Brazilian jazz trumpeter Amelia Thomas and her band kicked off this year’s Old City Quarter Sounds of Summer series on June 7. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Old City Quarter’s Sounds of Summer live music series now underway

Free Friday noon hour concerts taking place until Aug. 30

Free Friday noon hour live music performances are returning to the Old City Quarter as the neighbourhood once again presents its Sounds of the Summer series.

For the next three months, jazz, blues, classical and world music groups will be performing at Fitzwilliam Gate, Wesley Square and Heritage Mews. Event co-ordinator James McCrae is back for his second year curating the series and he said this year’s ensembles are all new.

“I think some of these music styles that I’m promoting are things that you wouldn’t hear as easily in a public performance or wouldn’t happen as often or if it did happen you’d pay fairly good money to go see it,” McCrae said. “And I just think people appreciate different music styles. It’s a bit of a departure from what maybe would be more easily accessible.”

Brazilian jazz trumpeter Amelia Thomas kicked off this year’s series on June 7. Gabriola Island’s Trio Sayso performs this coming Friday, June 14. On June 21 Flute Cocktail, another Gabriola act, will be performing, and James Darling, who plays with local groups like Johnny Inappropriate and Wunderbread rounds out the month’s entertainment on June 28.

The series continues at Wesley Square, with the 10-piece New Orleans-influenced Decadence horn band playing on July 5. Trumpeter and VIU jazz teacher Greg Bush presents his quintet on July 12. Dulcimerist Rick Scott and pianist Nico Rhodes are performing their Roots and Grooves show on July 19. The Screaming Gas blues band bring the Wesley Square shows to an end on July 26.

Rhodes returns to Sounds of the Summer at Heritage Mews on Aug. 2, this time performing with his mother, longtime chanteuse and Edith Piaf interpreter Joelle Rabu. The mother-son duo will be followed by the Big Mess on Aug. 9. Next up Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer will perform with his string quartet on Aug. 16. Rainer played with a different string quartet at last year’s Sounds of Summer. Singer Narissa Young will perform with her trio the next week on Aug. 23 and Knacker’s Yard, a Victoria-based Celtic band with a Protection Island connection, will wrap up the concert series with a two-hour show on Aug. 30.

WHAT’S ON … Old City Quarter Sounds of Summer series takes place Fridays at noon at Fitzwilliam Gate, 427 Fitzwilliam St., in June; Wesley Square, 335 Wesley St., in July; and Heritage Mews, 321 Wesley St., in August.

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