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Gord Clements Quartet taking to the stage for Comox Valley jazz fans

The Gord Clements Quartet will be at the High Tide in Courtenay on Thursday, Feb. 15

Malcolm Holt

Special to the Record

There are some weeks when it’s exciting to learn about the upcoming Thursday Night Jazz Concert at the High Tide Pub on Fifth Street. This is one of those, when sax player Gord Clements leads his quartet.

This special event is unquestionably a singular opportunity to hear music that made history! Hence, we’ve called it ‘Tribute to Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker’, which celebrates the instrumental recordings produced by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker in 1952 and 1953,” said Clements in a recent interview. “The chemistry between these two legendary musicians became iconic of the evolution of jazz from bebop to the birth of cool.”

Clements’s tunes will include Bark for Barksdale, Swing House, Walking Shoes, Turnstile, and Moonlight in Vermont.

“Mulligan’s arrangements will be exactly reproduced, but the improvisations are created fresh and in the moment by the musicians themselves,” said Clements. “The music swings with elegant harmonies and arrangements that are both complex and evocative with a wide range of sensual textures produced by combining the baritone saxophone and trumpet with infectious grooves on upright bass and drum set.”

The musicians are well-known to jazz audiences in Victoria. Clements is regularly heard at the Fathom Lounge in the Hotel Grand Pacific, and he is the Victoria Symphony’s jazz saxophone soloist.

Tom Williamson recently relocated to Victoria from San Francisco and is enthusiastically remembered for his trumpet work and leadership of the 1980s popular jazz group Elmo Whigget. Both Louis Rudner on upright bass and Dave Emery on drums are often heard at Hermann’s Jazz Club and are highly respected for their inspiring rhythmic teamwork.

Downbeat for this wonderful performance is 7 p.m., and you are encouraged to arrive at least an hour before the show, due to the great popularity of the pub setting. Food from the pub menu will be served until 8:00 pm, and drinks will be served for the duration of the two-hour performance.

Georgia Straight Jazz Society 2024 memberships ($25) will be available at the door. Admission is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. You’re invited to visit the Calendar of Events at to see the great line-up of forthcoming shows between now and the end of May.

Malcolm Holt is the vice-president of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society