‘Really cool jazz’ expected at Elks

Autumn nights are closing in earlier, and things are warming up in the Elks’ lounge as the Georgia Straight Jazz Society features its fifth Thursday Night Jazz gig of the 2011-2012 season — the Mike Irvine Quintet.

Autumn nights are closing in earlier, and things are warming up in the Elks’ lounge as the Georgia Straight Jazz Society features its fifth Thursday Night Jazz gig of the 2011-2012 season — the Mike Irvine Quintet.

Expect to hear really cool jazz as these accomplished musicians bring their spectacular brand to the Elks’ stage at 7:30 this Thursday. Michael is the music director at Dover Bay Secondary School in Nanaimo, but is better known to jazz fans in this area as the lead trumpet for the Arrowsmith Big Band.

Michael began playing the trumpet when he was 11 and was soon going to the high school at lunch to play with the jazz band. While still in high school Michael performed for Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Dizzy Gillespie.

His formal training began at the University of Victoria where he studied with Louis Ranger and Ian McDougall. At UVic he earned his BMus, and MMus (performance)

Michael has performed with such artists as Phil Dwyer, Ingrid Jensen, Alan Jones, P.J. Perry, Fraser MacPherson, Ian McDougall, Oliver Gannon, Louise Rose, Hugh Fraser, Rob McConnell, and has performed with many local groups including the Victoria Symphony, the Victoria Operatic Society, the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra, the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, the Commodores Big Band, the Arrowsmith Big Band, South Island Musical Theatre Society, Bard To Broadway, and the Nanaimo Theatre Group.

As a musical director he has been the guest conductor of National Band of Cuba.

Mike brings his quintet to Courtenay on Oct. 6 featuring the exciting and creative Dan Craven on tenor saxophone — a friendship that goes back to university.

Michael’s former band student is now one of VIU’s hottest students; Curtis Reich on bass displays how fortunate we are to have such a wealth of young talent – tomorrow’s big names – right on our doorstep.

Rounding out the quintet are veteran Arrowsmith Big Band rhythm section members Barry Miller on piano and Michael Wright on drums.

If you are interested in jazz music, but haven’t listened to any of our live music, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the venue, the regulars, and fine live music for nothing more than a donation.

Tickets will be on sale on Thursday for the Marc Atkinson Trio concert on Oct. 16. This will be your opportunity to hear one of the finest jazz guitarists in the world – a fifth anniversary appearance for the jazz society.

Prices are $15 for Society members and $20 for non-members.  You can purchase tickets at either Bop City in Courtenay or Videos ’n More on Comox.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society