After last Thursday’s season opener when Jeff Drummond played some incredible modern jazz in a George Benson vein, this week the Georgia Straight Jazz Society brings you an evening of smooth, easy-going oldies.
The Lensmen collectively bring decades of experience to recreate music that has been around a long time. The group’s repertoire reaches back to just about the turn of the century, 1900 that is, and through the ’40s.
They have also been known to play a little jazz beyond the Big Band era with Len Wilkie crooning a la Frank Sinatra and are not ashamed to say even a little country. Oldies but goodies will include When You’re Smilin’, Mack the Knife, Moon River, Sweet Georgia Brown and ‘Deed I Do.
The Lensmen are Noel Thomas on cornet, Mike Eddy on piano, Al West on bass and Len Wilkie on drums.
Thomas has played with many fine groups over the years, including Brass Bands, Dance Bands, Dixieland Bands, even some symphony, Ice Capades and circus bands. He is also a founding member of the original Desperation Jazz Band.
Eddy is new to the Valley and has been blown away by the jazz scene here.
West is a multi-talented instrumentalist, well-known to local jazz aficionados, who brings an extremely melodic approach to his bass solos and rock-solid approach to his bass lines as part of the rhythm section.
Wilkie learned his trade with big band and small jazz groups in Europe. Moving west, he was the drummer/vocalist with the Dixie Stompers/Desperation Jazz Band for 22 years, while playing with other country and pop groups. He is the Len in Lensmen.
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Tickets will be on sale for the Oct. 16 on Sunday concert featuring the Marc Atkinson Trio. Shows start at 7:30 at the Elks’ Home on Sixth Street in downtown Courtenay. Look for the Live Jazz sign on the sidewalk.
— Georgia Straight Jazz Society