The NightCrawlers, who played at the Avalanche on March 2nd, is a tough act to follow, but local group Forbidden Jazz is more than up to the task!
Forbidden Jazz headlines the Avalanche Bar & Grill on 8th Street in downtown Courtenay on Thursday, March 6. Featuring Jake Masri on trumpet, flugelhorn, and vocals, Michael Eddy on keyboard, Grahame Edwards on bass, and Neil Clark on drums, Forbidden Jazz will strive to reach audiences of all ages by performing a wide mix of timeless standards plus original charts. The band members represent more than four decades of experience and with their unique blend of voice, brass, and strings, will weave their collective magic through two sets of entertaining music.
Keyboard master Michael Eddy is a recent addition to the trio, replacing Jim Chew on guitar. Although relatively new to the valley, Mike has been fortunate enough to collaborate with many fantastic musicians over the past few years, including those in the Lensmen, Jazztet, DMN, and the Campbell River based Little Big Band. His music degree in classical piano performance has greatly enhanced his love for Jazz. During a long and distinguished career, Mike has performed with a multitude of groups from Dixie to Rock, and was Musical Director for Keyano College Theatre in Fort McMurray for ten years. Mike is also the recipient of both the Alberta Band Director of the Year and the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award.
Talented multi-instrumentalist Grahame Edwards studied music at the University of British Columbia and holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from the University of Calgary. Aside from both acoustic and electric bass, Grahame also plays percussion and trumpet. He has appeared with countless local ensembles and productions in every genre from choral to musical theatre, big band jazz to classical. His first musical love, however, lies with improvised music and he enjoys playing and composing his own jazz tunes. In addition to performing, Grahame has taught both privately and in the Campbell River School District, and enjoys sharing his music by conducting workshops and clinics. Over the years, he has studied with many respected Jazz musicians including Don Clarke, Phil Nimmons, Chris Nelson, and Paul Horn.
Joining the combo is Victoria born drummer Neil Clark, who spent many years collaborating with some of the best local musicians as an active member of the jazz community. For much of the 1980’s, Neil performed on cruise ships touring the world while backing many well-known groups and entertainers. Since relocating to the Comox Valley in 1996, he has performed as often as possible (around his demanding work life), with musicians such as the Annie Siegel Band, Jazztet, DMN, and others. Having recently retired, Neil is now in a position to devote more time towards his love of music by playing at the Avalanche on a regular basis. Forbidden Jazz is honored that he has agreed to be a welcome addition for this special repeat performance at the Avalanche, and invite both first time patrons and seasoned “jazz veterans” to check out his wealth of experience and impressive skills behind the kit.
No stranger to the local music scene, band leader Jake Masri draws his inspiration from classical repertoire to musical theater to Afro-Cuban/New Orleans, and Bebop styles. His passion for jazz is closely linked to artists such as Herb Alpert, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, and Arturo Sandoval. As a performance major at VCC, UVIC, and UBC, Jake studied trumpet with Boyd Hood, Gerald Gerbrecht, and trombonist, Dave Robbins. His studies in jazz exposed him to professionals such as Mike Herriot, Bill Clarke, and Hugh Fraser during the local CYMC summer program. Among his favorite vocal instructors are Ann Mortifee, Rhiannon, Ysaye Barnwell, and Wendy Nixon Stothert. Since moving to Comox in 2002, Jake has appeared with Quintessence Brass, 6th Street, Jazztown, and Jazz Noir combos, Sounds of 17, the Georgia Straight, Arrowsmith, and Little Big Bands, Zandhunga Latin Combo, Strathcona Symphony Orchestra, and Just in Time Jazz Choir.
The Georgia Straight Jazz Society invites you to join Forbidden Jazz
for a casual, entertaining evening of jazz. Music commences at 7:30 pm and admission is $5 at the door. As usual, the licensed kitchen will offer a wide selection of home-style sweet and savory dishes along with beverages. As this is a popular band you are encouraged to arrive early if you want the best seats.