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At the Avalanche Bar & Grill 275 8th Street, Courtenay

Thursday, 5th February 2015 at 7:30 pm
Arrowsmith Big Band

$10 for GSJS members or $12 for non-members

We grow from strength to strength. Two weeks ago Thursday's performance by Herb Alpert Tribute band was the best ever supported in the nine years of Georgia Straight Jazz Society's regular concerts, and more than 100 music lovers enjoyed this festive night. Last week jazz fans were treated to cool west coast music, with wonderful vocals by Swing Street featuring Jackie Z.

From those two diverse performances we introduce another great shift: Big Band music. Yes, this is the full eighteen piece band, and boy, these are among the best around. The Arrowsmith Big Band says it's delighted to be returning to the jazz club at The Avalanche Bar on February 5.

They may be delighted: we're downright excited, because they always treat us to a range of great music, from classic numbers of the 40s to some of the most contemporary compositions: music of the 21st century. If you like the sound of big band music, then this is the night for you.

The band is based in Oceanside, and has among its members some of the best regional jazz players on the Central Island. Soloists include Oceanside players Dan Craven (tenor sax), Claudio Fantinato (alto and soprano sax) and Dave Stewart (trumpet), as well as Nanaimo's Greg Bush (trumpet) and Barry Miller (piano) and Courtenay's own Paul Nuez on trombone.

Originally formed in 1975, the band has enjoyed several incarnations over the years. For the last 12 years or so the band has concentrated on big band jazz from established and emerging arrangers. For this visit to The Ave, the band has selected around 20 charts in a wide variety of styles, from gentle big band ballads to driving swing.

Established arrangers such as Frank Mantooth, John LaBarbera, Bill Holman and Sammy Nestico will be featured, as well as contemporary arrangements by the current arranging wunderkind, Gordon Goodwin. Canadian writers are not left out: the sets will include charts by Rob McConnell, Pete Coulman and Vancouver's own Bobby Hales. The band always looks forward to playing for a discerning audience at Georgia Straight Jazz Society. In the year since its last played in Courtenay there have been a few changes in personnel. This week you'll discover two new faces in the sax section: Caleb Boorboom (yet another amazing young player from Oceanside) on alto, and subbing on baritone sax Rob Alsop from Ladysmith. Newcomers in the trombone line up are bass trombone player Will Oxland from Nanaimo and (subbing for yet another snowbird band member!) Courtenay's Jeff Agopsowicz.

If you keep reading about how successful the jazz club has become, or heard friends giving an excited account of how good the music is, why not treat yourself to a shock? Find out for yourself just how fortunate you are to live in a community offering you an opportunity to experience an evening of great live jazz music of all genres (over 40 shows each season) for an entry price of $10 for members, $12 for non-members. For more information, please visit Georgia Straight Jazz or see us on Facebook.

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