The first part of Georgia Straight Jazz Society’s performance year is coming to a close with a couple of terrific acts.
After an exciting transitional period in which we settled into our new club setting at the Avalanche Bar on Eighth Street in Courtenay, it’s clear that we are hitting new highs; membership in the society is up by a third, and attendance is up by a quarter.
This would be a great week to investigate because the Strathcona Little Big Band is back at the Jazz Club this Thursday. In their fourth season together, the band’s sound has matured significantly as they play their own brand of high-energy, entertaining big band music.
Little in name only, the band consists of a full five piece sax section: Suzie Christensen and Evie Kenny on altos, Fred Kolls and Julie Kenny on tenors and Julie Chamberlain on baritone sax, who will be featured on Jobim’s Wave.
Four trumpets and three trombones make up the brass section, which generates precise shots as well as dynamic performances of old and new tunes. Expect to hear beautiful renditions of the classic Bye Bye Blackbird featuring Jake Masri and Bobby Shew’s Blue from trumpeter Roger Kirk; along with some amazing solo work from Jay Havelaar and Wendy Daniel’s ever-solid support.
On trombones are Brian Killikelly, Phil Cassidy, Doug Craig, and Paul Nuez. They will be featured on the classic Here Comes That Rainy Day. Also look forward to hearing some excellent solo work from this fine section.
The band’s vocalist is the wonderful Amy Lelliot, who will perform several numbers including favourites Fly Me To The Moon, The Lady Is A Tramp and Time After Time.
The Little Big Band has one of the most energetic rhythm sections around.
Michael Eddy on piano will provide solid comping along with a wonderful rendition of Count Basie’s Shiny Stockings. Completing the rhythm section are band director Don MacKay on Five String Bass, and the Bopster himself, Billy Street on drums.
• • •
Dec. 12 is the final performance before our Christmas/New Year break. For more information about the 2014 season, visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com or follow us on Facebook.
— Georgia Straight Jazz Society