Expect another musical treat, as the Georgia Strait Big Band performs tunes made famous by The Count, Gillespie and Ellington and all expertly led by conductor Greg Bush (professor of jazz studies at Vancouver Island University) when Comox Valley’s very own 19-person Big Band hits the Avalanche stage this Thursday at 7:30 pm.
The Georgia Strait Big Band is continuing a music legacy in the Valley dating back over 70 years, when Big Band Saturday night dances were held at the Native Sons’ Hall….way back when in the post-war years. In recent years, the band has gone through a renaissance thanks to the dedication of Greg Bush who, for the past eight years has travelled weekly from his home in Nanaimo to support and direct Big Band music in the Valley.
Special in this week’s concert will be “Avalanche Premieres” of original Big Band arrangements and compositions, written by Bush especially for the band, indicative of his special rapport with the musicians.
Everyone in the band is in awe of Bush for his incredible musical skill, professionalism and mentorship that literally makes better musicians out of every member of the band. Perhaps the most significant legacy of Bush’s involvement in Comox Valley music is the learning and performance experience provided to young Comox Valley musicians who have gone on to pursue a post-secondary degree in music.
This Thursday’s performance will also showcase the elegant vocals of Jackie Zbirun, who will take you down memory lane with beautiful renditions of classic favourites of the Big Band era.
So, if you’re a fan of big band music, plan on coming down to the Av for an exciting and nostalgic evening. Jazz night dinner specials will be available, as usual, so plan on meeting friends and get a head start on the weekend with an entertaining night out.
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