'One of Canada's fastest-rising saxophone stars

'One of Canada's fastest-rising saxophone stars

Thursday Night Jazz has special treat this week


The highly respected Edmonton-based Don Berner Sextet takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. at the Avalanche Bar

And now for something completely different! (Musically speaking, that is.)

Georgia Straight Jazz Society Thursday night performances usually feature fine musicians from this region of Vancouver Island, but this week will be a significant digression from the ordinary when the highly respected Edmonton-based Don Berner Sextet takes the stage at 7:30 p.m.

This out-of-the-ordinary event occurs due to the band having a spare Thursday evening in their Western Canada tour schedule, which just happened to coincide with the jazz club schedule. So this is your first local opportunity to see and listen to this much-vaunted lineup of fine jazz musicians, including one of Canada’s fastest-rising saxophone stars.

The sextet features the compositional talents of all of its members, who are all very capable bandleaders and composers in their own right.

The horns in the sextet consist of Doug Berner, Don Berner, and Audrey Ochoa, while the rhythm section is filled out by Chris Andrew at the keys, Marc Beaudin on bass, and Juno Award nominee Sandro Dominelli at the drum kit.

Those folks who know the contemporary jazz scene in Canada will know that this is a group not to be missed. They’ve been recorded by the CBC and broadcast on both Tonic and Canada Live as well as being found online at CBC’s Concerts on Demand.

If you’re a fan of the high energy, heavy swing, and intricate compositions of the groups of Dave Holland, Art Blakey, or the Marsalis Brothers, this is a band that carries on those traditions while engaging in new and original material.

“I don’t wear a fedora, I don’t wear zoot suits, and I don’t sleep in till noon,” says Berner.

He’s a regular performer at the Edmonton Jazz Festival, served as its co-producer for two years, and has been a featured performer at the Montreal Jazz Festival. He’s also played alongside the Temptations, and performed at the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico, to name only a few accomplishments.

Juno Award winner P.J. Perry has called Don Berner “one of Canada’s fastest-rising saxophone stars. Reads, doubles, solos, he does it all.”

And jazz icon Hugh Fraser has stated, “Don’s talent as a great saxophonist is supported by his compositional and band-leading talents.”

In addition to appearing alongside such notable jazz luminaries as  Perry, Bobby Shew, Hugh Fraser, Slide Hampton, Bob Stroup, Chu Cho Valdez, Lew Tabackin, Guido Basso, and Tommy Banks, and commercial talents E.C. Scott, Frankie Valley, and the Temptations, he has performed at Edmonton’s Jazz City Festival and Yardbird Suite, Calgary’s ‘Beatniq’, Saskatoon’s ‘The Bassment’, and countless other jazz clubs throughout Canada and the U.S.

Berner is the lead alto player in the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra. He can be heard on numerous CDs including his own debut CD Sextet and the sextet’s latest, Love Letters to a Rat Free Capital. Copies of these and other Berner CDs will be on sale at the club this Thursday.

This will be a popular event, so plan on arriving a little earlier than usual if you want to meet friends and get the best seats. Cover charge will be our regular $5, but people are encouraged to donate additional amounts to cover the additional expenses incurred on this tour.

• • •

Tickets for the March 2 NightCrawlers’ concert are on sale at Bop City and Red Carpet, as well as the Avalanche Liquor Store and Thursday night club nights.

For more information about the Georgia Straight Jazz Society, follow us at www.georgiastraightjazz.com or on Facebook.

• • •

Jazz society members are further reminded that the GSJS AGM will be held at the Avalanche Bar, in the back room, on Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. Finger food will be served.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

First in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Comox woman on fence books vaccine due to brother’s death

Leela Harrop says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Most categories of crime held steady from year to year in Cumberland. File photo
Cumberland crime numbers hold steady year to year

A few categories had notable changes but many were similar to 2019

The colourful Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly has been reintroduced on Hornby Island, BC. Photo courtesy the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project.
Checkerspot Butterfly Recovery Project releases more caterpillars on Hornby Island

Chris Junck Special to Black Press The number of Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies… Continue reading

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read