The Georgia Straight Jazz Society

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

March 10th at 7:30 pm - N.O.L.A. Nighthawks

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

The Georgia Straight Jazz Society celebrates the beginning of our eleventh year. On March 1st, the Comox Valley Record printed a full page featuring our achievements. You can read it on line at Comox Valley Record - Jazzing It Up. The article, though praiseworthy, neglected to mention that it is the many, hardworking volunteers that make this society the success it is today. Board members such as Anne Lawrie, weekly organizes the volunteer schedule made up of sound men, setup and take down crew, front door greeters, photographers and emcees. Bill Street wrangles with scheduling bands and Jackie Holt keeps tabs on our finances. Well done board, members and volunteers you can congratulate yourselves for our success!

Our exciting Spring Season continues with the return of Andrew Homzy's NOLA Nighthawks. Homzy's shows are always popular and always different. So what's News and what's Blues?

Andrew has arranged and prepared an entirely new program - a dirty dozen - for his return to the Avalanche - some of the first Blues compositions ever written, including "Aunt Hagar's Blues" by W.C. Handy known as the "Father of the Blues" and "Barnyard Blues" which was Side B on the very first jazz recording made in 1917. New pieces include "Joy In The Streets" composed by Vancouver clarinetist, James Danderfer and "Hurricane Season" by contemporary New Orleans trumpeter Trombone (sic) Shorty - AKA Troy Andrews. Other old/new works will include a waltz (gasp!) by Scott Joplin and a very dynamic piece which Duke Ellington, dedicated to the women of Africa.

Spanning traditional jazz repertoire to contemporary and popular New Orleans styles, Homzy's 10-piece NightHawks cooks-up an exciting gumbo stew of NOLA music - all transformed into a Mississippi melting pot of song, improvisation and dance that forms the basis for a large part of the history of 20th Century Popular American Music.

"To list the incredible mentors these musicians have had, and to list the fine jazz musicians with whom they have played, would fill pages. Homzy's NightHawks have such a wealth of talent and experience, and their passion for this music is outstanding," Homzy said in a recent interview.

Andrew Homzy's NOLA Nighthawks have played to sold-out and record-breaking audiences on Vancouver Island ranging from Courtenay to Nanaimo to Crofton and Victoria. Drawing from the best professional musicians available in Nanaimo, Andrew Homzy formed his N.O.L.A. Nighthawks in the summer of 2014. A 10-piece group, it includes Dean Boland & Greg Bush - Trumpets, Darren Nilsson & Craig Burnett - Trombones, Rod Alsop - Baritone Sax, Claudio Fantinato - Clarinet, Rob Uffen, Bass, Jesse Marshall - Guitar, Alicia Murray - Drums and Andrew Homzy - Piano & Arrangements.

A Nanaimo resident since 2009, Homzy has become a vital musical force on Vancouver Island after having been a prominent figure on the Montreal jazz scene for more than 40 years. The Andrew Homzy Jazz Orchestra has been featured many times at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and often broadcast over CBC/Radio-Canada. In 1999, Homzy was commissioned to direct a special concert/broadcast celebrating Duke Ellington's 100th birthday which was subsequently captured in a professional world class recording issued by Justin Time Records. The orchestra included musicians from 15 different countries.

So if you love New Orleans jazz, don't miss this great concert. Where else can you expect to find great live jazz prices like these?

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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