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The Georgia Straight Jazz Society

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

Sam Kirmayer Trio

September 19th 2019 at 7:30pm

Members $10 non members $12

Having opened its season with a dynamic organ quartet and followed up last week with a stunning guitar trio, the Georgia Straight Jazz Society combines guitar and organ, presenting the Sam Kirmayer Trio featuring Ben Paterson and David Laing.

Kirmayer's first CD, 'Opening Statement,' issued in 2017 shortly after he graduated from McGill University, received rave reviews and the Julian Award for Excellence for Emerging Canadian Artists. Katie Malloch, former host of CBC's Jazz Beat and Tonic, wrote "Sam's dexterity, his love for the richness of jazz and his sheer joy at making music are all over this CD, a great introduction to Sam's solid sense of swing; get ready to groove!"

Montrealer Sam Kirmayer credits his jazz career to seeing the Blues Brothers movie and getting a beat-up, one-string classical guitar from a garage sale. Immersing himself in the history of the guitar in jazz Sam was "blown away by the depth of expression some people had been able to pull out of the instrument. People like Jim Hall, Grant Green, Jimmy Raney and Kenny Burrell all have such a personal touch. Once I caught on to that, I had very little interest in any of the effects or pedals that some guitarists go in for."

"A monster musician with an incredible tone" (CBC Music) Sam Kirmayer is touring in support of his second CD: 'High and Low.' To complement his warm tone and lyrical focus, Sam turned to New York-based organist Ben Paterson. Thomas Conrad in Jazz Times asserts that Ben "may be the most purely musical organist out there," and Frank-John Hadley wrote in Downbeat Magazine that Ben is "as soulful a pianist/organist as exists anywhere." Ben's work is tied to the tradition of groups that emphasize subtle and intuitive communication between the musicians. In 2018 he was named as the First Place Winner of the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition.

Senior statesman of the trio is drummer Dave Laing, a member of the McGill University jazz faculty who has toured the world and appeared on over 60 recordings with Mulgrew Miller, Slide Hampton, and Benny Golson, and Canadians Oliver Jones, Ranee Lee, and John Stetch among many others.

Whether it's the exquisite chording and comping on the jazz standard "On A Clear Day" or the sharp and clean melodic lines of Sam's original '"Cazelias Oubliť" the band's renditions are never overstated and always expressed with sensitivity and eloquence. This is the first opportunity to hear these musicians on the Avalanche stage.

Browse the website and select the calendar tab to see the superb line-up of acts we have booked for the 2019-2020 season (September through May). Members enjoy warm, safe, friendly gatherings each week, with a wide array of live jazz genres, and the option of adding affordable, wonderful food off the pub menu or the jazz night dinner special. Join us Thursday at 7:30 at The Avalanche.

It is all rush seating, there are no reservations.

Thank you for your support of the jazz society's events over the past five months of 2019. It's been our most successful year, and it fulfills our goal of keeping jazz live in Comox Valley.

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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  • Reduced ticket prices for GSJS-sponsored events
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  • A chance to influence the music and arts in your area!
  • Belonging to an organization of like minded people with a great social network
  • For the remainder of the 2019 year, $5 Student; $10 single; $20 family
  • From January 2020, annual membership, expiring 31st December, is $5 Student; $15 single; $30 family.

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