Jake Masri with Grahame Edwards and Jeff Agopsowicz. Photo by Don Tait

Jake Masri with Grahame Edwards and Jeff Agopsowicz. Photo by Don Tait

Comox art gallery puts jazz in the spotlight for new exhibit

Photos from Georgia Straight Jazz Society’s shows at the Avalanche featured at Pearl Ellis Gallery

Every Thursday evening, local jazz fans have gathered at the Avalanche for an evening out…meeting friends, having dinner and listening to not only local, but many Island and international jazz performers.

These Thursday evenings began in early 2013, and have been running steady until March, 2020 when the COVID 19 shutdown cancelled the remainder of the 2020 season and closed the Avalanche.

Local photographer Bill Jorgensen had made arrangements with the Georgia Straight Jazz Society (GSJS) to cover all the concerts, sharing his images with GSJS members. He soon discovered that it was difficult to commit to every Thursday evening, so he began to add other photographers with an interest in jazz and shooting the concerts. This group has grown to nine members, many of whom now have libraries of images that go back to the beginning. They formed “Focused on Jazz” and will display their photographs in an exhibition entitled Take Five at the Pearl Ellis Art Gallery in Comox.

“Take Five now becomes a documentary exhibition of those Avalanche years,” says Norm Prince, one of the show co-ordinators. “Somehow we have to cover not only the musicians, but the volunteers and Avalanche staff who made the shows happen.” Each photographer will display five prints, showing the best of their work. Photographers represented include Bob Ell, Katie Hubberstey, Judy Johnston, Bruce Johnstone, Rick Leche, Norm Prince, Wink Richardson, Don Tait and Laura Tait. To preview images you can visit the photographers’ Websites at https://www.georgiastraightjazz.com/photos.html

Take Five runs Oct. 15-31. The Pearl Ellis Art Gallery is located at 1729 Comox Avenue in Comox. The Gallery is currently open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00 am-2:00 pm with COVID protocols in place. Gallery capacity is limited to six people at a time.

For more information about the gallery, and to see a virtual display of the exhibition, visit www.pearlellisgallery.com

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