John Lee brings the Next Generation Jazz Collective to the Avalanche Bar & Grill April 11. SUBMITTED PHOTO

John Lee brings new group to Courtenay

Next Generation Jazz Collective plays for the Georgia Straight Jazz Society

The Next Generation Jazz Collective is a group consisting of some of the finest young jazz musicians from Vancouver Island.

Led by multi-instrumentalist John Lee, this group makes its debut at Avalanche Bar and Grill for Georgia Straight Jazz Society at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11 for a night of homage to some of the most important music arranged for sextets in jazz history.

This sextet comprises Lee, keyboards; Lachlan Craven, trumpet; Steve Carson, tenor saxophone; Mateo Jaekel, trombone; Brock Meades on bass, and Ethan Olynyk on drums. This lineup richly illustrates the depth of upcoming jazz musicians in mid-Vancouver Island, and our good fortune to experience their talents.

Raised in Nanaimo, Lee is one of the most respected and acclaimed young jazz musicians nationwide. After showing great interest in music at a young age, he developed into a virtuoso by his late teens. By the time Lee completed his high school studies, he had received a remarkable amount of recognition by prominent jazz musicians in Canada, and earned an impressive array of awards, scholarships and honours from Envision Jazz Festival, MusicFest Canada and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Lee attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music and received a full tuition and housing scholarship. He completed his undergraduate studies in 2016 and received a bachelor of music in performance. In addition to his academic training in Boston, Lee was mentored by world-renowned jazz educators Dave Santoro, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ralph Peterson Jr., and John Clayton. After relocating back to Canada and residing in Victoria, Lee has become an in-demand musician for accompanying visiting artists, and has had opportunities to perform with artists, including Buster Williams, Rudy Royston, George Colligan and Misha Piatigorsky.

As an artist, Lee is widely known for his immense proficiency as a multi-instrumentalist as well as his ability to connect audiences to his music with a charming and positive charisma. He has done an extensive amount of performing in cities in North America.

Lee has shared the stage with international jazz artists, including Cyrus Chestnut, Larry Fuller, Seamus Blake, Terell Stafford, Ingrid Jensen as well as prominent Canadian jazz artists and educators Phil Dwyer, Christine Jensen, Ryan Oliver, Brad Turner, Neil Swainson and David Restivo.

Lee is also in early concept development stages for his debut album which he’s planning to release under the Cellar Live label. For more information on Lee’s music, visit

Admission to this show is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Information about the impressive lineup of acts into the 2020 season can be found under the calendar tab at

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