The Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Summer Jazz program which begins on July 2nd has a new look. Program coordinator Damian Graham writes the following:
“This summer I am running a Jazz Academy at the VCM. It consists of 4 night classes (5-9pm) with our VCM Faculty (Rob Cheramy, Joey Smith, Monik Nordine, Bruce Hurn, Gergana Velinova and myself) as well as 3 weekend workshops featuring The Chris Sartisohn Group (Django and Beyond) Michael Kaeshammer and Paul Pigat (Blues and the Boogie) and The HiFi (New Orleans Brouhaha).
Along with the classes we will be putting on three concerts featuring the clinicians and some students at Hermann’s and The Metro Theatre.
I am really excited about the talent that has agreed to come on board and share their craft and love of music. We are looking for people with a keen interest in improving their playing and learning hands on about improvising and the history of the music. All ages and skill levels are welcome but a couple years of playing is recommended to get the most out of the classes.”
Here’s a link for more information. The registration deadline is this Friday, June 14.
I asked a few of Victoria’s premier jazz musicians to pick three JazzFest shows they would most recommend. Here are their picks:
Saxophonist Monik Nordine likes
Vijay Iyer Trio
David Murray Infinity Quartet featuring Macy Gray
Vocalist Joe Coughlin chose
And pianist Brent Jarvis picked
With the repeats on Herbie Hancock and Esperanza Spalding (no surprise there) that gives you six surefire shows to add to your must see list for this year’s JazzFest.
No need to wait for JazzFest to hear elite international musicians. Two shows at Hermann’s this week promise performances that will stand with the best.
First up is the Jennifer Scott Jazz Quartet, featuring Scott on vocals and piano, Rene Worst on bass, Monik Nordine on saxophones and James McRae on drums. Scott and Worst are both highly regarded musicians with international reputations. Worst’s performance credits are a mile long and include names like Chet Baker, Ernestine Anderson, David Bowie and Joe Pass. Scott is no slouch herself with major performance credits in the U.S. and Canada that include Clarke Terry and Kenny Wheeler.
The Tom Vickery Trio welcomes saxophonist Mark Lewis to Hermann’s on Saturday night. Lewis has authored more than 1,600 compositions and recorded and produced over 20 albums. He’s played with the likes of Bobby Hutcherson and Randy Brecker and was a regular sub for Stan Getz and John Handy when he lived in San Francisco, putting him in pretty lofty company. 8pm, $10/$15.
Both of these shows are highly recommended.
I received this message today from the Society for Indian Classical Arts at UVic.. Sounds like a very worthwhile concert and something you won’t normally see in Victoria.
The “leading American voice in Indian jazz fusion”, saxophonist and composer, George Brooks, Indian bamboo flute master Pt. Ronu Majumdar, a major innovator with New Age Music, and Tabla maestro Ramdas Palsule come together to create the finest Indian-inspired jazz and jazz flavored raga. These world music visionaries blend the ancient improvisational art of Indian classical music with jazz, Americas’ own classical music, to create a soul satisfying, original music filled with rich melodies and dynamic rhythms. Don’t miss this beautiful music experience with these wonderful artists here in Victoria.
Venue: David Lam Auditorium, A144 MacLaurin Building at UVic.
(Please use Parking lot E or 6. There is no parking fee on Sundays)
Date: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Time: 7:00PM (Doors open at 6:45PM)
Tickets: $20, Students $15
Tickets are available at: Long&McQuade, Munros books and at the door
Call Sri/Sudhakar: 250-721-2672 to reserve or for more information.
Vocalist Melinda Whitaker, who moved to the Island from Vancouver a few years ago, performs this Friday night (May 24) at Hermann’s with the Brent Jarvis Trio and guitarist Henry Young. Island Jazz posed five questions to Melinda so we could get to know her a little better. Here’s what she had to say:
1. If you could take only one jazz album with you to a desert island, which one would it be and why?
I’d take Seattle jazz vocalist Ernestine Anderson’s “Never Make Your Move Too Soon” with Monty Alexander on piano, Ray Brown on bass and Frank Gant on drums. Ernestine is my all time fave. She is soul incarnate.
2. What was your worst gig ever?
I was playing a gig with top drawer jazz players when we were confronted by inebriated, furious guests who were expecting a heavy metal band. Thankfully the piano player defused hostilities with the now legendary remark, “Don’t worry, we’ll play something with a lot of the same notes.”
3. What was your best?
That’s got to be when I was opening for The Ray Brown Trio at the Vancouver Jazz Festival, 2001.
4. How has your move to Vancouver Island worked out musically for you?
To my delight, I’ve found Vancouver Island to be a musical oasis. Some of the country’s top jazz musicians have chosen to make their homes here, and I count myself fortunate to be sharing the incredible Island vibe. Every player but one on my recently released album Lucky So-And-So!, produced by iconic jazz Islander Phil Dwyer, is from the Island and all are West Coasters. In a very real sense it’s a Pacific Northwest tour de force. So I’m happy to say that my move to Vancouver Island has, in your words Rick, given me the ‘expansive musical sandbox’ of my dreams.
5. What should Victoria fans know about guitarist Henry Young?
There is literally nothing that jazz guitarist Henry Young has not accomplished in his career. He spent decades touring with the legendary Nina Simone and has played with some of the biggest names in the industry, Ray Charles and Roberta Flack among them. Add musical director, composer, arranger and recording artist credits and he brings a brilliant depth of technique and soul rarely accessible to jazz aficionados these days.
The show gets underway at 8pm. Tickets are $25. You can read more about Melinda at melindawhitaker.com
Vocalist/pianist Jennifer Scott and bassist Rene Worst, two of the west coast’s most acclaimed musicians, will tour the south Island in June supported by James McRae on drums and Monik Nordine on sax . Check the Calendars and Upcoming Gigs page (above) for details and click on the following links to learn more about these world class performers.
Jazz Vespers fans might be interested in the upcoming concert this Sunday in Colwood at the Church of the Advent, featuring the Barracuda Saxophone Quartet. For more details check out the following article from the Goldstream Gazette.
Musicians and promoters can now post their own jazz events on the site by clicking on “Calendars and Upcoming Gigs” (above) where jazz fans can view them.
May always seems to be a good month for jazz on the Island. Here’s a few noteworthy upcoming shows:
The Crofton Hotel Pub continues its weekly series just a stone’s throw from the Salt Spring Island ferry terminal on Sunday, May 19 with an appearance by Courtenay-Comox vocalist Dale Graham backed by a quartet featuring Rick Husband on guitar, Mike Eddy on keyboards, Don McKay on electric bass and Ron Joiner on drums. (2-5 pm, $10).
Kelby MacNayr’s Art of the Trio series welcomes Juno-winners Phil Dwyer(sax/piano) and Ken Lister (bass) to Hermann’s on Friday, May 17. The trio will explore new selections from the Great American Songbook and the legacy of great saxophone and piano performers including John Coltrane, Bill Evans and more. (8pm,$20,$18, $15)
The Barracuda Saxophone Quartet (Monik Nordine, Tom Ackerman, Chris Watt and Rainer Roth) will be joined by Pablo Cardenas on piano and Petra Kixmoller doing spoken word to perform The Threepenny Opera at Merlin’s Sun Theater, 1983 Fairfield Road on Saturday, May 18th 7:30pm. $20/$22 contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Vocalist Melinda Whitaker appears on Friday, May 24th at Hermann’s with guitarist Henry Young. Young is a Vancouver guitarist well known for his work with Nina Simone. Joining Young and Whitaker will be the Brent Jarvis Trio. (8pm, $25).
There’s lots more great jazz going on. Check the calendars and upcoming gigs page (above) for more info.
In my previous story on the Ken Lister CHLY (Nanaimo) interview, I reported that Kerilee McDowall founded the CFUV (Victoria) show Rhythm-a-ning.
According to Arnold van Klaveren, the show’s host, that information is incorrect. Van Klaveren says he originated his show on CFUV in Victoria in April 1989 and at the time there was no other show of that name being broadcast by CFUV.
I’ve corrected the Lister story and apologize for any confusion.