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The Jon Miller Quartet Launches “Orchidology”

April 15, 2009 Comments off

Coming across new (to me), high calibre, local music is always a pleasure, and never more so thanjon_radiator_small_1_1 with my recent discovery of the Jon Miller Quartet and their debut album Orchidology, scheduled for launch this week at Hermann’s.

Drummer Miller has been on the Victoria scene since 2003 but somehow I’d never heard him play, despite my knowing (and occasionally studying with) his guitarist Rob Cheramy – a testament to the depth and breadth of the local scene, I suppose, or maybe just a sign that I don’t get out enough.

Fortunately, saxophonist Roy Styffe happened to mention Read more…

Categories: Events, Reviews

Interview with Jon Miller

July 26, 2016 1 comment

Miller-100-108Drummer, drum instructor and band leader Jon Miller lived in Montreal, Philadelphia and Amsterdam before locating to the west coast in 1999. He holds a B. Mus in Jazz Performance from McGill University and has studied drums with Alan Dawson, Martin Bradfield, Peter Magadini, Louis Williamson, Marvin “Smitty” Smith and Barry Elmes. He’s shared the stage with (among others) Jeff Healey, Charlie Hunter, Skip Bey, Vic Vogel and Hugh Fraser. Jon currently divides his time between teaching drums at Groove Studios and the Jon Miller Drum Studio as well freelance playing and leading his own groups including the Jon Miller Quartet. He released a new album this year Three Days in Winter which has enjoyed a lengthy stay on the college jazz charts.  Island Jazz interviewed him recently by email.

How did you get into jazz and what are your main influences?

My parents were into jazz, though not in a major way, still my dad talked about getting a huge kick out of hearing the entire Basie orchestra in a tiny club in New York, and there were Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey and Charlie Bird records in the family record collection. This was the backdrop I guess but jazz really happened for me because Read more…

Jazz Around the Island (Feb. 19-22)

February 19, 2010 Comments off

A few gigs not to be missed this weekend:

The Jon Miller Quartet plays Hemann’s in Victoria tonight (Friday). Miller promises “an evening of jazz standards, clever originals, and quirky covers,” featuring Rob Cheramy on guitar, Roy Styffe on sax, James Young on bass, and Miller on drums (8pm/$10).  And you can also catch the Jon Miller Trio (sans Roy Styffe) on Saturday night at the Black Stilt corner of Hillside and Shellbourne (7pm).

Saturday night the Cold Cut Combo, Brianne deVerteuil & Her Savvy Six, and the Brent Jarvis Quartet are featured at Jazz at Cafe Berlin, an annual fundraiser in memory of Hans Fear, benefiting the BC Schizophrenia Society(Victoria Branch). The show begins at 7pm at the Victoria Edelweiss  Club, 108 Niagara Street ( $22/$25).

On Sunday Jazz Vespers at the Church of the Advent in Colwood offers a trio with Steve MacDonald (guitar), Kris Covlin (sax)  and Ross Macdonald (bass), three highly skilled  members of the Naden Band.(7pm/freewill offering).

 Ron Hadley(piano), Nick McGowan(tenor sax), Ken Lister (bass), and Bill Hicks(drums) celebrate the Olympic Games with Jazz Composers from Around the World, an afternoon concert featuring music from about 20 different countries at The Old School House in Qualicum on Sunday (2:30 pm/$15).

On Monday at the Heron Rock Bistro you can enjoy good food and catch the progressive jazz arrangements of the Steve Grebanier Quartet, featuring the music of contemporary composers like Sting and Michael Jackson.(6:30pm)

Categories: Events

More Holiday Jazz Around The Island

December 10, 2009 Comments off

The Sharon Minemoto Trio performs this Sunday, December 13 at the ArtSpring Theatre on Salt

Sharon Minemoto performs with her trio this Sunday on Salt Spring Island

Spring Island (2:30 pm/$24).

Based in Vancouver, Minemoto has received criticial praise for her lyrical touch on the piano, her unique arrangements of jazz standards and pop tunes, and her original compositions. A graduate of the Capilano University Jazz Program, she has also studied piano with Geoff Keezer and composition with Don Thompson.

In the late nineties she formed an acclaimed quintet featuring jazz greats Ross Taggart and Brad Turner. That group’s debut CD, released on Cellar Live, spent eight weeks atop the Canadian jazz and blues charts.

Her groups have been featured at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, The Hornby Island Arts Festival, Festival Vancouver, the Jazz On The Wing series in Whitehorse, YT and at Club JZ in China, among others. As well, she has performed with the likes of Karin Plato and Dee Daniels, along with the Vancouver Symphony and the Phoenix Chamber choir.

Her trio will perform a mix of jazz standards and original compositions at the ArtSpring concert. Should be a good one. Highly recommended.

And don’t forget all the other great shows coming up, including The Jon Miller Quartet, Sean Drabitt’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Monik Nordine/Bob Murphy Quartet and the Hypatia Creative Women’s Jazz Orchestra.  Details can be found below in “Holiday Jazz Around the Island.”

Categories: Events

Holiday Jazz Around the Island

December 3, 2009 Comments off

Sean Drabitt, Brent Jarvis and Josh Dixon bring holiday sounds to Hermann's

December looks to be a great month for jazz around the Island. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more notable events coming up:

The Flora Scott Quartet appears this Sunday, Dec.6, at St. John’s United Church in Deep Cove (7 pm). This jazz vespers event should be a great show since Roy Styffe (sax), Sean Drabitt (bass) and Josh Dixon (drums) will be accompanying Scott, an accomplished vocalist and guitarist. Highly recommended.

Acclaimed Vancouver vocalist Jennifer Scott appears with pianist Ron Hadley and bassist Rene Worst at the Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum on Sunday, December 6 (2:30-4:30pm) in a special Christmas jazz concert. Scott has impressive performance credits, including appearances with Kenny Wheeler, Don Thompson, and Clark Terry. Should be a superb show.

Hermann’s welcomes the Jon Miller Quartet on Friday, December 11 (8pm). With Miller on drums, Rob Cheramy on guitar, James Young on bass, and Roy Styffe on sax, this group offers a lot of musical value. Their 2009 release Orchidology made it to the top of the college radio jazz chart. Highly recommended.

Sean Drabitt brings the Christmas spirit to Hermann’s on Dec. 12 with his annual A Charlie Brown Christmas, featuring those classic Vince Guaraldi tunes, a screening of the much-beloved film, and a tasty turkey dinner. There are two shows, one at 6 pm and one at 8:30 pm ($30/$20, depending on whether or not you go for the turkey). Brent Jarvis appears on piano and Josh Dixon on drums. This one always sells out: reservations, like the show, are highly recommended.

The Bob Murphy/Monik Nordine Quartet, featuring Ken Lister and Buff Allen, performs at Joe’s Garage in Courtenay on Saturday, Dec. 12 and at Hermann’s in Victoria on Sunday, Dec. 13. This is a killer group, featuring some of the best players in the land. Murphy’s work on piano and Hammond organ is legendary and Nordine is one of the most highly regarded sax players on the west coast. Backed by Lister on bass and Allen on drums, they are bound to fly. Murphy will play the resident Hammond C-3 in Courtenay and the Yamaha baby grand in Victoria. They also have a duo show planned for Vancouver on Dec. 18.

The Hypatia Creative Women’s Jazz Orchestra, led by trumpeter Lorae Farrell comes to Hermann’s on Friday, Dec. 18. This group always has something exciting to offer. Details to come.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

– Rick Gibbs

Categories: Events
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