Jazzy Thursday at Elks’ Hall

Prepare yourself to witness some of the greatest up-and-coming (VIU-based) jazz talent this Thursday at the Elks’ when the Wigmore Needham Quintet takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Prepare yourself to witness some of the greatest up-and-coming (VIU-based) jazz talent this Thursday at the Elks’ when the Wigmore Needham Quintet takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.

It’s over a year since Cameron Wigmore captivated us in his own name with his fine tenor sax playing, and although we heard him play last February as part of another group, this is the night when he directs the show.

The band derives its name from Cameron Wigmore and Sydney Needham.

Wigmore is a superb tenor saxophonist, band leader and freelance musician with 18 years of teaching experience. He’s performed and recorded across Canada in Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island with bands in the genres of jazz, classical, funk, swing, R&B, ska, rock and surf music.

He has performed with Ken Lister and Pat Coleman, at the Port Theatre with David Gogo, at the TD International Victoria Jazz Festival in 2009 and 2010, and gigs regularly around Vancouver Island with a number of different bands. Wigmore has studied with Phil Dwyer, Pat LaBarbera, Don Thompson, Pat Coleman and Kirk MacDonald, among others.

He is completing his Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Performance at Vancouver Island University, building upon two years of study in Toronto at Humber College.

Equally exciting is Sydney Needham, the band’s vocalist.

Needham made one appearance earlier this season on the Elks’ stage as a complete unknown (when she sang with one of the big band acts), and what immediately blew everyone away in her performance was the strength and clarity of her voice and the maturity of her presentation.

You might want to hear Needham sing for no other reason than that you will be able to tell your friends in future years that you heard her perform in Courtenay long before she became known as an international artist. She has a voice which belies her youth and she’s destined for a great professional career.

Bassist Nick Sheasgreen needs little introduction to regular attendees; over the past three seasons, he’s made appearances with various bands and he always impresses with his creative style and commanding rhythm.

Drummer Johnny Lucas and guitarist Julius Clegg are new to the Elks’ stage, but you’re guaranteed their performances will be equal to the other three band members.

These guys are great, and this is your chance to see them for nothing more than a night off from the Canucks’ nail-biting excitement and a donation at the door. (For those people who can’t make it through an evening without the Canucks, there is a TV monitor at the back so you can stay current with the score.)

For more information about the society and its forthcoming events, visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society


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