Dividing his time from one side of the country (Nova Scotia) to the other (Oak Bay), pianist and composer Tony Genge has been involved in playing the piano since the 1960’s, and for him, it never gets old.
Tonight the audience can expect to tap their toes to traditional jazz and swingy jazz piano pieces, while Genge plays with Lloyd English on jazz guitar, Joe Hatherill on alto and Sean Drabitt on double bass.
While Genge lives in Oak Bay for half of the year performing at different venues with various groups, he also lives part of the year in Nova Scotia as a music professor at St. Francis Xavier University.
“So I sort of do a bi-coastal commute kind of thing,” he told the PNR.
Playing the piano since the 1960’s, his interest began due to playing in a band with some of his classmates.
“It was a social thing as well as a musical thing. It was just a cool thing to do,” he said.
Genge has also taught for many years (close to 30), and also plays while in Nova Scotia.
In terms of what inspires Genge, he said it’s about pieces that hang together really well.
“A really good piece will almost play itself and you can just add your own things to it, but it’s a great piece on its own, and I find that it’s really wonderful when that happens.”
When asked what keeps him coming back to the piano, he said there is always something to work on as you get better.
“There’s endless challenges to playing an instrument and it’s something that you never finish,” he said.
Genge said that as you get better, there are other new kinds of challenges, like playing with other people for example, which he said is always different.
When Genge teaches, he tells the students that they’re never going to be finished learning.
“If you treat it the right way, it’s like a lifetime’s worth of work, but creative work….”
Genge can be seen performing as part of the Joe Hatherill Quartet tonight at St. Paul’s United Church at 7 p.m.
A donation of $10 is suggested at the door.