VCM Summer Jazz Workshop

June 12, 2013 Comments off

Jazz_web-1024x256The 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.

http://vcm.bc.ca/jazz-academy/

Categories: Events

JazzFest 2013 Picks

June 12, 2013 Comments off

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
Esperanza Spalding

Vocalist Joe Coughlin chose

Herbie Hancock
Esperanza Spalding
Patricia Barber

And pianist Brent Jarvis picked

Esperanza Spalding
Herbie Hancock
Ashley Wey

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.

Jennifer Scott, Rene Worst, Mark Lewis and More

June 5, 2013 Comments off

lg_mark-lewis-sitting-smaller5-1361431165

Saxophonist Mark Lewis appears with the Tom Vickery Trio Saturday night at Hermann’s.

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.

Masters of the Wind – Indian Jazz Fusion

May 23, 2013 1 comment

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.

Categories: Events

Five Questions for Melinda Whitaker

May 22, 2013 Comments off

5x7MelindaCoverAVocalist 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

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