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/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.
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.
I’ve been meaning for a long time to highlight Kerilie McDowall’s jazz radio show Rhythm’a'ning broadcast in Nanaimo on CHLY.
What better occasion than her two hour interview with bassist Ken Lister recorded on April 29. It’s a great interview with a wonderful mix of music. I encourage you to have a listen.
McDowall, a former jazz guitarist and composer, describes her show as an eclectic mix of new sounds with “fun ventures into the past.” You can tune in live on Mondays from 5-7 pm at 101.7 FM in Nanaimo or on the internet at www.chly.ca
There’s a lot of great jazz happening on the Island this weekend. Here’s a sample:
Acclaimed Montreal saxophonist Joel Miller brings his award-winning sound to Hermann’s in Victoria on Sunday night (8pm, $15 with a discount for VJS members), where he’ll feature tunes from Swim, which has just won an East Coast Music award for best jazz album of the year and a Juno for best contemporary jazz album. Christine Jensen, Miller’s wife, will also appear, playing tunes from her own Juno-winning album Treelines. Kelby MacNayr and Sean Drabitt complete the quartet. Don’t miss this one. More info here.
Speaking of saxophonists, Wayne Kozak, well known for his work with Powder Blues and an in-demand Vancouver session player since the 1970s (Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight among others) brings his formidable jazz chops to the Crofton Hotel Pub and its newly-minted jazz series. Joining Kozak is a who’s who rhythm section that includes Ken Lister on bass, Buff Allen on drums and Thomas Kinzel on piano. This one happens on Sunday from 2-5 pm. $10 cover.
Hermann’s also hosts a tribute to Sonny Rollins Friday night with the Andrew Greenwood Quartet and a CD release concert on Saturday night featuring the Tim Johnson Quintet. More info here.
I’ll leave you with a video featuring Joel Miller in conversation and in the studio recording his latest album.
This weekend will be a jazz guitar lover’s dream with not one but four accomplished guitarists appearing in Victoria on Sunday.
First up is ”The Great Guitars,” a dynamic three-generation trio of Oliver Gannon, Rob Cheramy, and Quinn Bachand put together for U-JAM’s Jazz at the Gallery series Sunday afternoon at 2 pm at the Victoria Art Gallery ($30).
Gannon, of course, has been a fixture on the Vancouver jazz scene since the 1970s, best known for his celebrated collaborations with saxophonist Fraser MacPherson that included three tours of the USSR, but admired throughout the land by those who acknowledge him as one of the top players in the country, and strongly suspect if he had emerged on the New York scene, he would have been a household name. (Gannon’s playing even caught the ear of the great Joe Pass who, overhearing him in Vancouver years ago, asked “Who is that guy playing guitar?”)
Rob Cheramy has been around just as long in Victoria, working with the likes of Tommy Banks, Herb Ellis, Paul Horn and Roy Reynolds and well known as the teacher of hundreds of aspiring guitarists through his private teaching and his work on the jazz faculty at the Victoria Conservatory.
Quinn Bachand, the youngest member of the trio, is a Victoria prodigy, fluent on guitar, banjo, bouzouki and fiddle. Still in his teens, Bachand has toured internationally with Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster, and has been called by MacIsaac “Canada’s top Celtic guitarist.” But he’s long had a virtuoso jazz streak in him, too, which will be on display Sunday.
The trio will be backed by Joey Smith on bass.
If that’s not enough guitar for you, acclaimed jazz guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/bandleader John Pizzarelli brings his silky smooth quartet to Alix Goolden Hall Sunday night at 7:30 pm ($40) as part of the Victoria Jazz Society’s year-round concert offerings.
Pizzarelli doesn’t need much introduction given that he’s the son of jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli and has swung his way through 40 albums recorded under his own leadership and as a sideman with the likes of Rosemary Clooney, George Shearing, and Paul McCartney.
Pizarelli’s latest project Double Exposure, which will likely be featured in this concert, is an album of pop hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s rendered with the sound of various landmark jazz recordings from the 1950s. (Seals and Crofts’ Diamond Girl, for example, has the sound and feel of Miles Davis’ So What). Pizzarelli got the idea from the albums that were around his house in the late 70s and early 80s – his Dad’s jazz albums and his sister’s pop albums.
Pizzarelli will also give a free jazz workshop at Alix Goolden on Sunday afternoon as part of VJS’s educational outreach.
If you can manage it, I’d say go for both shows. If you can make only one, The Great Guitars will be the more intimate and unique, with the Pizzarelli show reliably smooth and mainstream. Both are well worth the price and your time.
More information on both shows is available at the websites linked above.