Jeff Drummond Quartet to play in Courtenay

After a three-week hiatus, the Georgia Straight Jazz Society presents a performance by the Jeff Drummond Quartet on Thursday evening (Jan. 9) at the Avalanche Bar & Grill (275 8th St, Courtenay). Showtime is 7:30. Admission is $10 for members, $12 for non-members.

Since graduating from music school in the early ’90s, Jeff Drummond has worked as a guitarist, educator, composer, producer and engineer. Over the past two and half decades, he has explored many musical genres, toured North America and the United Kingdom as bandleader and freelance guitarist for numerous acclaimed artists. Drummond teaches individual/private and ensemble lessons in a variety of styles and formats. He is also a member of the teaching faculty at the nationally renowned CYMC jazz camp in the Comox Valley.

“I’m really excited to play some music I have never played, some stuff I haven’t played in a long time with a group of really great guys that are all excellent musicians,” said Drummond. “To my ears it is one of the most accessible and interesting set lists I have put together in a long time. Really looking forward to it!

“The quartet will perform a variety of music based in the jazz tradition. From swing to Latin and funk, these four musicians will perform some original pieces and interpret standards and compositions performed by the likes of Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Jim Hall and Joshua Redman.”

Behind the drum kit is much-loved Aaron Amar, who brings extensive experience playing from the Toronto jazz scene.

“He is a disciple of Jim Blackley but relocated to the Comox Valley where he has played with numerous groups,” said Drummond. “He brings his unique approach to the music, layering polyrhythms with great musical taste. His strong sense of time drives the trio forward.”

Ben Henriques will play sax at the show.

“I’m really excited about introducing saxophonist Ben Henriques to Comox Valley,” said Drummond. “Ben is a great composer, arranger and instructor. He teaches at VIU in the jazz studies program; he is on the CYMC jazz intensive faculty, recently moved to the island from Vancouver and has a master’s degree in jazz studies from McGill University. He’s a great addition to our group.”

On bass, the group features a local favourite, John Hyde. Originally from Edmonton, Hyde has been working in bands since he was 15. He was hired to teach at Grant Mac Ewan in Edmonton in the late 1970s where he was a first call recording session player, freelance jazz bassist and classical bassist with many organizations including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Tommy Banks band. He freelanced as a jazz and classical bassist with such organizations as the Eric Friedenberg Group as well as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He continued to perform and teach in Calgary for three decades.

For more information about the January – May jazz concerts at the Avalanche, visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com and select the calendar tab.

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