The Georgia Straight Jazz Society

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

December 8th at 7:30pm

Turboprop - Ernesto Cervini

Members $10, non members $12

Another special jazz performance hits the stage at Avalanche Bar and Grill this Thursday when Toronto-based Turboprop returns after nearly two years. In March, 2015 they blew us away with a brilliant concert, and we're excited that the leader, drummer-composer Ernesto Cervini has included us in his Western Canadian tour.

Cervini's been making a name for himself as a consummate bandleader and in-demand collaborator, praised for his deep musicality and infectious energy. Downbeat described his fluid style as one that "exemplifies 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee'." Modern Drummer Magazine said: "Cervini recalls such old-schoolers as Art Blakey and Billy Higgins. It's his robust, magnetic personality that fascinates consistently." After releasing three quartet discs, Cervini made his latest venture a sextet album, with Turboprop released by Anzic Records in 2014. The Ottawa Citizen said: "With his fourth disc, Cervini has strikingly raised his game... With its fetching writing for horns, palpable sense of team spirit, highly focused solos and varied emotional depths, Turboprop is full of jazz pleasures." He is also a member of Myriad3, alongside keyboardist Chris Donnelly and bassist Dan Fortin. JazzTimes called the collaborative trio "Canada's answer to groups such as The Bad Plus and E.S.T, bearing a similar open-minded perspective and unpredictability." Myriad3's second album, The Where, was nominated for a Juno Award; and the band was also nominated for an Indie Music Award (presented by Sirius/XM Radio) for 2014 Jazz Group of the Year in Canada. But we have the full sextet on stage; Turboprop, Cervini and company - his usual quartet mates Joel Frahm (tenor saxophone), Dan Loomis (double-bass) and Adrean Farrugia (piano) joined by Tara Davidson (alto/soprano sax) and William Carn (trombone) - and their music ranges from Charlie Parker's "Red Cross" and Keith Jarrett's "The Windup" to the ballad "Cheer Up Charlie" (from the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Cervini's arrangement of Debussy's piano prelude "The Engulfed Cathedral." Then there are the originals, including Frahm's burner "De Molen" and five by Cervini: the ballads "Three Angels" (dedicated to three nieces who passed away unexpectedly) and "Marion Theresa" (written and named for his grandmother), plus the upbeat "Unnecessary Mountain," "Bindi Bop" and "Fear of Flying."

Reflecting on his role as a drummer-bandleader, Cervini says that it's "more about being a drummer-composer in many ways for me. With a lot of my tunes, rhythm is the thing, but they aren't all drum solos and pieces in 13/8. I'm not writing vehicles for my drumming prowess, or rhythm etudes. I'm trying to write engaging, involving music, whether the tune is playful or taps some deeper emotion. The time signature doesn't define the music; the piece of music determines the rhythm. And with my bands, the rhythm and time tend to be elastic. We're interacting with freedom, so the music flows naturally."

Clearly, this will be an exceptional, well attended concert, and you should consider arriving a little earlier than usual if you're planning on finding the best seats or meeting friends for dinner before the program begins at 7:30 pm.

Note: admission on December 15th will be by ticket only. At press-time there are a few tickets remaining for B3 Kings Christmas Concert on December 15th. If you're planning on catching this great show, it's best to call ahead to Bop City or Red Carpet, to make sure there's still some tickets remaining for sale.

For full information on the exciting line-up planned between now and the end of May, browse the website or find us on Facebook.

GSJS showcases jazz live in the Comox Valley, giving music lovers an opportunity to enjoys local, regional and internationally-known jazz musicians.

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