Warm up with jazz at the Elks Thursday night

Trumpeter Michael Irvine will lead a quartet this Thursday in another Georgia Straight Jazz Society concert.

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 some of our region’s most 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.

Michael’s formal training began at the University of Victoria where he studied with Louis Ranger and Ian McDougall. At UVic Michael earned his B.Mus, and M.Mus (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, the Commodores 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. 18 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. Paul Nuez, well known to local jazz enthusiasts, will play trombone.

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 performances, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the venue, the regulars, and fine live music for nothing more than a donation.

Tickets for our Nov. 18 Caravan concert will be on sale. This will be your opportunity to hear one of this country’s most exciting jazz combos (Daniel Lapp, Marc Atkinson, Joey Smith and Brett Martens). Alternatively, tickets are available a Bop City in Courtenay, and Videos N More in Comox.

For more information about forthcoming events you are invited to visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com or find the GSJS on Facebook.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society

 

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