Victoria audiences have the opportunity to hear some unbelievable jazz this weekend thanks largely to the ongoing efforts of Kelby MacNayr to cross-fertilize the local scene with talent from afar.
First up is New York pianist George Colligan who brings with him an impressive list of credentials. He’s released 21 recordings on his own and has appeared on over 100 CD’s and on stage with jazz greats ranging from Cassandra Wilson to Ravi Coltrane. Colligan currently teaches at Portland State University and is a member of Jack DeJohnette’s latest quintet. He appears Friday night at 8pm at Hermann’s as part of MacNayr’s Art of the Trio series.
Barbara Blair tells a great story about trumpeter Ingrid Jensen who will appear as a special guest with her sister saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm at Hermann’s. At the jazz festival in Port Townsend one year, Blair observed a group of jazz luminaries on stage. They’d each take a turn soloing and then step back, chatting with each other in the background as the next soloist came up. When Ingrid started blowing, the chatting stopped and all ears and eyes turned to the stage.
If you didn’t already know, that tells you that this is a player who engenders a tremendous amount of respect in the jazz world. Christine is no slouch either, particularly as a composer. Last year she claimed the Juno award for Best Contemporary Jazz album. Another concert not to be missed and an ongoing part of MacNayr’s Night of the Cooker’s series. Note: this is an afternoon concert.
And if that wasn’t enough, Hermann’s also welcomes Vancouver vocalist Jennifer Scott and legendary bassist Rene Worst with James McRae on drums and Victoria’s own Monik Nordine on sax on Saturday night at 8pm. Scott’s reputation as a vocalist encompasses both Canada and the US. Worst has a mile-long list of credits that includes Chet Baker, Jessica Williams and David Bowie. Should be another amazing show.
Information on all three shows can be found at the Hermann’s website. I suggest you set up camp Friday night and plan to stay for 24 hours. When it rains it pours great jazz.