JazzFest makes some noise in Oak Bay

Oak Bay High's Dave Dunnet Community Theatre hosts five JazzFest performances

Dan Brubeck performs at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre July 2 as part of JazzFest.

The 33rd annual TD Victoria International JazzFest spreads its wings into Oak Bay this year, thanks to the community’s new Dave Dunnet theatre.

Running from June 24 to July 3, JazzFest features a culturally and musically diverse program of more than 85 performances, plus five workshop/clinics. Among the headliners in the marquee series at the Royal Theatre and McPherson Playhouse are Joe Jackson, case/lang/veirs (Neko Case, kd Lang, Laura Veirs), the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gregory Porter, Oliver Jones and Halie Loren, and the Joe Lovano Classic Quartet.

Additional headliners appear in the ticketed Presentation Series at the festival’s new venue, the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High School: Jaclyn Guillou Quartet, Saturday, June 25; Misha Piatigorsky, Sunday, June 26; the Jacky Terrasson Trio, Tuesday, June 28; the Laila Biali Trio, Thursday, June 30; and the Dan Brubeck Quartet, Saturday, July 2.

“It’s a wonderful new medium-sized venue for the TD Victoria International JazzFest,” festival producer and artistic director Darryl Mar says of the Oak Bay theatre. “The stage and audience sight lines are the best in the city. Wonderful acoustics. We are very excited to be presenting five jazz performances at the Oak Bay venue.”

Award-winning Canadian pianist and vocalist Laila Biali, acclaimed for her ability to effortlessly blend traditional jazz with contemporary pop, has toured with Chris Botti, collaborated with Sting, and recorded with Lisa Fischer. Her new album includes collaborations with celebrated Canadian songwriters Randy Bachman and Ron Sexmith, among others.

Vancouver’s Jaclyn Guillou refuses to shy away from making her voice the main instrument. Her fourth album, This Bitter Earth, is a strong crossover album stemming from a tribute concert to legendary jazz and blues vocalist Dinah Washingtone. Released in early March, it was immediately nominated for a 2016 Juno for Best Vocal Jazz Album.

After winning the Thelonius Monk award in 1993, Franco-American pianist Jacky Terrasson came up through the venerable jazz school of Betty Carter, accompanying the iconic singer for many years. Considered one of the finest pianists on the scene today, Terrasson’s material incorporates funk, soul and allusions to contemporary pop songs –  Sonny Rollins, John Lennon, Amy Winehouse and even Justin Bieber performed among his original compositions.

The New York City-based pianist Misha Piatigorsky is an award-winning composer who blends powerful melodies with an unusual harmonic sensitivity. His deeply personal yet cosmopolitan sound reflects his experience as a Russian-Jewish émigré growing up in urban America. Piatigrorsky works to advance modern jazz beyond the standards, and was the long-time pianist and musical director for jazz vocal legend Mark Murphy.

Drummer Dan Brubeck was featured on nearly a dozen albums with his father and toured widely with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. His latest album, Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave and Iola Brubeck, nominated for a 2016 Juno for “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year,” pays homage to the 70-year musical legacy of his parents: Dave, the legendary pianist, and mother Iola, the gifted but largely unknown lyricist.

In addition to the Oak Bay and Royal/McPherson concerts, JazzFest will host three ticketed nights of blues and R&B music in Centennial Square, welcoming the Legendary Downchild Blues Band plus David Gogo, Ana Popovic, and Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.

During the day, 25 free performances take place over nine afternoons in Centennial Square, including Student Performance Day Sunday, June 26, which features Oak Bay High Max Jazz among others.

JazzFest tickets are available  through the Victoria Jazz Society office, #202 – 345 Quebec St., Lyle’s Place, 770 Yates St., the Royal McPherson box office, 250-386-6121 or online at rmts.bc.ca (marquee series only from the Royal McPherson Box Office.)

For the full lineup and schedule, visit jazzvictoria.ca.

 

 

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