Big Band makes second visit

THE ARROWSMITH BIG BAND will fill the Elks hall with sound this Thursday.

Oceanside’s Arrowsmith Big Band makes its second visit to the Club for 2011 with a totally new program of modern big band arrangements, almost six months to the day after they last drove a capacity audience to its feet with the very best big band music on offer in this region.

In a real multi-national program, arrangements featured are by some of the best musical talents from around the world. Opening with a chart by much-missed late Canadian arranger Rob McConnell, the band will move through charts by renowned U.S. arrangers such as Sammy Nestico, Bill Holman, Mark Taylor and Bob Florence.

There will be an unusual view on Duke Ellington’s Take the A Train, written by the band’s own Michael Irving. The band will also play a marvellous arrangement by one of Europe’s best, Rob Pronk, and will end each set with charts by the current wunderkind of the big band arranging world, Gordon Goodwin.

The band’s personnel includes a new face on tenor sax, Comox Valley’s Rachel Fuller, a relatively recent and highly talented transplant from England. She is joined in the sax section by Claudio Fantinato, Dan Craven, Trevor Hooper and Jeff Bailey.

The trumpet section is unchanged, with Michael Irving, Dave Stewart, Greg Bush and Susie Craven. Trombones include Paul Nuez, Julian Telfer-Wan and Chris Spidel. Tying it all together is the veteran rhythm section of Barry Miller (piano) Bryan Stovell (bass) and Michael Wright on drums.

With solos from most of the band members, this is bound to be an exciting evening! Arrowsmith Big Band fans will be out in force, and if you enjoy big band music/jazz and swing music, come to the Elks’ home on Sixth Street in Courtenay for a warm and social evening. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

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Tickets will be on sale this Thursday for the Dec. 4 Sunday night concert by the Nick La Riviere Quartet. Prices are $12 for Society members, and $16 for non members. Tickets are also available at Bop City in Courtenay, and Videos  ’n’ More in Comox.

For more information about coming activities, and a link to a video of La Riviere in a recording session, visit

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society