Last spring, people poured into the Vernon Jazz Club off the streets, as our downtown was filled with the glorious big band sound of Capilano University “A” Band and “Nitecap” Choir.
Immediately after these hot musicians performed at the club, to absolutely outstanding reviews, our bookings director begged them for a repeat performance hoping they wouldn’t mind making the long trek back.
Not only did they not mind making the journey, Dennis Esson, jazz studies coordinator and instructor, remarked that our heritage venue and awesome room acoustics made our club unique. As well, the Capilano University students adored our venue, spending their off-stage time examining all the jazz paraphernalia and old photos.
“There’s no club like the Vernon Jazz Club in Vancouver,” Esson told VJS volunteers.
Capilano University, located in North Vancouver, offers a premiere four-year bachelor of music and jazz studies degree, as well as a two-year diploma program, and is recognized nationwide as one of Canada’s top jazz training institutions. Focusing on jazz performance and composition, the degree program sets extremely high standards of musicianship and draws from amongst the strongest music students in Western Canada.
The world-renowned instructors accompanying these young jazz musicians are tremendously exciting to experience.
Brad Turner leads the big band instrumentation. His phenomenal talents as a trumpeter, pianist, drummer, and composer make him one of Canada’s most sought after and highly esteemed musicians. Turner’s groups have opened for McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry, Diana Krall and Tony Bennett.
Steve Kaldestad has become one of the most in-demand saxophonists on the scene. His musical career has taken him from the Canadian prairies to Montreal, obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, to London, England, for eight fantastic years playing and recording, and finally to the B.C. coast, where he is extremely busy teaching, playing and recording.
Jared Burrows, guitarist extraordinaire, is a dynamic force on the Vancouver scene as a performer, composer and community organizer. He works in a huge variety of ensembles in jazz, new music, and world music settings and leads the Jared Burrows Quartet and Sextet and the Vancouver Improvisers Orchestra.
Esson has recorded numerous CBC sessions as a featured soloist. He is also the lead trombonist with groups such as the Vancouver Ensemble of Improvisation (VEJI), Orquesta Goma Dura, Jill Townsend Big Band, Hard Rubber Orchestra, and the Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra.
Rejean Marois, CAPP’s Jazz Studies choral director, has published original works for jazz band, choir, jazz choir, and concert band. For more than 15 years, he has been in demand throughout North America as a clinician, adjudicator, conductor, music advisor and arranger.
Capilano University “A” Band & “Nitecap” Choir will be onstage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31 Street) April 24 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Cash only bar on site. Tickets $20 online at vernonjazz.com and at Expressions of Time (2901-30 Ave).