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Keep the Live Music Fires Burning in January

January 5, 2012

A few upcoming shows have caught my eye , and so I thought I’d give them a quick pitch and urge you to keep supporting live jazz on the Island.

First on the list is Phil Dwyer’s appearance this Saturday January 7 at Hermann’s in Victoria as part of Kelby MacNayr’s new “Night of the Cookers” series.  I’ve written plenty on this site about this great saxophonist, pianist, composer, and educator, and so I won’t belabor the point. Suffice to say that with the subtle and sympathetic support of Ken Lister on bass and MacNayr on drums, Dwyer will deliver an amazing show. Don’t miss it. It will be one of the best of the year  (8pm/$18,$15, $10).

The jazz vespers folks have lots going on too. Drummer Bob Watts welcomes Andrew Slade on piano and Bruce Meikle on bass this Sunday, January 8 at St. Phillip Anglican Church on Eastdowne in Oak Bay. Watts is doing something different with his series in that all of the music played by his rotating trio is sacred music. Makes for a relaxed and contemplative Sunday evening in the intimate setting of a small church (7:30pm/by donation).

On Sunday, January 15th, Ken Gray’s and David Enns’ series at the Church of the Advent in Colwood welcomes the Bruce Hurn Jazz Orchestra Collective, a reincarnation of the Monday Night Big Band that used to perform at Hermann’s.  They sound big and bold and brassy and with the likes of Monik Nordine as a featured soloist are sure to deliver a rousing show (7pm/by donation).

Francois Houle appears in Qualicum

Also on Sunday, January 15th,  Ron Hadley’s The Old School House series in Qualicum presents An Historical Tribute to the Jazz Clarinet with not one but three outstanding Vancouver clarinetists. Francois Houle, Tom Colclough, and Liam Hockley, supported by Hadley on piano and Joey Smith on bass, will cover everything from traditional New Orleans to contemporary sounds in this unique show. Houle alone has released more than a dozen albums that have garnered a string of Juno and West Coast Music Award nominations. Highly recommended. (2:30-4:30 pm/ $16).

While I’m at it I should put a plug in for shows at the Acme Food Company on Commercial St. in Nanaimo.  They are running live shows every weekend and have some good jazz coming up. You can check out their calendar here. Incidentally, despite the name, this is a restaurant not a warehouse!

Stay tuned. There’s more to come.

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