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concert
England’s Manchester-based GoGo Penguin is a unique piano trio noted for its hypnotic melodies, visceral baselines and tidal rhythms. There’s a wave-like flow to their partially improvised music, which shifts between melodic inventiveness and trance-inducing patterns. Called “music for the heart, head, and feet,” GoGo Penguin were signed to iconic Blue Note Records in 2015 and their newest release, A Humdrum Star, was released to great acclaim in February. From ambient atmospherics to hypnotic beats, GoGo Penguin combines highbrow polish with music-festival populism. Hard to define but easy to groove to, this is one of the freshest bands on today’s scene. Chris Illingworth piano, Nick Blacka bass, Rob Turner drums, Joe Reiser sound
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To call vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Gwyneth Herbert strikingly original is, if anything, an understatement. This superb British singer began as a gifted interpreter of jazz and swing standards but is now consistently getting four-star reviews for her original compositions. Deeply imaginative and gleefully idiosyncratic, Herbert made a remarkable debut at the 2016 JazzFest and is currently touring to support her celebrated seventh CD, Letters I Haven’t Written. She performs with frequent collaborator Ned Cartwright on piano.
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Vista 18 veterans Trio Swing Futur are gifted purveyors of classic gypsy swing and French café music, performed with modern arrangements and melodic flair. Tim Croft bass, Mitchell Green guitar, Stuart Munro guitar
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Ranee Lee has spent a half-century in Montreal, where she nurtured an impressive and multi-faceted career as one of this country’s most admired jazz singers. A member of the Order of Canada, Ranee is also an author and an award-winning actress who gave a memorable musical performance as Billie Holiday. She has recorded 13 CDs for the Justin Time label, and the sidemen on her remarkable set of recordings have included such notable jazz artists as Clark Terry, Red Mitchell, and Oliver Jones. She also won a JUNO for “Best Vocal Jazz Album” in 2010. Ranee’s latest touring show, Dark Divas, is a celebration of the most profound jazz and blues singers of the last century. From Josephine Baker and Pearl Bailey to Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, Ranee explores this vital legacy as a gifted interpreter and never just an imitator. Expect brilliance! Taurey Butler piano, Dave Watts bass, Carlos Jimenez guitar, Richard Ring guitar, Ron DiLauro trumpet, Dave Laing drums
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Maya Rae
Named in CBC’s 2017 list of 35 best Canadian Jazz Musicians under the age of 35, Vancouver vocalist Maya Rae teams up with top notch Victoria musicians John Lee piano, Max Workman bass and Kelby MacNayr drums. Maya Rae is faithfully continuing the tradition of young, prodigious voices taking their incredible talents to the jazz art form. At only 16 years old she has an incredibly bright future ahead.
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Damian Graham Trio
Arguably one of Victoria’s most prolific drummers, Damian Graham has been touring nationally and internationally since 1990. Having backed numerous musicians, including Michael Kaeshammer, the Paperboys and Louise Rose, Damian Graham is a “first call” sideman whose creative talents and keen musicality have kept him at the forefront of the west coast music scene. Joey Smith bass, Chad Geekie piano
Copyright © 2018 Bill McCarter