Mike Irving Quintet highlights Thursday Night Jazz

Thursday Night Jazz at the Avalanche Bar features the Mike Irving Quintet this week.

Thursday Night Jazz at the Avalanche Bar features the Mike Irving Quintet this week.

Downbeat is at 7:30, but you want to make a real evening of this event, you can arrive earlier and enjoy a meal at your table in a club atmosphere, before the show.

When these fine musicians last played on our stage, they gained the nickname Arrowsmith Little Band owing to the familiarity of their faces and names as members of the terrific Arrowsmith Big Band. The combo is really a breakout lineup from the larger band, including the Arrowsmith rhythm section — familiar with each other’s style, yet looking for fun and improvisation in a smaller group.

Michael Irving, music director at Dover Bay Secondary School in Nanaimo, is best known to Georgia Straight Jazz as lead trumpet in the big band. He’s joined by our favourite tenor saxophonist Dan Craven, Barry Miller on piano, Doug Gretsinger (the newest member) on Bass, and Michael Wright on drums.

Michael and Dan have been making music together for over 25 years. In addition, Michael Irving, Dan, Barry and Michael Wright have been performing together in various formats for over 10 years, so there’s a lot of experience in this group.

The quintet will perform the music of Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Duke Ellington, Harold Mabern, Cedary Walton, Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, and some original music by Michael Irving. Be bop, hard bop, post-bop, any kind of bop, you’ll hear it!

Since we’re heading into the festive season, here’s a list of our remaining acts leading into Christmas to help you plan which nights work best for you:

• Nov. 28: DMN & Frenz — Don MacKay’s, sophisticated and polished modern jazz group, complete with some surprise guest appearances.

• Dec. 5: Little Big Band — Swing and modern big band music. Don’t be fooled by the name; this is a full lineup.

• Dec. 12: Niall Harvey Band — Courtenay’s heartthrob leads his own lounge band, as he wows us with his Bublé-style vocals.

For more information about forthcoming events and to get a better sense of what the Georgia Straight Jazz Society has become, visit  www.georgiastraight jazz.com or follow us on Facebook.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society