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Vocalist Teighan Couch brings her jazz stylings to Courtenay

Nanaimo’s Teighan Couch plays for the Georgia Straight Jazz Society on Thursday, April 4. Photo supplied

By Malcolm Holt

Special to the Record

This is the exciting week when Georgia Straight Jazz Society brings you Ella Fitzgerald’s vocal improvisations, swing feel and melodic phrasing.

If you love Ella’s style, you’re going to be amazed at Teighan Couch’s performance. She not only sings in Ella’s style, but she can scat like her too.

Originally from Ottawa, Couch moved to Nanaimo with dreams of becoming a vocalist under the inspiration of her favourite jazz artists Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and the Oscar Peterson Trio. She is a powerful, soulful vocalist with a devoted love for the healing power of song.

“I first performed for the Georgia Straight Jazz Society with the Marty Steele Quartet in February 2022, and I’m excited to be returning to Comox Valley this Thursday with a quartet under my own leadership at The High Tide,” she said. “I’m deeply inspired by recordings released in the 1950s under Verve Records.”

Teighan’s biggest inspiration is Ella Fitzgerald.

“I have taken to studying Ella’s vocal improvisations, swing feel and melodic phrasing.”

Her trio will join her in re-imagined arrangements of standards taken from her favourite recordings, composers, and instrumentalists, including Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Ahmad Jamal, Bud Powell, Barney Kessel, Oscar Peterson, and Charlie Parker.

This Thursday’s trio features Jesse Marshall on guitar and Drake Shoemaker on bass.

Marshall is an established guitarist based in Nanaimo. His album Small Talk released in 2016 was nominated for a Julian award and was featured on The University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra’s 2020 album Embargo, which received four stars from All About Jazz.

Shoemaker is versatile bassist. A graduate from Vancouver Island University’s jazz program, Shoemaker has been featured in many different bands playing a variety of musical styles from rock and roll and pop to bebop and free jazz.

Downbeat at the High Tide Public H0use (268 5th St., Courtenay) is at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. 2024 memberships will be available at the door. Food from the pub menu, and drinks from the bar will be sold at the concert.

For more information about forthcoming events, and the summer “Jazz in the Vineyard” concert series at 40 Knots Winery , visit

Stealing Dan concert tickets ($35, cash only) will go on sale on April 2 at House of Colour, Blue Heron Books in Courtenay, and Moon Records in Cumberland. This May 9 concert event at the Filberg Centre will be the largest offered in the Jazz Society’s history.

Malcolm Holt is the vice-president of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society.