Bluegrass, blues and boogie-woogie comes to Courtenay’s Old Church Theatre

David Vest will play the Old Church Theatre in Courtenay on Jan. 13, 2023.David Vest will play the Old Church Theatre in Courtenay on Jan. 13, 2023.
Beppe Gambetta will play the Old Church Theatre on Jan. 19. Photo via beppegambetta.comBeppe Gambetta will play the Old Church Theatre on Jan. 19. Photo via beppegambetta.com

Two concerts coming to Courtenay’s Old Church Theatre in January feature artists who represent their music and instruments as only musicians who have dedicated their lifetimes to their craft can do.

First off, jazz, blues and boogie-woogie pianist David Vest will give the Old Church Theatre’s grand piano a workout on Jan. 13.

“I love the sound of the piano in the Old Church Theatre,” says promoter Doug Cox. “And to have David Vest come play is a dream come true.”

The son of an Alabama sharecropper, the longtime Victoria resident is still going strong 50 years after he first stepped on stage with the likes of Big Joe Turner. Long revered as one of the great boogie-woogie piano players, Vest is a six-time winner of Canada’s national Maple Blues Award for Piano Player of the Year.

Vest is also a prolific songwriter. He wrote the first songs ever recorded by Tammy Wynette, and his tunes have been covered by artists ranging from Paul deLay to the legendary Downchild Blues Band, whose cover of Vest’s “Worried About The World” gave Downchild their first number-one song.

“Vest’s bio reads like the history of rock ‘n’ roll and blues … he’s among a select group that includes Ronnie Hawkins and Jerry Lee Lewis,” said musical journalist and DJ, John Valenteyn.

Following Vest’s show, on Jan. 19, is bluegrass and modern acoustic guitarist, Beppe Gambetta. Beppe is an Italian guitarist, vocalist and composer who found a way to make Italian and American traditions speak together with one voice. Born in the seaport city of Genova and raised on American Flatpicking he developed a unique captivating guitar and performance style. In 2019 Beppe was awarded with the title of “Genoa Ambassador To The World” by Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci. From a young acoustic guitarist channeling Italian and American folk and bluegrass into a signature style, he became a singer, composer, arranger, sound engineer and concert producer. At age 65, he has added one more title: poet. His incredible versatility combined with his charm and engaging stage presence make Beppe’s concerts evenings of high-quality music and relaxed entertainment.

“Though he’s shown over the years that he can keep pace with the Tony Rices and Dan Crarys of the world, it is Gambetta’s understated elegance as a flatpicker that has set him apart and made him an in-demand partner the world over,” says Sing Out! Magazine.

Limited tickets for both these shows are still available at www.oldchurchtheatreshows.com

Comox ValleyConcertsLive music

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