The Jon Miller Quartet plays for the Georgia Straight Jazz Society Thursday, March 7. Photo by William F Jorgensen

Jon Miller Quartet offers an organ-infused jazz show in Courtenay

A wonderful spring surprise for Comox Valley’s jazz community is on its way when drummer/bandleader Jon Miller’s quartet plays at The Avalanche Bar & Grill this Thursday March 7, at Avalanche Bar & Grill.

Victoria drummer Miller’s exceptional Hammond organ-driven Jon Miller Quartet will perform material from his latest, West Coast radio stations’ chart-topping release, 3 Days in Winter. The music features Dr. Tony Genge’s soulful organ-jazz repertoire in the vein of giants of the genre Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Larry Goldings.

Many local jazz aficionados will remember Dr. Genge’s incredible Hammond-style jazz following his previous appearances at The Av. Genge, arguably the greatest contemporary jazz organist in Canada, has performed with many leading Canadian and international jazz artists and can be heard on the critically acclaimed jazz piano trio CD Blues Walk. His tasteful and thoughtfully refined playing, writing and arranging can also be heard on recordings by Joe Coughlin and Paul Horn.

Jon Miller is a multi-talented drummer, composer and arranger. At once energetic and passionate, his music cross-cuts a wide swath of musical interests. The newest organ-driven incarnation of his quartet made its debut in the summer of 2017 leaving Island audiences spellbound and demanding more.

“I love the more conventional jazz quartet with bass, but these days it’s been just a ton of fun bringing this Hammond organ sound to audiences, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Miller. “I have always had a soft spot for organ-jazz which I got to hear a lot of while living in Philadelphia. In this format the four of us sound more like a five-piece band; it’s a fuller sound and we can hit harder when we want, which is also a big plus to me.”

The quartet has made regular appearances throughout the BC including JazzFest Victoria, Pat’s Pub, McMillan Arts Centre, Hermann’s Jazz Club. 3 Days in Winter charted at #1 at several west coast radio stations. Along with writing for and leading his quartet Miller held the drum chair for the Victoria Jazz Orchestra from 2013 to 2016. Living in the US and Europe in the 1990s he played clubs, festivals and in studios in Philadelphia, New York, Paris, Berlin and Monte Carlo.

In addition to being a prolific and accomplished composer, guitarist Rob Cheramy is an extremely inventive, technically impressive jazz guitarist with a highly individual style, celebrated both for his exciting solos and for his inventive accompaniment.

Monik Nordine, one of B.C.’s top jazz saxophonists, has a powerful, lyrical and impressive command of the saxophone. She needs no more introduction to Comox Valley jazz audiences; her previous appearances have garnered her a solid following. In addition to playing in the Jon Miller Quartet, Nordine leads her own groups as well as directing the Victoria Jazz Orchestra which has performed with guest artists, including Mike Allen, P.J. Perry, Andrew Homzy, Greg Bush and Chelsea McBride.

Showtime is 7:30 pm. Admission is $10 for Georgia Straight Jazz Society members, $12 for non-members.

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