Greg Bush will perform at The Avalanche Bar in Courtenay, for the Georgia Straight Jazz Society. Black Press file photo

Bush and friends take the stage for jazz fans in Courtenay

Familiar faces, and a talented line-up of central Island jazz musicians fill the Avalanche Bar (275 8th St., Courtenay) with great jazz at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, when Greg Bush returns with four favourite accompanists: Alicia Murray, drums; Dan Craven, tenor saxophone; Chad Geekie, drums, and Rob Uffen, bass.

In addition to his broad teaching experience Bush has also enjoyed a career as a busy freelance jazz trumpet player, arranger and composer. As a sideman, he’s had the good fortune of playing in big bands and orchestras that have accompanied such artists as Big Miller, Paul Horn, Bobby Shew, Lee Konitz, Dizzy Gillespie and Bob Brookmeyer.

He has also performed in various venues in Australia, the Fiji Islands, Germany, Italy, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Multifaceted Alicia Murray performs in several bands, playing everything from folk music to arrangements of video game songs, and sea shanties on her accordion.

Dan Craven, a most popular artist with Georgia Straight Jazz Society (GSJS) members, teaches music on central Vancouver Island, and brings the benefit of extensive performance experience to his students. A 2001 recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, he has also had the privilege of sharing the stage with top Canadian musicians. In 2007 Dan joined Phil Dwyer’s Sax Summit, which first launched in 2002 with the release of Sax Summit on CBC Records. Dan has performed frequently around Canada’s west from Victoria to Fort Nelson, is the Aartistic director of CYMC’s Island Jazz Intensive, and has served the local jazz community as festival clinician, honour band conductor and guest performer.

Although Chad Geekie originated from Vancouver Island, he studied at McGill University and works as a sideman mainly with the Damian Graham Trio and with Tina Jones. He also plays with the Dave Stewart Sextet and is another favourite on the Avalanche stage.

Rob Uffen is an accomplished guitarist as well as a bassist. He is best known to regular GSJS members as the driver of the rhythm section of the Arrowsmith Big Band and the Dave Stewart Sextet.

Admission to this exciting performance is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. More information about the jazz society’s upcoming shows can be seen under the “Calendar” tab at

There will be a two-week break following next week’s sold-out ticketed concert by Dee Daniels. Thursday night jazz will resume on Jan. 9.

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