The evolution of the jazz audience

Georgia Straight Jazz headliner sees a new level of musical maturity in audiences

The Jenn Forsland Band plays for the Georgia Strait Jazz Society at the Avalanche Bar And Grill Thursday night.

Malcolm Holt

Special to the Record

After last week’s international jazz musicians from the U.S., Canada and UK, when Tunnel Six wowed a packed house with exciting modern jazz, we return to arguably the most popular local performer from this part of the world, Thursday at the Avalanche Bar and Grill.

It’s been almost a year since The Jenn Forsland Group graced our stage. Now, by popular demand, she returns to charm and flirt with her audience. As many of you know, Forsland, in addition to being a superb jazz songstress, is a wonderful entertainer and accomplished pianist who laces her material with anecdotes and a stage presence second to none.

“Each time I contemplate a show for Georgia Straight Jazz Society, I always try to plan something new – even at the risk of leaving my comfort zone,” said Forsland in a recent interview. “The audience is always discerning and attentive, and that adds to the challenge which in turn drives up the calibre of our performance. Well, this time my show will feature familiar melodies and well-known standards, with a focus on the Great American Songbook. For me, it is like going full circle, back to my early performance days, but doing so in a much more critical context. This is no longer playing music in the background with an indifferent audience. Today people really concentrate on the quality of performance, and that’s great.

“Offering an evening of classic songs may come as a surprise to those folk who know my work and have seen it develop over the past seven years, but this show will focus on technical excellence between a group of musicians who are well versed in playing together as they return to tried, true jazz numbers. Of course, I will include one or two of my perennial favourites, including Love for Sale and Nature Boy but you can expect an evening filled with familiar romantic tunes dating from the ’30s through to the turn of the millennium.”

Joining Forsland are some of the Valley’s finest instrumentalists: Rick Husband, guitar; Tom Tinsley, percussion; Grahame Edwards, bass, and Tony Morrison, tenor sax.

These musicians are both well known and well versed in creating the smooth accompaniment to Forsland’s style, with years of refining a blend of sounds which is enviable.

“These guys are so talented, and we always have so much fun – whether we’re rehearsing or on stage,” said Jenn of her bandmates. “They’re the best!”

Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the Jazz Society and its forthcoming events, go to www.georgiastraightjazz.com or find the GSJS page on Facebook.

 

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