Archive for July, 2009

Jazz in July: Jensen Sisters Host Nanaimo Jazz Benefit

July 28, 2009 Comments off

jensens-jazz-in-july-poster_version1International jazz greats Ingrid and Christine Jensen will play at their annual mid-island benefit concert and dinner this Thursday, July 30, at the Felice Cavallotti Hall in Nanaimo.

The event, now in its 4th year, benefits the Karen Cormons Memorial Jazz Scholarship Fund, founded by the Jensen’s and other family members to celebrate the memory of their mother and to support emerging jazz talent in the Nanaimo area.

Each year a local student is awarded a scholarship for jazz studies. The 2008 winner will be announced at the benefit.

Joining the Jensen’s are saxophonists Phil Dwyer and Joel Miller, drummers Jon Wikan and Bill Hicks, and bassist Clinton Ryder.

The event will also feature the Steve Jones Dixieland Express and the Rising Stars Student Combo, with an all-star jam at the end of the evening.

Only 150 tickets ($20 for adults, $10 for students and seniors) are available.  You can get them at Fascinating Rhythm record store in Nanaimo.

Highly recommended.

– Rick Gibbs

Categories: Events

Emily Braden’s Jazz Journey

July 26, 2009 1 comment

Emily BradenVocalist Emily Braden and pianist Misha Piatigorsky appear at Hermann’s on Monday and Tuesday night for two shows celebrating the successful launch of Braden’s debut studio album Soul Walk, which was produced in New York by Piatigorsky and which is already receiving acclaim from fans, reviewers, and musicians alike.(Click the Reviews button under “Categories” in the sidebar for the Island Jazz review of Soul Walk).

Island Jazz sat down with Braden and Piatigorsky to learn more about the making of the album and to find out what’s next as Braden takes another step in the development of what many feel will be a major international career.

A Special Voice and a Landmark Album

New York pianist/composer/producer Misha Piatigorsky knew from the first note he ever heard Emily Braden sing that she was a unique talent.

He heard that note about two years ago when Braden asked him to do a gig with her at Pagliacci’s restaurant in Victoria. (He currently spends his summers here with his family at his in-law’s Oak Bay home and teaches at the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Jazz Workshop where Braden first met him). Having already heard from other players in town how good she was, he agreed to the gig, thinking Read more…

Categories: Events, General, Profiles

A Mighty Jazz Duo: Don Thompson and Pat Coleman to Perform in Mill Bay Benefit Concert

July 20, 2009 Comments off

The opportunity to hear two legendary jazz musicians of the stature of multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson and guitarist Pat Coleman performing as a duo doesn’t come along everyday, but it is happening tomorrow (Tuesday, July 21) in Mill Bay at Sylvan United Church thanks to the efforts of Pat Selman and her Church Mice Productions.

With Thompson on the west coast this summer to teach at the Victoria Conservatory and up-island in Phil Dwyer’s program, Selman grabbed the opportunity to put these two great players on stage together.

There have been some classic duo performances involving guitarists captured on tape over the years: Fraser MacPherson (sax) and Oliver Gannon (I Didn’t Know About You), Ron Carter (bass) and Jim Hall (Alone Together), Bill Evans (piano) and Jim Hall (Undercurrents), Scott Hamilton (sax) and Bucky Pizzarelli (The Red Door); along with  Don Thompson’s own collaboration with Ed Bickert (At the Garden Party).

With Bickert no longer performing, it’s hard to imagine a better guitarist teaming up with Thompson than Pat Coleman. This show will be an absolute treat, and while drums (one of the four instruments Thompson plays) likely won’t be in the mix, bass and piano probably will be. And who knows, Thompson might even break out the vibes.

Tickets are $20 and the doors open at 6:30 pm with the show starting at 7 pm. Proceeds will benefit the Cowichan Valley Hospice Society.

What: Hospice benefit by Don Thompson and Pat Coleman
When: July 21, 7 p.m.
Where: Sylvan United Church, 985 Shawnigan-Mill Bay Rd.
Tickets: $20 at Cardino’s, plus Ten Old and Volume One bookstores. Call 250-743-4301

Categories: Events

From Latin to Big Band The Island Offers a Wealth of Great Jazz This Weekend

July 17, 2009 Comments off

There’s lots of great jazz happening this weekend all over Vancouver Island.  Here’s a quick rundown:

Percussionist Humberto Mendoza, a regular performer with Adonis Puentes, joins the Marty Howe Latin Jazz Quintet at the Red Martini Grill in Nanaimo Friday night starting at 8pm.  Howe, who plays jazz chromatic harmonica and flute, will also be joined by Darcy Phillips on keys.  Fluent in many styles of pop, blues and jazz, Phillips has had years of experience playing with the likes of Tommy Banks, Sarah McLachlan and Jann Arden.  The quintet features jazz standards and bossa novas, as well as hotter Latin tunes in its repertoire.

Victoria residents looking for great jazz on Friday night should show up at Alix Goolden Hall at 8pm, where a Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Summer Jazz Workshop concert features all of the faculty in small group settings.  The names say it all: Ian McDougall, Don Thompson, Neil Swainson, Ross Taggart, Roy Styffe, Brent Jarvis, Misha Piatigorsky, Rob Cheramy,Walter Martella, Gergana Velinova, Gord Clements, Willard Dyson. You won’t hear better jazz anywhere else in Canada that night.

And on Saturday night almost the identical personnel (with the addition of Louise Rose) get together for a big band finale concert hosted by Misha Piatigorksy at Alix Goolden at 8pm. Tickets are a very reasonable $20 for both shows.

If big band isn’t your thing, on that same night you can hear Kelby MacNayr’s group serve up its usual high quality music in the intimate setting of Hermann’s.  Or if you’d prefer to get an afternoon jazz fix in the sunshine in Beacon Hill Park on Saturday, wander over to the Cameron Bandshell to hear the Jan Stirling Quintet at 1:30 pm as part of the Jazz in the Park series organized by Tom Vickery.

Up-island, the Amanda Tosoff Quartet kicks off the Phil Dwyer Jazz Festival at the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks in Parksville (Morningstar Farm on Sunday, July 19 from 1:30-4:30 pm. The quartet will be joined by the traditional Desperation Jazz Band and by the Little Qualicum Jazzworks featuring Howie James performing cool jazz of the forties and fifties.

– Rick Gibbs

Categories: Events

Phil Dwyer Launches New BC Jazz Festival

July 13, 2009 1 comment
"Jazz in the Garden" at  Milner Gardens near Qualicum will be a key part of the new Phil Dwyer Jazz Festival

"Jazz in the Garden" at Milner Gardens near Qualicum will be a key part of the new Phil Dwyer Jazz Festival

Saxophonist/pianist Phil Dwyer has added a jazz festival to the growing list of programs he’s developing in the Qualicum-Parksville area of Vancouver Island.

The Phil Dwyer Jazz Festival, which runs from July 19 to August 16, will feature some of the top names in Canadian jazz, including Ingrid and Christine Jensen, Seamus Blake, Michel Donato, PJ Perry, Don Thompson, Ken Lister, and of course, Dwyer himself.

There will also be appearances from Read more…

Categories: Events
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