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Archive for June, 2009

Two Great Shows at Hermann’s This Weekend

June 12, 2009 Comments off

The jazz festival whirlwind is on the horizon, but there’s a lot of local stuff happening before it gets here that you just might want to catch, including two really good shows at Hermann’s this weekend.

Tonight (Friday, June 12) the Jon Miller Quartet performs, featuring Rob Cheramy on guitar, Roy Styffe on sax, James Young on bass, and Miller on drums. As their debut release Orchidology amply demonstrates this is a group with a lot to say, as they explore a number of fine original tunes penned by Miller and the others.

Miller reports that his album is doing well and has cracked the top ten jazz list nationally on college radio. Given that campus radio stations, like Victoria’s own CFUV, are the last bastion of deejay programming (ie. there are actually individuals listening to CD’s and making decisions about what is worth playing and what isn’t), that says something. If you missed this quartet when they released the CD, do try to catch them tonight.

Kelby MacNayr’s Art of the Trio series is a project in which MacNayr (on drums) collaborates with various pianists and bass players in an ongoing exploration of the extensive repertoire presented by the great piano jazz trios of the past. MacNayr teams up Saturday night with George McFetridge (piano) and Colin Nealis (bass) in what promises to be another fine offering.

McFetridge, who now spends much of his time composing (some of that work will likely be on offer tonight,too) has shared the stage with many jazz greats, including Buddy Rich, Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, Woody Hermann, Fraser MacPherson and Pat LaBarbera. Colin Nealis is a fine young up-and-coming bass player, and, of course MacNayr is one of the busiest drummers on the west coast for a reason.  Well worth a listen.

8 pm start for both shows.

Stay tuned for an update on more shows coming this week.

– Rick Gibbs

© 2009 Rick Gibbs and Island Jazz. Please see the copyright info in the sidebar for permitted uses.
Categories: Events

Phil Dwyer’s Qualicum Beach Jazz Camp Growing By Leaps and Bounds

June 11, 2009 2 comments

The Phil Dwyer Academy of Music and Culinary Arts (PDAMCA) in Qualicum Beach offers a tremendous

Jazz students blowing at Phil Dwyer's 2008 Jazz Camp in Qualicum Beach

Jazz students blowing at Phil Dwyer's 2008 Jazz Camp in Qualicum Beach

opportunity for aspiring and accomplished players alike not only to develop their soloing chops by studying with some of the best players in the business, but also to learn to cook in a more literal sense, since the camp also teaches the culinary arts with a focus on local foods.

Students take breaks from playing by visiting some of the local food producers in the area and learning to do a little cooking themselves as they help prepare meals for the group.

Dwyer says the camp, now in its fifth year, has been growing rapidly. Last year, his Week 1 offering, aimed at 14-21 year olds, doubled in size.

This year, he’s added an adult program and some special workshops/events that will appeal to a wide range of players and jazz fans alike.

The instructors include Read more…

Categories: Events, General

Good News from Coda, Canada’s National Jazz Magazine?

June 10, 2009 1 comment

Coda_Jazz_Understood-mastheReaders of Coda, Canada’s national jazz magazine, have no doubt been scratching their heads for the last six months (at least) wondering what had happened to the magazine.

The same has been true for Coda’s writers (including this correspondent) whose articles disappeared into a black hole before they finally learned a few months back that Coda had suspended publication with no word on when (or if) it would reappear.

It had been suggested in a couple of online forums that publisher Mark Barnes should Read more…

Categories: General

Joe Coughlin’s New CD “Lowdown West Broadway” A Winner

June 7, 2009 Comments off

Lowdown West Broadway 2It’s been hard to miss all the press that vocalist Joe Coughlin has been getting of late, what with his latest National Jazz Award for male vocalist of the year and the recent launch of his new CD.

The new recording, his sixth, is well worth all the attention. Recorded live at The Cellar last July with his “Vancouver band,” Lowdown West Broadway is a fine album, displaying not only the Read more…

Categories: Events, Reviews

Exclusive Island Jazz Interview With Young West Coast Saxophone Sensation Eli Bennett

June 4, 2009 2 comments

24You need look no further than the truckload of awards 20-year-old Vancouver saxophonist Eli Bennett has collected to realize that he’ll soon be a major force on the international jazz scene.

About to enter his third year on full scholarship in the jazz program at Humber College, Bennett has been playing professionally since he was 14. At 15, he was named the best high school saxophonist in Canada.

Since then he’s collected Fraser MacPherson, Dal Richards and Oscar Peterson scholarships and grants, the Yamaha Kando award for the best young musician in the country, a Downbeat award, Grammy Foundation honours, and the International Yamaha Young Performing Artists Award for the best international saxophonist in any genre under 21 – the first Canadian to win that award since the program began in 1989.

Most recently he received the CBC Galaxie Rising Star award at the National Jazz Awards in Toronto.

Bennett, who is back home on the coast for the summer, will be appearing with his quartet (Amanda Tosoff on piano, Josh Cole on bass, and Darryl Bennett on drums) in Courtenay this Sunday, June 7,courtesy of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society. He’ll also be at The Cellar in Vancouver this Thursday night.

Island Jazz sat down with Bennett to learn more about him.

1. How did you find your way into jazz?

I first picked up the saxophone Read more…

Categories: Events, Interviews, Profiles
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