The Georgia Straight Jazz Society

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

February 4th at 7:30 pm - Larry Ayre Blues Trio + 1

Admission is $10 for society members, $12 for non-members.

After four wonderful January concerts, the Georgia Straight Jazz Society continues with "The Larry Ayre Blues Trio +1" on Thursday, February 4th. Although Larry is no stranger to music aficionados, musicians and his many students, this is his debut Jazz Society performance with his own ensemble at the Avalanche Bar and Grill, as part of the Thursday Night Jazz season.

"Blues With A Feeling, That's What I Have Today," sang Walter Jacobs in his classic post-war Chicago blues song. "Little" Walter was arguably the best blues harmonica player of his era, and his innovative style is said to have developed from his efforts to copy the jazz saxophonists of the 1940s, like Lester Young, Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. Blues and Jazz styles are closely interwoven, and learning to play the blues form has always been an indispensable jumping off point to learn how to improvise. In many instances the two styles share a common melodic vocabulary, and they always have shared the same rhythms.

That said, do not expect to hear a lot of slow moaning "My baby done left me" blues songs from this group. While Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" is on the set list, Larry Ayre has always favoured up tempo jump and swing tempos. The group will play numbers such as Louis Jordan's "I Want you to be my Baby" and Louis Prima's "Jump Jive and Wail", as well as some humourous originals like "I Hear the Couch Calling Me", an ode to napping written by Larry's wife, award winning songwriter Marki Nickerson.

Larry is an accomplished guitarist and music teacher who has been performing in the Comox Valley for over 25 years. Born in Montreal, he learned the basics of jazz guitar playing while attending the York University Jazz program in Toronto during the late 1970s. He lived in Vancouver for a decade, playing many gigs in different styles and honing his musical skills on guitar, bass and harmonica. Larry moved to the Comox Valley in 1990. He was leader of "The Larry Ho Blues Show" and then went on to lead "Larry Ho's Jive Five." As "2Jive" Marki and Larry went on to produce an EP of original material. You can hear some of their songs on Larry's website www.larryayreguitarist.com.

Joining the Trio as a special guest for this gig is renowned saxman Darryl "Spider" Webb on tenor and alto horns. Darryl is another former Montrealer who played his first gig there at the age of twelve. Since then he has enjoyed a long and successful career wailing on his saxophones at countless gigs in both Canada and the United States.

Greg Hill on drums and John Hyde on bass will complete the rhythm section on this evening. Greg hosted a popular jazz jam in Campbell River at the Willows pub for many years, playing with "The Blue Monks." John Hyde is an extremely accomplished acoustic bassist who needs little introduction to the Comox Valley jazz audience.

GSJS is committed to keeping jazz live, and allowing Comox Valley music lovers an opportunity to expose themselves local, regional and internationally-known jazz musicians.

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