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Trio Art and More at Hermann’s This Weekend

May 8, 2009

Pianist Tony Genge is back in Victoria after completing his latest teaching stint on the east coast and will be appearing tonight at Hermann’s with bassist Sean Drabitt and drummer Kelby MacNayr as part of MacNayr’s ongoing Art of the Trio series, which MacNayr has revived after a hiatus.

With this series MacNayr invites virtuoso bass and piano players to explore a shared repertoire of jazz standards with him in what many consider the ideal setting for such music – the jazz piano trio. As MacNayr says, “There’s such a huge range that you can do with those instruments,” adding that there’s a wealth of great piano and bass players on the Island to draw from.

Genge and Drabitt more than fit the virtuoso bill and the show promises to be one of the better jazz offerings over the next few months.

If you have a hankering to catch a few musicians on their way up, check out a young quintet led by trumpeter Simon Millerd on Saturday night.  The group, which includes Eli Bennett (tenor sax), Tristan Paxton (guitar), James Meger (bass) and Adam Cormier (drums)is currently on a west coast tour that will take them to The Cellar in Vancouver next week.

Several of these players won Musicfest Canada awards in the past and have been studying at places like Humber and McGill.  Definitely worth a listen.

Finally, on Sunday night, the second installment of Turiya Mareya’s worldbeat and Latin jazz jam session features piano/vocal great Louise Rose. I was at last week’s inaugural show to witness vocalist Maureen Washington and a young Esquimalt Secondary piano player , Sean Fyfe, generate some real excitement in the club. (Washington opened the evening with a swinging and sassy set of standards and Fyfe sat in on the jam, raising more than a few eyebrows with the quality of his playing).

With Rose in the house, I expect the place will really heat up , and with word out now to the local musicians that this is an event worth getting involved in, there may be some more exciting surprises in the jam session that will follow Rose’s set.  A good way to relax on a Sunday evening.

– Rick Gibbs

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