently announced by U-JAM and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has sold out its first concert nearly two weeks ahead of time, which for a last minute town like Victoria is remarkable.
Mind you, that’s not a complete surprise given that it’s the Marc Atkinson Trio that will be appearing on Sunday, January 31 in the inaugural performance.
Atkinson’s concert, which is limited to 100 seats in the intimate setting of the Gallery’s Spencer mansion, sold out officially today, although there may be a few additional tickets made available through promotional giveaways.
The next concert in the series is on the last Sunday of February and features acclaimed Montreal pianist Marianne Trudel performing with a local rhythm section and a special surprise guest.
To shed more light on the program he has created, series’ Artistic Director Kelby MacNayr will be presenting an informal talk on the “Intimate Art of Jazz” this Sunday at 2 pm at the Gallery. The talk is free and is open to ticket holders and others interested in the jazz art form.
More info on the series can be had here.
– Rick Gibbs
Hermann’s in Victoria will be hopping tonight (Friday) when Trombone Mayhem takes the stage for a live recording session. This entertaining group promises a first set of great jazz followed by what can only be described as total abandon when the “Trombone Mayhem: Ultimate Dance Party” takes the stage for a high energy second set of 70s and 80s dance music. (8pm, $12).
For those with more of a trad jazz bent, the venerable Al Pease Quartet appears at Hermann’s on Sunday (4:30pm, $10).
Aspiring jazzers might want to take in U-JAM’s monthly beginners jam session at Tom Lee Music in Langford this Sunday from 2-4 pm. For more info contact Dave Paulson.
It ain’t jazz but it’s worth mentioning – inspired by its popular Jazz Vespers series, St. John’s United Church in Deep Cove is offering an evening of Celtic music by candlelight, on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 7 pm. Featured musicians will be Denis Donnelly on harp, and Lanny Pollet on flute. Modelled on the Jazz Vespers format, the evening promises “a calm respite for our busy lives.”
Storm Nilson, a guitarist originally from California, appears Saturday night at The Superior Cafe in Victoria with Sean Drabitt and Kelby MacNayr. I had a chance to hear Nilson rehearsing with Drabitt and MacNayr a few months back, and all I can say is Read more…
A new year brings some great new opportunities to hear live jazz on the Island.
First and foremost is Jazz at the Gallery, which kicks off on Sunday, January 31 at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria with a special performance by the Marc Atkinson Trio (2 pm). U-JAM and Gallery members can still get in on the early bird subscription special until Jan. 15. Regular subscriptions and single tickets are also available but are going fast. Don’t delay. More info here.
Pianist Karel Roessingh and bassist Joey Smith play the Highlands Coffee House this Saturday night at 7:3o. They’ll be featuring “songs of mid-winter and songs to welcome the returning light.”
The Pat Milino Trio appears in Qualicum at The Old School House Arts Centre on Sunday, January 10 from 2:30- 4:30 pm. Milino is an accomplished young west coast singer who will perform “favourites from Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and more,” with Ron Hadley on piano and Rick Kilburn on bass.
Streetlife performs tonight (Thurs. Jan. 7) at the Elk’s Hall Jazz Club in Courtenay, followed by Read more…