Jazz concert will be Phil Dwyer’s last for a while
The musical art forms of gospel and jazz will set the tone for an uplifting concert at Knox United Church on May 10 in Parksville featuring Phil Dwyer and Louise Rose.
It will be one of the last performances Qualicum Beach’s acclaimed jazzman will be doing in the area before he moves to Fredericton in August to start a brand new adventure.
Dwyer was accepted to the prestigious New Brunswick Law School and he’s already starting to get the house packed up. He said the concert on May 10 will not be his last in this community, but the countdown to moving day is on.
"We are moving soon and I thought it would be nice to do a big concert in the community before we left."
Dwyer said that he has long harbored the wish to play a concert with Rose who he considers an amazing vocalist and acknowledged it has been on his bucket list.
"I have always wanted to play with Louise. We have never done a show together … just one or two songs over the years. She is a profoundly spiritual person. Her music is rooted in gospel and music of the church as well as being a consummate jazz artist as well."
Rose is well-known in United Church circles as a choir director, pianist, music educator, inspirational speaker and star of her program on VISION TV.
Dwyer was recognized recently for his musical accomplishments and for his work as a music educator by being appointed to the Order of Canada.
The two are considered Canada's most significant musicians and will be presenting a program of familiar songs of inspiration with a spiritual-jazz flavour.
Dwyer said they will be doing some hymns and some spiritual gospel music as well as some known standards that have an uplifting message.
"I think the message we are trying to across is to lift people's spirits and focus on the positive. There is no shortage of doom and gloom out there so what we want to do is provide a little counter balance to that and help people remember we all have choices to make that can move the world in a more positive direction," he explained.
Dwyer's full time music career which started in the summer 1985 at age nineteen may be about to take a back seat over the next four years but the jazz legend said he would like to do one more concert this summer before he moves.
He said he is looking forward to his new challenges as a law student and he hopes to move back to the Island when he is done.
"It is going to be hard to leave. We have been here 10 years but it is exciting and I am looking forward to the change."
Vancouver Island's loss will be New Brunswick's gain because Dwyer said he will be playing at a jazz festival in Fredericton in September. But after that he said he will be buried in his studies.
"For the first year of school I will be mostly buckling down and being a good student," he said.
The following May he will be playing in Toronto and he will be staying on the east coast for the summer of 2015.
"We have four months off so during that time I will be doing some performing."
It's a fund raising event for Knox with proceeds being directed to Local Outreach in Oceanside.
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show on May 10 are $25 in advance and are available at the Knox United Church office, Mulberry Bush Bookstores and Oceanside Yoga.