Tom Ackerman and Joey Smith kick off the year of Jazz Vespers performances with a 7pm show Jan. 5 at ST. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich.

Tom Ackerman and Joey Smith kick off the year of Jazz Vespers performances with a 7pm show Jan. 5 at ST. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich.

New season of Jazz Vespers nears

Tom Ackerman and Joey Smith offer something a little different this holiday season

Tom Ackerman and Joey Smith kick off the New Year at Jazz Vespers at St. John’s United Church on Jan. 5. Audiences will have the rare chance to see Smith, not behind the upright bass, as he is known for in Victoria, but playing his first instrument: the guitar. Ackerman will join him on clarinet and saxophone. Ryan Tandy will play bass.

Ackerman was born in Hollywood and began tap dancing and playing the clarinet at age 6. He was at that time a member of a family Dixieland band considered the youngest and hottest Dixieland jazz band this side of the Mason-Dixon line, which led to an appearance on the famed Ted Mack Amateur Hour television show.

He moved to Hawaii in 1975, worked with several jazz bands and performed with some great artists including Sammy Davis, Jr., Joe Williams, and Julio Iglesias. A former student of Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass., Ackerman lived and worked in Washington D.C., and eventually became a bandleader for Princess Cruises for 10 years, where he met his Canadian bride, Sarah.

Ackerman now calls Victoria home and here has worked with the Ian McDougall Big Band, the Don Leppard Big Band, and is a regular member with CanUS and The Stomp Club.

After touring for two-and-half-years with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as bassist and arranger, Smith, originally from Tennessee, also ended up settling in Victoria with a Canadian bride.

Over the past two decades he has played with a long list of jazz luminaries which includes Cleo Laine, Herb Ellis, Rosemary Clooney, Charlie Byrd, John Dankworth, George Essihos, and Daniel Lapp. Smith has also appeared at numerous jazz dates in Canada and the U.S., including a performance at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  An in-demand bassist, and faculty member at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Smith performs regularly with the Marc Atkinson Trio, the Karel Roessingh Trio and the CanUS traditional jazz band, among others in town.

Homegrown Tandy rounds out the lineup, with skills he first picked up on bass at the jazz studies program at Esquimalt High. Since graduating in 2006, he has been in demand in Victoria and has appeared alongside such artists as Aurora Scott, Nick La Riviere, Roessingh, Maureen Washington and Kelby MacNayr.

Jazz Vespers services begin at 7pm at St. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich.  An offering will be taken to cover the cost of the musicians and the Vespers program, which continues Feb. 9 with The Victoria Chamber Jazz Quartet, returning to perform Claude Bolling’s Second Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio after the first suite was enthusiastically received at Jazz Vespers in June.

On March 2, vocalist/pianist Amy Nold will bring her trio to Vespers.

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

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

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

Stephen Laidlaw, prepator with Nanaimo Art Gallery, hangs a photograph of Anna Wong, a B.C. print maker whose works are on display at the gallery. The exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

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

Most Read