Would you like to help out?

We're always looking for people who want to get involved. Not sure how? You could:

  • Donate funds
  • Volunteer some of your time and experience

To do so, or to inquire about clinics and performances, contact us at:

Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society

c/o Wellington Band Room

3135 Mexicana Road, Nanaimo B.C.

Or just send an email to: friendsofjazz06@hotmail.com

Jazz Affair 2014

Jazz Affair 2014

The Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society proudly presents JAZZ AFFAIR ON THE COAST featuring John Clayton.

Join us for an evening of Jazz on the Coast with John Clayton at the Coast Bastion Hotel on Friday, May 30th. This is a splendid evening of cool jazz, great food, silent auctions and raffles in support of our local jazz students, a not-to-be-missed event. Ticket price includes a gourmet buffet dinner.

John Clayton is a natural born multi-tasker. The multiple roles in which he excels -- composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, and yes, extraordinary bassist -- garner him a number of challenging assignments and commissions. With a Grammy on his shelf and eight additional nominations, artists such as Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Queen Latifah, and Charles Aznavour vie for a spot on his crowded calendar.

John co-founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra in 1986, rekindled the The Clayton Brothers quintet, and has taught at Cal State Long Beach, UCLA and USC Thornton School of Music. Now, in addition to individual clinics, workshops, and private students as schedule permits, John also directs the educational components associated with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Centrum Festival, and Vail Jazz Party.

Career highlights include arranging the ”Star Spangled Banner” for Whitney Houston’s performance at Super Bowl 1990 (the recording went platinum), playing bass on Paul McCartney’s CD ”Kisses On The Bottom,” arranging and playing bass with Yo-Yo Ma and Friends on ”Songs of Joy and Peace,” and arranging playing and conducting the 2009 CD ”Charles Aznavour With the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra,” and numerous recordings with Diana Krall, the Clayton Brothers, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz, Orchestra, Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander and many others.

Also featuring the Big Band sounds of The Nanaimo Musicians’ Association (NMA), and our own fine local jazz students!

Tickets are just $48 and include a gourmet buffet dinner.

Limited seating. This event is sure to be a sell-out event, so order your tickets today through the Port Theatre box office.

Doors open at 6 pm, dinner starts at 6:30 pm

Announcing Sara Gazarek for Jazz Affair 2013

Sara Gazarek Jazz Affair 2013

We are delighted to announce Ms. Sara Gazarek will be headlining this year’s Jazz Affair!

She is a startlingly gifted young singer born in Seattle and living in Los Angeles. Her first two albums introduced her singular sound and vision, steeped in the tradition of jazz but deeply informed by contemporary songwriters and performers.

With Blossom & Bee, her highly anticipated debut release on the respected indie label Palmetto, Gazarek turns over an exciting, glistening new leaf.

With five years between her acclaimed 2007 album ”Return to You” (Native Language) and ”Blossom & Bee”, it’s no surprise that Gazarek has grown considerably in the meantime.

Working closely with the brilliant pianist/organist Larry Goldings, who produced the album, Gazarek and her band have crafted a program of emotionally expansive standards, inspired contemporary fare and uncommonly memorable originals, all delivered with her insouciant sense of artistry.

Blessed with her own gorgeous, translucent voice, excellent pitch and supple sense of time, she invests each song with so much emotion and musicality.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of Sara’s music.

Save the date: Friday May 31, 2013

Jazz Affair 2012 — Ingrid and Christine Jensen

Jazz Affair 2012

Born in Vancouver and raised in Nanaimo, Canada, Ingrid Jensen headed east after receiving a number of scholarships to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Since graduating in 1989, her life has contained a whirlwind of musical activities. From her early days playing in the subways of New York, to establishing herself as a leader and soloist in a wide array of musical genres, Ingrid has made her mark. Her three CD’s for the ENJA label and her latest CD, At Sea, won her nominations from the Canadian Juno Awards, including an award in 1995 for Vernal Fields.

Christine Jensen took up roots, leaving Nanaimo for Montreal to get her first degree from McGill University in jazz performance in 1994.

She followed this up by completing her Master’s in Jazz Performance in 2006.

She’s been described as, ’an original voice on the international jazz scene — one of Canada’s most compelling composers,’ by Mark Miller of the Globe and Mail.

According to Greg Buium of Downbeat Magazine, ”Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Jensen is equally at home performing in small and large ensemble settings. Her latest opus, Treelines, The Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra on Justin‐Time Records, won her the 2011 Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, along with Quebec’s Opus Award for jazz recording of the year.”

Also joining Ingrid and Christine for 2012’s Jazz Affair were John Lee on drums, Josh Rey on bass, Jacob Skeeles on guitar, and Joel Miller on tenor saxophone.

Artist in Residence Sam Burtis

Jazz Affair 2011

Sam Burtis has been a freelance tenor and bass trombonist, tubist, lower brass player, arranger/composer, music director and educator in New York City since the late 1960s.

Among literally thousands of engagements and recordings, he has played with and/or written extensively for such groups as the Tito Puente Orchestra, the Lee Konitz Nonet, the Mambo Legends, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Charles Mingus Big Band (as the original music director/arranger of the group) and the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra.

His books The American Trombone and Time, The Balance and Connections — A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity have influenced a generation of brass players worldwide.

Shown here with Sam are Wellington favourite, bassist Christian Fabian and band director Carmella Luvisotto from an Artist in Residence program in November 2012.

Over 100 donors every year to Jazz Affair's Silent Auction

Jazz Affair Silent Auction

Over the past several years, our very generous donors have donated hundreds of items to our silent auction, including:

  • Float plane tickets
  • Aerial tour
  • Baskets of all sizes (car care, chocolate, sewing, makeup, household items)
  • Art work
  • Metal art work
  • Jewellery
  • Tool kits
  • Golf items
  • Gift Certificates for:
    • wine
    • restaurants
    • hair salons and products
    • carpet cleaning
  • Overnight stays
  • Theatre performances
  • Piano lessons
  • And much, much more!

2011 Jazz Affair — Terrell Stafford, Brad Turner and Ken Lister

Jazz Affair 2011

In 2011, Terell Stafford, jazz musician and educator from NYC, was our headliner, along with local jazz greats Brad Turner and Ken Lister.

Terell Stafford has been hailed as ’one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player’ by piano legend McCoy Tyner.

Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. This uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent allows Stafford the ability to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Jazz Affair Spawns Family of New Fans

Last year, Maria bought tickets to Jazz Affair Harlem when their child first started band and she wanted to share their experience with us:

It is a great evening for the whole family! We were very pleased with the high quality of the musical performances of students and of course the guest artists. This year it'll be even better since it's our Nanaimo musicians who are featured throughout the night. Besides the music you can also enjoy great food and drinks as well as bidding on some great items in the silent auction. While having fun, you and your child will get to see what Jazz Affair is all about and next year you will be looking forward to this event, just like we do now.

It truly is a great event. Get your tickets now:

  • Fascinating Rhythm
  • Seadrift Fish Market (both locations)
  • Dr. Paul Geneau Eye Care Centre
  • Guava (Woodgrove Mall)
  • Email us at tickets@friendsofnanaimojazz.com
  • Phone 250.751.3696 to reserve now

Come share an evening of quality jazz with us. It is always an awesome evening!

Summer Music Education Funding available again

Once again, the Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society is accepting applications from students requesting funds to cover some or all of the costs associated with summer jazz camps.

Visit Music Education Funding to learn more.

Jazz Affair Nanaimo

Jazz Affair Nanaimo Poster 2012

The 7th annual Jazz Affair will be held at Beban Park Social Centre on May 25th and will reflect the great jazz talent of Nanaimo city, starring Christine Jensen (saxophone) and Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), along with a Nanaimo All Star Band and the award-winning Wellington Jazz Bands.

Montreal-based saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen has been described as "an original voice on the international jazz scene ... [and] one of Canada’s most compelling composers" by Mark Miller of the Globe and Mail.

New York-based Ingrid Jensen ... "plays trumpet and flugelhorn with all the brilliance and fire of a true virtuoso, following the spirit of the muse as she creates ... warm, sensitive, exciting and totally honest..." — Marian McPartland.

If you wish to purchase a meal at the Jazz Affair, you can enjoy the food stylings of Mrs. Riches Restaurant.

A well-stocked silent auction will once again be available for your buying pleasure.

All the proceeds from the Jazz Affair go towards music clinics, instrument purchases, scholarships and band camp bursaries for local jazz students.

Stay tuned for ticket buying information — they will once again be available in advance at local outlets in Nanaimo as well as from Wellington Secondary Jazz students.

Mini-concert Fri, Mar 30, 2012

Christian Fabian Mike Longo

The Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society presents Dizzy Gillespie's piano Player, Mike Longo and, from the Lionel Hampton Band, Christian Fabian on bass.

On Friday, March 30th, 2012, there is a mini-concert in the Wellington Secondary Band Room from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Students, family and friends are encouraged and welcome to attend.

Spaghetti Fundraiser 2011

Spaghetti Fundraiser Poster 2011

It's that time of year again. The Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society is hosting its annual Spaghetti Dinner fund raiser.

We'd like you to join us at the Cavallotti Lodge on Friday, Oct 28. The spaghetti will be great (as always) and the entertainment fantastic, provided by the Wellington Secondary big bands from Grades 9 through 12 and combos.

Tickets are free for children 5 and under, $8 for kids 6 - 10 and only $15 for ages 11 - adult. We look forward to seeing you out on October 28th for a great family event - good food and good music and the opportunity to support the enrichment of music education.

If you're volunteering (or would like to volunteer), here's the latest schedule: 2011 Spaghetti Dinner Duty Roster.pdf.

Jazz Affair Harlem - Letter to Parents

Jazz Affair 2011 Letter to Parents

Attention all parents. Please click on the image to the left to read an important notice about the upcoming Jazz Affair Harlem.

We're looking for your help in supporting this year's fund-raising event and hope you are able to enjoy our special night with us.

 
 
 

Jazz Affair Harlem

Jazz Affair Poster 2011

A taste of Harlem's jazz scene is on the bill for the sixth annual Jazz Affair. New York's gifted Terell Stafford headlines the 2011 Jazz Affair -- Harlem, the annual fundraising event hosted by the Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society held at Beban Park Social Centre on May 27th. With sidemen Brad Turner (piano) and Jesse Cahill (drums) from Vancouver and Vancouver Island's Ken Lister on bass, the evening promises stellar jazz performances. Stafford currently plays with the GRAMMY award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and is also a member of the GRAMMY nominated Clayton Brothers Quintet. Besides many other jazz credentials, Stafford was featured on Diana Krall's 2006 album From This Moment On.

The evening's list of entertainment also includes the big band sound of Decadence, and the senior bands and combos from Wellington Secondary, Kirkwood Dance studios and a combo from Dover Bay Secondary. People wishing to purchase a meal at the Jazz Affair can enjoy the food stylings of Mrs. Riches and a well-stocked silent auction will be available for people's buying pleasure.

All the proceeds from Jazz Affair go towards music clinics, instrument purchases, scholarships and band camp bursaries for local jazz students.

Tickets are available at Fascinating Rhythm, Dr. Paul Geneau Eye Care Nanaimo, and the SeaDrift Fish Markets. Ticket purchases can also be made at 250-751-3696 or email tickets@friendsofnanaimojazz.com.

The Lew Tabackin Trio

Lew Tabackin Trio in Concert

Vancouver Island University Music Department presents the The Lew Tabackin Trio

Wednesday, March 24, 2010, at 8:00 p.m.

Malaspina Theatre

Tenor saxophone and flute legend Lew Tabackin will be accompanied by Boris Kozlov an bass and Mark Taylor on drums.

This is an event not to be missed. The Vancouver Island University Jazz Studies Program is committed to providing its students, as well as the Nanaimo community, the opportunity to hear and see international and local jazz artists. The music community is fortunate that Mr. Tabackin continues to tour. Please mark this date on your social calendars! Thursday March 25 at 10:30 am the trio will be conducting a two hour master class. There is no charge for this event and it takes place in the music department at VIU.

General Admission: $20.00 / Students: $18

Tickets are available at Tom Lee Music, Music Maxx, Fascinating Rhythm, and at the door.

For more information contact Greg Bush at gregory.bush@viu.ca or by phone at 250 753-3245 ext: 2107

Steve Turre in Concert

Steve Turre in Concert

The Vancouver Island University Jazz Studies department presents jazz trombonist extraordinaire Steve Turre in concert on Monday, November 16, 2009, at 8:00 pm.

The concert will take place in the Malaspina Theatre on the VIU campus.

Mr. Turre will be accompanied by VIU faculty members Bob Murphy on the piano, Ken Lister on the bass and drummer Jesse Cahill.

In addition to being in the orchestra on NBC's Saturday Night Live show, Mr. Turre's performance credits read like a who's who of the jazz world. Among countless others, he's performed with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and Dizzy Gillespie, and he's currently a major jazz voice in his own right.

http://www.steveturre.com

This is an event not to be missed. The Vancouver Island University Jazz Studies Program is committed to providing its students, as well as the Nanaimo Community the opportunity, to hear and see world class jazz artists.

On Tuesday November 17, at 10:30 Mr. Turre will conduct a two hour clinic and master class that will be free and open to the public.

It will take place at the Malaspina Campus of Vancouver Island University in room 105 in building 320.

Tickets are $20 general and $17 for students and seniors and will be available at Tom Lee Music and Fascinating Rhythm and at the door. Special group rates are possible.

For more information contact Greg Bush at gregory.bush@viu.ca or by phone at 250 753-3245 ext: 2107

Spaghetti Fundraiser

Spaghetti Fundraiser Poster 2009

I would like to invite you to the Friends of the Nanaimo Jazz Society's Spaghetti Dinner fund raiser. We applied for the BC 150 grant (a grant that celebrates the 150th birthday of BC). We are running this event to raise funds for sound recording equipment and an Artist in Residence event. The sound equipment will allow students to record tapes for auditions as well as bring a new element of music study - recording engineering - into the Jazz Studies program at Wellington.

The Artist in Residence program will bring all jazz students at Wellington together with bassist Christian Fabian and alto saxophonist Cleave Guyton Jr., both from New York and both members of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Band. Students will have an opportunity to participate in clinics, master classes and concerts from November 27th through 29th. They will work with professional charts and receive instruction from these professional recording artists.

Earning the money to make this possible occurs by having 100 volunteers contribute five hours of volunteer labour for the Spaghetti Dinner. Many parents have stepped forward to prepare food, sell tickets, take tickets, clear plates and wash dishes. Now we need students to practice extra hard for this earlier-than-usual performance, perform and volunteer at the event to make up their five hours.

Just as importantly, we need an audience. The spaghetti will be great, and you get in the door for only $15 for people 11 and older; $8 for ages 6 to 10 plus performers, and free for those under 5. The music will be fantastic with big bands from Grades 9 through 12 and combos on stage. All the funds raised from the dinner will also be used to support both the Artist in Residence program, music stands and the recording equipment. Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society also hopes to purchase a tent so we can arrange gigs for student performers and protect them from the elements.

Tickets can be purchased from Jenny Webb at 758-1869 and Sybille Jones at 758-0536. I look forward to seeing you out on October 30th for a great family event - good food and good music and the opportunity to support the enrichment of music education.

Regards

Tanya Lebans

President, Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society

About the Society

Our mission is to promote arts and culture through music and to provide a nurturing environment for young jazz musicians to reach their full potential

With generous help of local businesses, musicians and educators, the City of Nanaimo and many volunteers, we provide music enrichment programs such as clinics and workshops, mentoring opportunities, bursaries and merit awards, and jazz-filled events highlighting Nanaimo’s rich musical and cultural heritage. Our work is focused on developing Canada’s future generations of musicians, composers, arrangers and producers. We support young musicians who have the interest and desire to improve their level of musicianship.

By bringing world-class professional musicians to our own backyard, clinics and workshops become more affordable to a greater number of young and aspiring musicians. When young musicians are able to interact, learn from and associate with professional musicians they only hear about or see on television, they are challenged and encouraged to take their music to the next level. And with opportunities to perform alongside professional musicians, our next generation of musicians receive invaluable introduction into what it takes to be succeed in the bigger picture.

In the past 3 years, our clinicians have included musicians and educators like Ingrid Jensen, Brian Lillos, Jodi Proznick, Phil Dwyer, Brad Turner, Christian Fabian, Jesse Cahill, Christine Jensen, Steve Kaldestad, Tilden Webb, and most recently — Ken Lister, Hugh Fraser, Dave Robbins, Ross Taggart and Cam Ryaga.

The groundwork to organize a community-based music society began in mid-February 2005. By early January 2006, twenty-eight founding members, among them noted Juno-award musicians Christine Jensen (Montreal), Phil Dwyer (Toronto/Qualicum), and Buff Allen (Vancouver), veteran jazz instructors Bryan Stovell and Steve Jones, retired Nanaimo band instructor Gerald Taylor, and Wellington Secondary School music director Carmella Luvisotto endorsed the society’s constitution and bylaws.

On the 28th day February 2006, the Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society was officially registered in British Columbia as a non-profit society.

In the fall of 2005, a planning committee composed of volunteers and founding members came together to organize the society’s first community-based fund-raising jazz event. The organizers wanted an event that promoted Nanaimo as Vancouver Island’s Festival City that highlighted the city’s rich and vibrant jazz community, and capitalized on the legacy and inspiration of great musicians such as Diana Krall, Ingrid and Christine Jensen and others. More importantly, it had to be an event where young musicians could learn from, associate with and perform with professional musicians.

Jazz Affairs

Nanaimo — 2012

Jazz Affair Nanaimo Poster 2012

Jazz Affair Nanaimo featured saxophonist Christine Jensen with sister Ingrid Jensen on trumpet.

Also performing were a Nanaimo All Star Band and the award-winning Wellington Jazz Bands.

Harlem — 2011

Jazz Affair Poster 2011

Jazz Affair Harlem featured New York's gifted Terell Stafford along with Brad Turner (piano) and Jesse Cahill (drums) from Vancouver and Vancouver Island's Ken Lister on bass.

Also performing was the big band sound of Decadence, and the senior bands and combos from Wellington Secondary and dancers from the Kirkwood Dance Academy.

Chicago — 2010

Jazz Affair Poster 2010

Jazz Affair Chicago featured guitarist Corey Christiansen, Ross Taggart on tenor sax, drummer Ed Littlefield, Christian Fabian on bass, local big band Decadence plus Wellington Jazz Bands and the Kirkwood Dance Academy.

 
 
 

Paris — 2009

Jazz Affair Poster 2009

The multitalented Jason Marsalis headlined the 2009 Jazz Affair, the annual fund raising event hosted by the Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society held at Beban Park Social Centre on May 29th. With the sidemen including Vancouver's Brad Turner (trumpet), New York's Christian Fabian (bass) and former Wellington student Adam Cormier (drums), the evening delivered stellar jazz performances. Marsalis, the youngest of the famous New Orleans-based Jazz family, plays both vibes and drums. His work has been compared to the late Lionel Hampton. The evening's list of entertainment also included the big band sound of Decadence, and the senior bands and combos from Wellington Secondary School. People wishing to purchase a meal at the Jazz Affair enjoyed the food stylings of Mrs. Riches and a well-stocked silent auction was available for people's buying pleasure.

View Photographs

Old Havana — 2008

Jazz Affair Poster 2008

Our 2008 event Old Havana Jazz Affair was a huge success. It took place on May 30, 2008 at the Beban Social Center. Principal clinicians and performers included, among others, US piano sensation Gerald Clayton, Canadian veteran bassist and educator Ken Lister, 2008 Juno Saxophonist of the Year Phil Dwyer, and local 19-year old drummer Adam Cormier.

Also performing were Decadence, Wellington Secondary School combos Upbeat and Don’t Doo Dhat, NDSS combo The Five Fingers and the Wellington Secondary School Grade 11 and 12 jazz bands.

New Orleans — 2007

Jazz Affair Poster 2007

Encouraged by its first jazz affair, the Society went on to produce yet another successful fund-raiser The New Orleans Jazz Affair on June 1, 2007. Principal clinicians were bassist Christian Fabian, Juno-awardees Phil Dwyer on saxophone, Brad Turner on trumpet and keyboard, and young Nanaimo drummer and Malaspina student Adam Cormier. Decadence, a local band led by Steve Jones captivated the audience with their eclectic mix of music. Young and upcoming vocalist Emma Love returned from studies on the east coast to help raise money for young musicians.

Manhattan — 2006

Jazz Affair Poster 2006

On April 13 2006, the Society launched its first fund-raising production The Manhattan Jazz Affair with saxophonist-arranger-composer Christine Jensen as guest artist and principal clinician. The event raised several thousand dollars for clinics and workshops as well as music scholarships and bursaries donated by local friends.

Other Ventures

Musicians in Training

In the summer of 2005, the Society introduced Musicians in Training, a self-motivated after-school extra-curricular program that runs into the summer months. This allowed young musicians to volunteer their time and earn practice hours playing before public audiences in the community. Young musicians as young as 13 participated in various gigs around town, at the city waterfront, in civic and charity events.

Around Nanaimo

The Society promoted a greater recognition and appreciation of music in the community through participation in local events such as the Nanaimo’s Marina Boat Festival, Save On Dragon Boat, TheatreOne, Vancouver Island Symphony, and others.

Cultural Capitals of Canada

Last year, the Society was one of a number of principal arts and cultural groups that participated in Nanaimo’s 2008 Cultural Capital of Canada celebrations. As a principal cultural group, the Society, through the leadership of founding members Steve Jones, Carmella Luvisotto and Bryan Stovell, produced Capturing the Music — School Jazz Program at the Port Theatre on April 22, 2008.