Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Musical connections feed the soul at Victoria venue

Hermann’s does its part to put performers in front of live audiences, with free community concerts

Local music lovers have been craving live in-person performances for months.

For musicians like drummer Kelby MacNayr, the ability and opportunity to reconnect with audiences through live shows is like manna from heaven.

“I think everyone has been learning and changing on the fly, as we learn how to be safe and to keep the musicians and audiences safe,” says MacNayr, who performed with a version of Kelby and Friends the evening of Nov. 11 at Hermann’s Jazz Club.

“It’s been a challenge to find the connection points [with listeners], which is what we as musicians really look for,” he says, referring to the separation of online shows.

“The emotional aspect and the feeling of being right there when something is created [has been largely missing]. For the musician, it’s about being the storyteller; that connection energizes us and electrifies us to be able to tell the story better.”

While performers have creatively used social media platforms and other online means to get their musical message out during the pandemic, venues forced to drastically cut capacity to allow for physical distancing have been dipping their toes in the water in 2020 when it comes to hosting live music.

A current example is the Hermann’s Community Nights series, free concerts at the downtown jazz hub that began Nov. 4 with the Tom Vickery Trio – they’ll be back Nov. 18. Hermann’s reopened in July after an extended closure, but managed to stay in the public eye by hosting livestreamed shows from the club, events that raised money for the performers and the venue. The free Community Nights shows are being made possible through sponsorships from local patrons and businesses.

ALSO READ: Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

“The outpouring of love we have gotten from our audiences is incredible,” Hermann’s manager Nichola Walkden says in a release.

“I get letters from people saying that the community of this place has saved their life. We know what it means to people so we want to keep it accessible, whether it’s through our livestream or these free community nights.”

MacNayr’s five-piece band (the limit under COVID health regs) for the Nov. 11 show included Peter Dowse on bass, Tony Genge on piano, Brooke Maxwell on tenor sax and Bryce Gilholme on trombone. Regular trumpeter Miguelito Valdez and saxophonist Roy Styffe both also play in the Naden Band, which is otherwise engaged for Remembrance Day events.

Performing a live show on Remembrance Day is special, says MacNayr, because of “my grandparents place in the war, and the fact many of our audience members know the songs from those times. They have meaning.”

Having Maxwell and Gilholme be part of the mix gives the quintet a different flavour, MacNayr says, and “allows us to draw on some of the material I associate with that era.”

To secure seats, the public is asked to be at Hermann’s, 753 View St., when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The limit for the 7:30 p.m. show is 50 attendees.

For information on future Community Nights shows, visit hermannsjazz.com, call 250-388-9166 or email info@hermannsjazz.com.

ALSO READ: Victoria author releasing novel about a strange illness in a small town


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

JazzLive music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Just Posted

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

A sample of some of Lou-ann Neel’s jewelry.
Lou-ann Neel wins the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

Originally from Alert Bay, Neel’s family is steeped in renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists

I-Hos Gallery manager Ramona Johnson shows some of the paddles available at the retail outlet. Photo by Terry Farrell
I-Hos Gallery celebrates 25 years of promoting First Nation artwork

K’ómoks First Nation-based outlet has art from all over the country

Bard to Broadway Theatre Society may stage shows outdoors next summer. (PQB News photo file)
Qualicum Beach’s Bard to Broadway group may stage shows outdoors

Theatre society plans smaller productions due to ongoing pandemic

Most Read