Jazz society ends year with flourish

This Thursday marks the end of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society's 2011-2012 performance year.

This Thursday marks the end of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society’s 2011-2012 performance year.

The season closes with a flourish as Oceanside’s Arrowsmith Big Band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. on June 14.

The band will bring a new program of modern big band arrangements — a perfect mix for an early summer evening at the club! Last here in early December 2011, the band once again stunned the audience with its high professional standard of performance, and received a standing ovation. This appearance will no doubt be equal, since these musicians perform more for their own joy of perfection than for public concerts.

Some of the best arrangers in the field have contributed charts for the program. In addition to arranging legends Sammy Nestico and Bill Holman, there are also contributions from West Coast arrangers including Bob Florence, Tom Kubis and Vancouver’s own Fred Stride. Mix in with that some great charts originally written for the bands of Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Duke Ellington and Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, and there will certainly be something for everyone’s taste.

The band’s personnel include three well-know faces to Comox Valley music fans. Paul Nuez leads the trombone section, which also includes Andrew Gray on bass trombone, and Rachel Fuller (already a great favourite in her own name) is featured in the sax section.

As before, the soloists will include Claudio Fantinato and Dan Craven on saxes and Dave Stewart and Greg Bush on trumpets.  And look out for a vocal or two from guitarist Colin Campbell.

The band is always extremely happy to make its regular visits to the club, and looks forward to playing for the appreciative and knowledgeable Valley audience. If you have heard them play on any of their previous visits, then you’ll know what to expect.

Next season’s program is already in the planning phase and the society looks forward to presenting the finest local jazz musicians in the region in 2012-2012 with another 40 or so Thursday performances, plus a series of ticketed Sunday concerts.

This year has been quite remarkable; attendance has risen, as has the calibre and diversity of live jazz. Thank you to the Elks’ Lodge 60 for making their home our home each week.

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The Georgia Straight Jazz Society is planning an outdoor summer evening jazz event on Aug. 11 in conjunction with the Gardens On Anderton. You will see posters and press releases for this event around our region within the next few weeks.

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The Elks intend to offer live music on Thursday evenings throughout the summer, so if you cannot make it through the week without a live music fix, look for their press releases in the newspapers.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society