The Victoria Jazz Orchestra and friends are getting into the Christmas spirit a little early, and helping out a great cause at the same time.
The orchestra’s A Christmas Carol concert Nov. 16 at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall, featuring guest vocalist Maria Manna, guest conductor Andrew Homzy and the Cathedral School Choir is a fundraiser for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre.
Bandleader and saxophonist Monik Nordine says the centre holds a special place in her heart, as they helped her as a single parent years ago.
“We knew we wanted to do a Christmas show, so we said ‘let’s make it more meaningful and significant,” she says. The idea of helping out the Single Parents’ Resource Centre, and donating half of the proceeds from the concert to this local non-profit agency made a lot of sense, especially at Christmastime, Nordine adds.
Homzy, director of the Nanaimo Jazz Orchestra, will conduct, allowing Nordine to “stay in the sax section.”
The orchestra is Vancouver Island’s only professional jazz big band. Formed in May 2013 by Nordine, the orchestra has kept busy keeping jazz out in the public realm. They’ve been featured at the TD Victoria International Jazz Festival and Nanaimo International Jazz Festival and have performed with many notable guests over the years including composers John Korsrud, Chelsea McBride, Jill Townsend, Bill Coon, Ian McDougall, Andrew Homzy, Greg Bush and Alan Matheson.
Featured in the lineup are top Victoria area improvisation jazz artists lead trumpet player Bryn Badel, alto saxophonist Nordine; tenor saxophonist Ryan Oliver, guitarist Rob Cheramy and drummer Dave Emery.
Fifty per cent of their concert proceeds will go to the Single Parent’s Resource Centre, which provides free clothing, food, counseling and Christmas gifts for families in need.
Doors for the concert open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30. Tickets are available online at moniknordine.ca/victoria-jazz-orchestra and the box office inside the Victoria Conservatory of Music, or by phone at 250-386-5311.