How to Post Your Jazz Events

February 3, 2014 Comments off

Musicians and promoters can advertise their own performances and events by clicking on “Upcoming Events” (above) and posting a simple blurb or a complete press release in the comments section.

Categories: General

Three Jazz Guitar Greats Visit Vancouver Island

May 19, 2018 Comments off

First up is Canadian great Bill Coon who appears this Sunday, May 20, with the Roy Styffe Trio at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria.

The Vancouver-based Coon is an astonishing guitarist who studied with the great Jim Hall when he was coming up and is not to be missed, particularly in this fine trio setting with Styffe on alto sax and Ken Lister on bass.

The show gets underway at 7pm. Contact Hermann’s for ticket info.

Young Montreal jazz guitar phenom Sam Kirmayer performs at Hermann’s on Friday, May 25th with Sean Fyfe on piano, John Lee on bass and Valerie Lacombe on drums.

The 27-year-old Kirmayer, whose inspirations include Grant Green and Wes Montgomery, has won several awards and been hailed by CBC has one of the top young jazz musicians in Canada.

His bandmates are no slouches either. This will be a great showcase of the new generation of jazz talent in Canada.

Kirmayer is on a western Canadian tour that will also take him to Port Alberni, Cumberland, Crofton, and Vancouver. See his website for details.

Finally, Victoria audiences will be treated to one of the world’s great jazz guitarists when Julian Lage appears with his trio as part of the Victoria International Jazzfest on Wednesday, June 27 at the Dave Dunnet Theatre in Oak Bay.

A guitar prodigy who first played with Gary Burton at age 15, Lage has the eclecticism and adventurous spirit of Bill Frisell and is an improvisational wizard, equally at home with blues, jazz, Americana, and early rock. Not to be missed.


Categories: Events

12th Annual “Jazz Affair” Supports Jazz Education in Nanaimo

May 19, 2018 Comments off

imageTwo jazz greats with celebrated BC/US musicians will grace the stage at the 12th annual Jazz Affair hosted by Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society May 25th at the Coast Bastion in Nanaimo.

Trumpet player Terell Stafford and pianist Harold Mabern will headline the evening. Stafford has performed with such groups as the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band, Benny Golson’s Sextet and McCoy Tyner’s Sextet. He is also a member of the Grammy-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and bandleader of the Terell Stafford Quintet and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer, and leader and has received countless award nominations and accolades.

In addition to Stafford and Mabern, top talent tenor saxophonist Cory Weeds, bassist Michael Glynn, and drummer Julian MacDonough are on the roster. Nanaimo’s ten-piece Decadence Jazz Band will also be on hand to entertain the crowd along with award-winning School District 68 students.

Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society has been hosting Jazz Affair since 2006. It is their main fundraising event with proceeds going to support Jazz music education in School District 68. Funds raised go towards post-secondary scholarships, clinics with visiting professional musicians and help for students to attend music festivals. Scholarships have also been given to elementary music students in recent years.

Tickets for the evening are $65 and are available through the Port Theatre box office at (250) 754-8550, 125 Front St.


Tickets include a delicious buffet dinner. There will also be a silent auction and raffles. Doors open at 6 pm. Tables of 8 to 10 can be reserved by calling Sue 250 616-4838.

Categories: Events

Victoria Jazz Orchestra Tribute to Ross Taggart with Guest Conductor Jill Townsend and Guitarist Bill Coon

April 4, 2018 Comments off

image.pngOn April 14, 2018 The Victoria Jazz Orchestra will be paying a musical tribute to Ross Taggart, an award-winning jazz musician born and raised in Victoria, BC.

Ross was known as a jazz saxophonist and pianist and was active at a high level from the time he was a teenager on Canada’s West Coast.

A consummate mainstream jazz player who was equally formidable on both of his instruments, Taggart accompanied such legendary players as Benny Golson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, and Fraser MacPherson. He taught at Capilano University and was married to pianist Sharon Minemoto.

After losing his battle with kidney cancer in 2013 two of Ross’ closest friends, bandleader and composer Jill Townsend and her husband, guitarist Bill Coon, took it upon themselves to pay a musical homage to Ross by orchestrating a number of his compositions for a large jazz ensemble. The product of their endeavor became the album “Legacy” featuring many of Vancouver’s finest jazz musicians, and of course Ross Taggart’s wonderful compositions. The Victoria Jazz Orchestra will be joined by Jill Townsend and Bill Coon on April 14 at Hermann’s Jazz Club to perform this music here in Victoria.

A prolific composer and arranger, Jill Townsend is the leader of the critically acclaimed Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra. The Canadian National Jazz Awards twice nominated the Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra for Large Ensemble of the Year. Their recent recording Legacy, featuring the music of Ross Taggart (Cellar Live 2015) presents new arrangements by Jill Townsend and Bill Coon and was voted #1 in CBC’s “Top Ten Outstanding CD’s of the Year”. Jill characterizes her writing style as both lyrical and personal. She has composed and arranged music to feature several guest artists appearing with her large ensemble including Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ian McDougall, Jiggs Whigham, Campbell Ryga and Brad Turner.

Juno nominated guitarist/ composer /arranger Bill Coon is one of Canada’s most highly respected and sought after musicians. He has been performing professionally for over twenty-five years and has worked with numerous jazz artists including Jimmy Heath, Louis Stewart, Chuck Israels, Eddie Daniels, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Campbell Ryga, Brad Turner, PJ Perry, Fred Stride, Denzal Sinclaire, Karin Plato and Dee Daniels. His quartet performed at the Orpheum, opening for Dave Brubeck during the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. He is a member of the Jill Townsend Big Band, Wow Jazz Orchestra and the Brazilian Choro group Gostosinho. Bill released the critically acclaimed CD, “Speakeasy” with his quartet featuring Juno award winners Ross Taggart and Dave Robbins and more recently teamed up with legendary guitarist Oliver Gannon on a Cellar Live release entitled Two Much Guitar.

Saturday, April 14, 2018
8pm to 11pm, doors open for dinner at 6pm
at Hermann’s Jazz Club (753 View Street, Victoria, BC)

Tickets $30 and $40 available at the door and through Eventbrite tickets

Reservations for seating by email:




Categories: Events

Celebrated Jazz Vocalist Joe Coughlin Salutes the Saloon Singers in Oak Bay Benefit Concert at the Dave Dunnet Theatre

November 21, 2017 Comments off

Concert poster

Categories: Events

The Victoria Jazz Orchestra Presents Oliver Nelson’s Peter and the Wolf

October 24, 2017 1 comment


peter and the wolfJoined by Tony Genge on the Hammond organ, the Victoria Jazz Orchestra will be performing the music of Oliver Nelson, including selections from Nelson’s reworking of “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev (from the 1966 album featuring Jimmy Smith) on November 11 at Hermann’s Jazz Club on View Street in Victoria. 
Island Jazz interviewed VJO director Monik Nordine about the project and her work with the VJO.


1. Monik, why did you choose this material?

I chose this material for a number of reasons.  Mainly I love Jimmy Smith and I love the sound of the Hammond organ of the 1960’s.  I love Oliver Nelson’s writing.  And I absolutely love their collaborations.  And so, I felt I had no choice but to present this material.  Given that Tony Genge is now living in Victoria and plays the Hammond Organ like nobody’s business it just fell into place.
2. In your press release you commented that the music is not politically suggestive in any way.  What did you mean? 
The original libretto was propaganda aimed at children in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s.
The adaptation by Oliver Nelson has no narration and is not intended to be an allegory of any kind.  I am, however, hoping to have a narrator simply to provide a story line to the music.  The great Russian composers seem to have had an ability above all others to convey (in metaphorical terms of course) a tale which takes the listener on a voyage.  “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky for example, or many of the works by Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky.  It is actually a coincidence that The Russian Revolution took place 100 years ago in October; I didn’t think of this when I started the planning for this show.
3. Tell us about your work with the VJO.
The Victoria Jazz Orchestra has been a pet project of mine since June of 2013.  It is more or less a continuation of the Monday Night Big Band which I was a part of from 2001 until 2006.  When I moved to Victoria in 2011 I hoped that it would start again and when nobody else took it on I decided to give it a whirl.  Some of the Monday Night Big Band members are still with the Orchestra, such as our French horns Karen Hough and Marc Patsula.  We almost always have Tom Vickery with us on piano, although he will not be with us for this next show as Tony is our featured guest artist.  Tom Eadie is often with us on trombone and trumpet players Dave Flello and Marianne Ing were often with the Monday Night Big Band.
The library from the MNBB is in my office and I have been adding to it over the years with repertoire I find interesting such as the Coltrane Africa Brass arrangements which we performed with Ryan Oliver and now this Oliver Nelson material.
One of the thoughts behind the project is that unlike the classical music world, there are no jobs waiting for jazz musicians in symphony orchestras when they graduate from university.  There is a huge lack of infrastructure in the form of jobs and grant funding for jazz (a term that is the easiest one to use for this music, although many people have brought forward other names, such as: African American Music, North American Classical Music etc).  If there were well run and well funded jazz orchestras across North America players would have more to work towards with the decline in other areas of the industry.  So this jazz orchestra project has the potential to serve a higher purpose.
4. What can the audience expect from this performance? 
We are hoping that people are entertained by the funkiness of the Hammond organ and the power of the brass, moved by the swing and groove of the fantastic arrangements and perhaps even delighted by hearing the Prokofiev themes in this setting.
For information on tickets visit Monik Nordine’s web page.
Categories: Events
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