Ride the improv flow with Sinistrio

Sinistrio works best when band members are interacting and playing off each other, in other words, riding the improv flow.

According to Jeff Drummond, Sinistrio works best when band members are interacting and playing off each other, in other words, riding the improv flow.

“That comes from playing together a lot,” he says. “It isn’t something you can rehearse. But that’s why we’re together, because we have that chemistry.”

Sinistrio, featuring Drummond on guitar, Jon May on drums and Steve Fletcher on Hammond organ, will perform at Joe’s Garage on March 30 at 8 p.m.

Sinistrio is a play on words combining trio with the Latin reference to left as Fletcher provides the bass component with his left hand.

The genre is a tough to categorize.

“We’re rooted in groove-based funky jazz but the music doesn’t stay there,” says Drummond. “We play tons of different stuff, not just jazz, usually more rock or pop from the last couple of decades.

“Our music evolves. We respond to each other and how someone is playing,” he continues. “If one of us gets more aggressive and rocky or more ethereal, the other two know what to do. We straddle a lot of genres and boundaries.”

The trio met five years ago at a jam Drummond hosted in Calgary before moving to Black Creek 18 months ago.

The challenge to playing together after his move was accepting that the band couldn’t do one night gigs anymore.

“We play together less frequently but tour more,” Drummond explains. “Now we organize groups of shows rather than just one or two.”

Last year a 2.5-week tour saw them performing in Calgary, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Ottawa and numerous places in between.

But Drummond keeps busy even when not on the road. As a recording engineer and producer, a top priority after he relocated to the Valley was to find a studio where he could work on projects for himself and others. It didn’t take long to connect with Paul Keim at Dove Creek Recording Studio.

“Paul and I spent some time together and discovered we have similar views about recording, studios and quality of work. I started doing a couple of projects there and now it seems I’m at the studio most days.”

The day after their Courtenay concert, Sinistrio will set up at Dove Creek Studio to begin recording their third CD. Drummond figures they’ll spend four or five days recording and then he’ll put in another week mixing it.

“We don’t have a name for the CD yet,” he says. “Each CD seems to take on a life of its own once we start recording. Often what happens in the studio is different than what we think it will be. And the title comes out of that.”

Drummond is well-known as a freelance guitarist and has toured North America and the U.K. with a variety of artists, playing everything from jazz to rock, R&B and roots. He’s also appeared on high-profile national TV and radio programs and shared stages at festivals, theatres and clubs with world-class musicians.

He studied classical guitar and is a graduate of the jazz performance program at Mount Royal University in Calgary. When not touring or recording, he shares his 20 years of hands-on experience in the music industry by teaching guitar.

Local music lovers have sampled Drummond’s musicianship at the Georgia Straight Jazz Society’s Thursday night jazz sessions and at Martine’s Bistro in Comox.

This summer Drummond will teach guitar at Courtenay Youth Music Centre and he and John Hyde will play several times at the Filberg Festival.

Sinistrio has performed once before at Joe’s Garage to a sell-out crowd, so advance tickets to the March 30 gig are advised. Tickets, in advance, are at Bop City Records and at the door.

For more information about Sinistrio, visit www.sinistriomusic.com.


Comox Valley Record

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