After last week’s great concert by Arrowsmith Big Band which filled the stage to the max, the Georgia Straight Jazz Society brings you five musicians who have never publicly performed in this combination.
Chad Geekie, John Hyde and Aaron Amar come together for the first time this Thursday to form a dream trio that should not be missed. The collaboration of these three well-known and highly adept musicians promises a listening experience that will be hard to beat on Vancouver Island or abroad, and provides an exemplary foundation for the quintet’s performance.
Two sets this Thursday will feature a refreshing balance of familiar (yet less-oft-heard) standards, interspersed with pleasing originals by group members.
Dave Stewart is a 32-year veteran of jazz trumpet performance in large and small ensembles. He is one of Canada’s foremost music educators, recipient of Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the prestigious Keith Mann Top Canadian Band Director Award.
This year a jury of peers selected him as BC’s Top Music Educator. He teaches music at Kwalikum Secondary School, where his students benefit from his wide and diverse musical experience. His audience benefits in turn as he pours all the energy and passion from teaching into his performance.
Dan Craven also teaches at Kwalikum Secondary School, and brings the benefit of extensive performance experience to his students. 2001 recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, he is an educator who has also had the honour of sharing the stage with top musicians, including Don Thompson, Phil Dwyer, Ian McDougall, P.J. Perry and Campbell Ryga.
In 2007 Dan joined Phil Dwyer’s Sax Summit, which first launched in 2002 with the release of Sax Summit on CBC Records, and has recurred in various incarnations throughout the country since then.
And then there’s Chad Geekie on piano. This is what a couple of notable others said of Chad:
“Chad Geekie – THAT guy can play!” — Phil Dwyer.
“Chad is an extraordinary keyboard player…” — Marc Atkinson’s website
Chad is a top-class musician with multiple Juno nominations to his recording credit. He has performed around the world with, among others, Benny Golson, Jamie Aebersold, Phil Dwyer, Ingrid Jensen and Christine Jensen, and recorded most recently with Marc Atkinson, Damian Graham and the Kerplunks. Chad’s playing carries with it a refreshingly high level of harmonic prowess, making everything he plays a sensational aural experience.
Bassist John Hyde needs no introduction in the Comox Valley. In his short time on Vancouver Island, he has played just about everywhere and with everyone, which incidentally can be said about him off the Island as well. His performance credits are so extensive and his experience so diverse, you’ll have to read about them at www.johnhyde.com.
And last, but by no means least, Aaron Amar is a highly entertaining and most capable drummer whose talent has graced stages across Canada. His musical career began in Toronto, and we are very fortunate that it has continued here on Vancouver Island.
— Georgia Straight Jazz Society