Fawn Fritzen plays for jazz fans in Courtenay

This week, Georgia Straight Jazz Society is pleased to present a new performer.

Fawn Fritzen is a multilingual performer who embodies Canada’s diversity with her mixed cultural roots of Chinese, French and German.

She has two studio albums under her belt and is the winner of the 2014 Julian Award of Excellence for Emerging Jazz Artists.

Fritzen — who is based in the Yukon — is joined by David Restivo on piano.

Fawn’s life journey has taken her across Europe, Asia, and our three northern territories. Along the way, she picked up four languages, church hymns, feminism, the intricate feathered hat of a vaudeville star, and the love of her life. Join Fawn as she sings the songs she’s collected and written in her travels. With her growing sense of music’s crucial role in shaping society, her stories draw on themes of conflict, feminism, aging, and connecting deeply with another human.

With a powerful belt, Fritzen will growl out some gritty blues, then follow with a tender ballad imbued with delicate nuance.

Her eclectic shows reflect her travels, with beloved jazz standards alongside originals, blending elements of roots and gospel into her singing.

Reflecting on the crucial role of music in shaping society, her songwriting draws on themes of feminism, failure, conflict, and connecting deeply with another human.

Restivo is an award-winning pianist and composer.

Born in Lansing, Michigan, and based primarily in Toronto since 1982, he has been a sought-after and influential figure in Canada’s jazz community since the late-1980s.

Well-known for his work with Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass, the Mike Murley Quintet, and legendary songwriter Marc Jordan, Restivo has performed and recorded with such renowned artists as Dave Holland, Curtis Fuller, Mel Torme, Kenny Wheeler, Jon Hendricks, and David Clayton-Thomas.

A dedicated music educator for more than 20 years, he currently serves on the music faculty at Selkirk College in Nelson, BC. Immersed in the arts from birth, a chance discovery of a Dizzy Gillespie recording at an early age led him to eventually focus on jazz and improvised music, though he derives inspiration from a wide range of musical and non-musical sources including John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Joni Mitchell, Genesis, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Gustav Mahler, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marc Chagall, and J.S. Bach.

As musical and life partners, Fawn and David have a special and heart-warming chemistry in their duo shows.

Performance time is 7:30 p.m. at The Avalanche Bar & Grill at 275 8th St. in Courtenay.

Admission is $10 for Jazz Society members, and $12 for non-members.

Please visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com for more information about the wonderful calendar of shows between now and 2020. More important, come down to the Avalanche and discover why Courtenay has the best jazz scene on Vancouver Island. You’ll be glad you did!

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