Marty Steele returns to Courtenay

Georgia Strait Jazz Society concert

Marty Steele is back in town.

One of the most versatile keyboardists in the music world, Marty is a master of the keyboard bass lines, a direct disciple of the jazz/blues pioneer Jimmy Smith.

He makes his yearly journey out of Nanaimo to entertain in Courtenay with his highest calibre five-piece band to date for a not-to-be-missed special Valentine’s Day evening.

As a bandleader, arranger, producer, etc., Marty covers all the bases as few can do.

The other four performers are well known on the local jazz scene: James Mcrae, drums; Claudio Fantinato, alto sax; Rick Husband, guitar, and Dale Graham as the featured vocalist.

James displays a passion for any style of music, especially jazz. For the last 30 years, he has been an important part of the Island music scene, earning the distinction as the most requested and desired drummer for any musical venture. His most recent credit was bringing to fruition his original idea by producing, arranging, and performing on the highly acclaimed Impressions of Lightfoot CD, the seminal jazz tribute to a legendary Canadian icon.

Claudio is a favourite of the jazz fans in this area. Originally from Port Alberni, he is a gradua

te of VIU and Berklee College of Music in Boston. For the past 25 years, he has continued to perform in a wide variety of musical groups (big bands, small ensembles, and musical theatre). He is the lead altoist for the Arrowsmith Big Band and the clarinettist for Andrew Homzy’s NOLA Nighthawks.

Rick Husband is one of the best-known jazz artists on the Comox Valley scene. He rounds out the quartet sound with a steady hand and an easygoing personality perfect for any combo.

There is no better vocalist to have on stage for the Valentine’s Day tribute than Dale Graham, who has been singing with Indigo Jazz with her partner Rick, for many years. She has consistently enthralled her audiences as a jazz artist, as well as with local choirs and combos, and in folk and Celtic music. Her warm and supple voice make an effortless connection with her audience, even while performing the most complex of rhythms and melodies.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., but make sure you’re there a little early this week because this is bound to be a very popular concert. Admission is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Please visit for more information about the Georgia Straight Jazz Society, and its exciting calendar of events.

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