John Lee

Georgia Straight Jazz presents a farewell to John Lee

The Andrew Janusson Quartet plays with Lee on drums

Welcome to a new year featuring fine live jazz music every Thursday evening at the newly renovated Avalanche Bar and Grill.

Our 2015 lineup kicks off with a special and sentimental performance at 7:30 p.m. when The Andrew Janusson Quartet will be playing a farewell show for one of our fine young jazz musicians John Lee, much respected by jazz society members for his exciting appearances in 2014.

After a brief stay at home in Nanaimo, John will be heading back to Boston, Mass. to Berklee College of Music to finish his bachelor’s degree in music. The quartet will be playing a selection of classic jazz standards, and hard hitting bebop tunes with a special emphasis on the virtuosic music of Charlie Parker.


John Lee is perhaps one of Canada’s best young jazz musicians. The highly talented, multi-instrumentalist has performed in major cities such as Toronto, New York City, Boston, Vancouver and Washington D.C. in many high profile venues and festivals.  He was awarded the Slaight Family Music Scholarship for Canadian high school students that gave him a full ride to Berklee. More recently he has blown away his Courtenay audiences as a stunning saxophonist and drummer. For this farewell performance John will be on the drum kit.

Andrew grew up in Nanaimo, B.C.  He began playing the guitar at 13, and advanced quickly to perform with the large and small jazz ensembles, wind ensemble and musical theatre productions at Dover Bay Secondary School, as well as forming bands and playing gigs outside of school. It was here that he earned the Dogwood Award Scholarship to attend Vancouver Island University and further his studies in music, focusing on jazz performance. Currently, Andrew is studying music at Vancouver Island University under the guidance of Pat Coleman, Ken Lister, Hans Verhoeven, Ben Henriques and others. As well, Andrew has had the opportunity to study with the likes of Canadian legends Phil Dwyer and Ross Taggart as well as NYC based jazz guitarists such as Adam Rogers, Rotem Sivan, and Paul Bollenback.  Andrew performs regularly at many venues, including Hermann’s Jazz Club, The Avalanche, and The Crofton Pub and Hotel with local professionals such as Ken Lister and Miles Black.  Andrew is quickly becoming one of the most in demand, young jazz guitarists on all of Vancouver Island.


Sean Drabitt left Victoria 24 years ago to study jazz bass in Los Angeles with mentor John Clayton. During the first decade he spent time in New Orleans, where he worked with all members of the Marsalis family, then in New York, working with the best young players on the modern jazz scene, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Eric Harland and Ari Honig among them.


With all of this under his belt, specializing in a hard driving hard bop informed style of bass playing, he returned to Victoria nearly 15 years ago. Today he divides his time between various projects on both electric and acoustic bass. More recent career highlights include a western Canadian tour with Terrell Stafford’s quintet in 2012 and a number of gigs with pianist George Colligan.

Graham Shonwise is a graduate of the Vancouver Island University jazz program.


This fine young saxophonist is quickly becoming one of the most in demand players on Vancouver Island.

He performs locally with many local professionals such as Hans Verhoeven and Ken Lister.


Admission is $10 for members and $12 for non-members.



Just Posted

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Sisters swimming to protect B.C. coastal ecosystems

Jennifer and Alyssa Madill are preparing to swim from Denman Island to Hornby Island

Comox Valley Nature hosts Rosewell Creek walk

Sunday morning walk part of CV Nature’s montly series

Youth lead Millard Creek fisheries tour

Join the Youth and Ecological Restoration (YER) youth-led fisheries tour at 3300… Continue reading

NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership certificate starts this fall

Seats are open for the September start of NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership… Continue reading

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending

Government’s goal is to lift 2.1 million people out of poverty by 2030

PHOTOS: Prickly porcupine rescued after hitchhiking down Coquihalla Highway

BC Conservation Officer Service members were able to grab the porcupine and move it to safety

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Appeals court dismissed Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

Convicted murderer still missing after escaping B.C. prison 2 weeks ago

Mission RCMP are continuing to search for escaped inmate John Norman MacKenzie

Smoky skies trap B.C. man inside for days

Air quality warning issued for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley

Surf’s up in California, where it’s now the official sport

Grab a board, catch a wave and find yourself, ‘sittin’ on top of the world’

Most Read