Nanaimo Big Band returns to Elks

The Nanaimo Musicians’ Association Big Band returns to the Elks’ stage at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday for the first time this season.

The Nanaimo Musicians’ Association Big Band returns to the Elks’ stage at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday for the first time this season.

The last NMA concert in April drew a huge crowd to hear some of the most talented band instrumentalists on Vancouver Island. The group has served the mid-Island for more than 40 years. Famous alumni include Diana Krall, Ingrid and Christine Jensen and Phil Dwyer.

In addition to some of the established big band players from the Mid Island region, its sound is rounded out with some of VIU’s top students from the music program.

New members this year include Hans Verhoeven, now the drum instructor at VIU; trumpeter Dave Stewart; and tenor Theo Hughes-Ridgeway (originally from Courtenay). Pianist Barry Miller, familiar to regular Thursday night jazz folk as the keyboard player with the Arrowsmith Big Band, will join us for this occasion.

Equally significant, the band is again proud to present marvellous vocalist Sydney Needham, who sings in the Ella Fitzgerald tradition. Sydney is by far the most powerful vocalist in this part of the world; her vocals are full of expression and passion. This young woman is bound for greatness, and this is your chance to see her before she becomes another great alumnus.

For Thursday’s concert, the band’s repertoire ranges from old standards from the Buddy Rich and Count Basie bands to modern compositions by alumnus Christine Jensen, whose Montreal big band won a Juno Award last year.

If you love big band music, don’t miss you chance for a great evening!

• • •

Tickets have been selling fast for the Nov. 18 Caravan concert — Daniel Lapp and friends — and will be available this Thursday at the Elks’ home.

For more information about the Georgia Straight Jazz Society and its forthcoming events, as well as an anthology of past concerts, you are invited to visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com or see the GSJS on Facebook.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society

 

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