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

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Frank Ludwig in a forklift with his long hair during Trooper’s heyday. (Photo submitted)
Humble Island beginnings blossomed into storied career for Trooper keyboardist

Frank Ludwig got his start as a boy pumping the organ in a tiny downtown Chemainus church

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Thomas Kuecks, Bellamy Kuecks and Paula Foot have come together to create an album of stories for children. (Nina Foot photo)
Moments with Miss Paula creates musical stories for kids

Music and the spoken word from Island pair available on streaming

Author Eden Robinson poses for a portrait during an interview in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Trickster trilogy author Eden Robinson hosts online conversation and reading

Haisla and Heiltsuk will join fans in event hosted by Vancouver Island Regional Library

Nanaimo author Lawrence Winkler’s latest book is ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa.’ (Bulletin file photo/supplied)
Nanaimo author wraps up trilogy following ‘antihero’ Island doctor

Lawrence Winkler presents ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa’

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)
Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library librarian April Ripley led the effort to create a Vancouver Island poetry booklet in recognition of National Poetry Month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library publishes booklet for National Poetry Month

Collection features winners of ‘Poem in your Pocket’ contest

SENCOTEN language revitalizationist and filmmaker Renee Sampson’s short film, Bringing Our Language Back to LIfe, shows online during the Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, April 14-23. (Photo courtesy Wapikoni)
SENCOTEN language featured in short film created on Saanich Peninsula

Renee Sampson film highlights importance of passing on traditional languages to youth

Most Read