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Jazz Around the Island

June 19, 2009

It’s always amazing to me, as I try to keep up with events, just how much high quality live jazz we have in these parts. In addition to the Salt Spring Jazz Festival already covered in a separate story, here’s a rundown of a few other shows happening over the next couple of days.

Toronto vocalist Christine Duncan appears at Hermann’s on Saturday (June 20) with Vancouver sax player Bill Runge, supported by Islanders Hugh Fraser (piano), Ken Lister (bass) and Josh Dixon (drums). Duncan is something of a vocal sensation with her four-octave range and her ability to move easily from jazz and blues to more experimental modes of expression. And of course Runge is well known for his work with Jim Byrnes, Powder Blues and Hugh Fraser’s own VEJI, along with a host of other well-known performers.

Pianist Karel Roessingh appears with his trio (Joey Smith on bass and Josh Dixon on drums) on Sunday night (June 21) at Pagliacci’s Restaurant in Victoria. Roessingh, who currently has three new recordings out, has a very full performance schedule this summer and will also be teaching jazz improvisation at the Metchosin International Summer School for the Arts in July. Check out his website for details (in the players section).

The Lust Life Jazz Trio, featuring Bryn Badel on trumpet and vocals, Steve Grebanier on guitar, and Ryan Tandy on bass appears on Sunday (June 21)at the new Bard and Banker pub on Government at Fort. Lust Life will appear at Jazzfest International as well.

Guitarist Tony Wilson will be joining pianist/vocalist Annie Siegel for an evening of jazz at the Hornby Island Thatch Pub on Friday night (June 19) and at the Heriot Bay Inn on Quadra Island on Sunday night (June 21). Wilson is a virtuoso guitarist from Vancouver now living on Hornby who has turned more than a few heads with his playing (he currently plays with National Jazz Award winner Jesse Zubot) and Siegel, who is originally from New York, spent nearly 20 years on the Vancouver jazz scene before moving to Denman Island. For the Hornby gig, Siegel and Wilson will be joined by Nick McGowan, Dana Ingliss, and Darryl Boyn; and for the Quadra show bassist James Lithgow.

– Rick Gibbs

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