James McRae, Brad Shipley and Nicco Rhodes are the Hub Organ Trio, playing at the Avalanche on April 25. Photo supplied

The Hub Organ Trio coming to Courtenay

The Georgia Straight Jazz Society features an amazing trio at the Avalanche Bar & Grill April 25.

Dynamic Nanaimo drummer James McRae teams up with keyboardist extraordinaire Nico Rhodes and guitarist par excellence Brad Shipley in The Hub Organ Trio for an evening of entertaining jazz.

“We improvise on original songs, with some popular movie-themed songs thrown in that are sure to engage and intrigue the audience,” said McRae. “Our group goes in a different direction musically while being a voice that also includes some humour in the music.”

These three musicians have been playing music together in some context for more than a decade, and were part of the back-up band for a few of the Chemainus Theatre shows in the past few years including Twist and Shout and Rock Legends.

Rhodes’s blistering technique and floating touch on the keyboard has been described as “bombastic,” “acrobatic” and “heartbreakingly sensitive.” A pianist, composer, woodwind player, arranger, symphony orchestrator, studio musician, film composer, music director and conductor who has made his mark in almost every musical context, Rhodes has performed across Canada, the western U.S., Central America and East Africa in funk bands, jazz trios, cabaret acts, chamber ensembles and as a soloist.

McRae, a composer, multi-instrumentalist and band leader, has played with many renowned musicians across the musical spectrum, including Marty Steele, Patrick Courtin, Miles Black’s Count Basie/Duke Ellington Tribute, boogie-woogie bluesman David Vest, bassists John Hyde and Ken Lister, Victoria’s Latin dance band Kumbia, Connor Stewart, and “5 Note” Soul Jazz group.

Gabriola Island’s Shipley is known for his guitar prowess and mandolin skills. He plays dobro and pedal steel, and has been a sideman for some of Canada’s finest musicians including Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, Jimmy Rankin, Sue Medley and Brad Turner.

Admission to this show is $10 for Georgia Straight Jazz Society members, $12 for non-members. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com to see the fantastic schedule of jazz society presentations at The Avalanche Bar & Grill over the next year. Better still, come on down and discover for yourself why we’ve got the best jazz scene in B.C., right here in Courtenay.

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