Community Papers

Sax, singing and sutures

Justin Frey will play his sax at the Kenny Blues Boss Wayne concert Feb. 9 at the Kinsmen Complex. - Teresa MALLAM/Free Press
Justin Frey will play his sax at the Kenny Blues Boss Wayne concert Feb. 9 at the Kinsmen Complex.
— image credit: Teresa MALLAM/Free Press

Justin Frey first picked up the saxophone at age 12.

That was a few years after he began taking piano lessons (age 7) and quite a few years before he began studying medicine at UNBC. And in five months Frey, a husband and father of three, will have completed his residency requirements to become a full-fledged medical practitioner.

Reason to celebrate?

Frey nods and smiles.

“For sure. It’s been 10 years in the making.”

Why did Frey choose family medicine as a career?

“I feel that full-service family medicine allows me to exercise my skills working with people and I see this role as the quintessential expert in total health.”

Music and medicine are very enriching and fulfilling for him, Frey says, and he expects to always have both elements in his life.

“I think I’ve found that balance between the two – I hope that it would never be a case of having to choose.”

Indeed, Frey, who’s also a singer, is able to perform his balancing act with what’s traditionally termed arts and science, not just with good time-management skills but also with his own philosophy of setting high (but realistic) goals.

“I’ve learned in my life that if it’s something you want bad enough, you just have to do it, and you will always achieve some level of success. It takes persistence and  knowing your limitations – and also learning to work within those limitations.”

Frey finds playing sax on stage “very relaxing.”

“It’s a deviation from medicine that I find really rejuvenating,” he says.

On Feb. 9 he will be “bending the blues” with his black sax at a Blues Underground fundraiser concert which features  Juno award-winning musician Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne on piano.

This will be Frey’s first time playing with Wayne, although he’s played sax for other top names brought in to do shows: Paul Kype, James Rogers, Julian Fauth and others.

Frey’s also played with his own band, Soul Fried, and with well-known local musicians such as Marcel Gagnon and Mike Foottit (Single Car Garage).

He’s looking forward to going back in time.

“Kenny plays a tribute to Fats Domino and that music is the root for pretty much all of our genres today – rock, blues, country, hip, hop, etc., so I am really looking forward to experiencing  that music with an amazing artist like Kenny.”

Frey feels very strongly about community and he hopes that people will come out to support the CFIS fundraiser – and of course enjoy an evening of great music.

“Community involvement is very important,” he says. “Earl [Krushelsnicki, founder of Prince George’s Blues Underground] has really done the community a huge service bringing this kind of music into town. He’s actually made a lot of sacrifices to bring really good music here.”

Justin Frey will perform on his saxophone at the Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne with tribute songs to Fats Domino on Feb. 9 at the Kinsmen Complex, 777 Kinsmen Place. Proceeds from the fundraiser go to support CFIS 93.1 FM, Prince George’s community radio station, operated by the Prince George Community Radio Society.

CFIS 93.1 FM promotes local events and community projects and does so for free to help these events succeed.

“The station is working at expanding its listening audience,” says Krushelnicki.

“At the present time, CFIS 93.1 FM cannot be heard in parts of the city, so the station needs to raise funds to help it achieve this goal.”

Tickets for the Feb. 9 fundraiser concert/dance are $30 each and can be purchased at Books and Company.

The dance has a 50s theme, so come out in your favourite 50s-style outfits and dance the night away.


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