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

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

July 17, 2009

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 http://www.cheeseworks.ca/newsevent.php?id=17&type=ne) 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

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