The Georgia Straight Jazz Society

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

Thursday January 24th 2019 at 7:30pm

Blue Tonic

Members $10, non-members $12

After a sequence of out-of-town acts Blue Tonic is an exciting new local jazz trio of seasoned players from the Comox Valley, featuring Ralph Barrat (keyboard & vocals), Bruce Jacobs (bass & vocals), and Mike Berman (drums).

The band covers a wide variety of jazz styles as well as popular tunes done in its own eclectic pulse. Visit www.bluetonic.net to view a live, studio-recorded video sampler including a Beatles classic, as well as swing, waltz, ballad, blues and Latin standards.

Ralph is one of the area's busiest piano/vocalists who plays jazz up and down the Island, in Vancouver, on cruise ships and abroad, crooning Sinatra-style, or Nat King Cole-style behind a piano. Ralph is currently involved with numerous jazz groups as well as 50's rock, and country swing groups, and he's really excited to be playing with Bruce and Mike in this new project called Blue Tonic! Please visit www.ralphbarrat.com for more info and video samples.

Born in New England, raised in Halifax, NS, seasoned in Winnipeg, MB and now residing in Comox, BC, bassist Bruce "Jake" Jacobs has witnessed and experienced the many sides of the music business. His solid and imaginative playing has enabled him to accompany a diverse range of artists through many genres of music. Jake has performed, toured and recorded with a virtual who's who of the Canadian and international music scenes - including the Rankin Family/Sisters, Natalie MacMaster, Ramsey Lewis, Herb Ellis, Murray McLaughlin, Roger Whittaker, Colleen Peterson, Ben E. King, Anne Murray, and Petula Clark. Musical theatre is another area of expertise for Jake - he has been in the pit for over 35 professional theatre productions in several major Canadian cities. He's also a highly regarded fretted instrument technician and counts many respected artists and session players among his clients.

Mike Berman started his drumming career in Montreal and after touring with several acts throughout Canada and the US, he settled on the West Coast in the early 80s. Mike was the drummer with the Al Foreman house band at Jake O'Grady's Roadhouse in Vancouver from 1988-94. From 1993-1995, Mike ran a successful jazz house gig with the multi-talented band "The StreetCats" at the Bourbon Street Grill in Maple Ridge. Since landing in the Comox Valley, Mike has played with several acts, and was the studio drummer on Todd Butler's album "Back from the Brink" as well as Ryder Bachman's debut album. Although versed in many styles, Mike has a particular love of jazz. He believes in a "less is more" style of music and is enjoying playing with all the wonderful talent he's been able to connect with on Vancouver Island.

Browse the Calendar page of our website for more information about the 38 scheduled concerts in the forthcoming year 2019. That way, you will quickly realize why Courtenay has become a significant performance destination on the Canadian jazz scene.

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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