Photo submitted by Phil Dwyer                                Phil Dwyer (pictured above) will be performing alongside Brad Turner and Ken Lister at Knox United Church on March 25.

Photo submitted by Phil Dwyer Phil Dwyer (pictured above) will be performing alongside Brad Turner and Ken Lister at Knox United Church on March 25.

Celebrating Spring at Knox church in Parksville

Tickets can be purchased through Knox, Mulberry and Oceanside Yoga

After what feels like one of the longest winters, people will get a chance to celebrate spring this Saturday.

Phil Dwyer, along with Ken Lister and Brad Turner, will be performing at Knox United Church (345 Pym St., Parksville) on March 25 at 7:30 p.m. for the Celebrating Spring concert.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $15 for students at Knox, Mulberry Bush Book Stores and Oceanside Yoga Centre.

Dwyer said he’s been playing with Turner for about 35 years and he’s been playing with Lister since about 1985.

At the concert, Dwyer said, turner will be playing trumpet, piano and drums, while Dwyer will be playing a couple of different saxophones and piano.

“Ken plays the bass. He is the stabilizing influence in the band,” Dwyer said with a laugh.

Because of the multi-instrumentalists, Dwyer said the evening will have different textures and a variety of sounds.

“If you think about all those different instruments and all those different combinations,” Dwyer said.

“You could have piano, bass and drums. You could have piano, bass and saxophone. You could have drums, bass and saxophone. You could have trumpet, piano and bass.

“There is a lot of different combinations and everybody is equally comfortable on these different instruments.”

Dwyer is a member of the Order of Canada and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Conservatory. He has been a fixture on the Canadian, and international, music scenes since he was a teenager. He has been a featured performer, arranger, composer and/or producer on hundreds of recording sessions including a dozen Juno Award-winning albums and over thirty others which have been nominated.

Turner has released nine albums, seven as a trumpeter with the Brad Turner Quartet, and two as a pianist with his trio. In 1997 and 1998, Turner won Juno Awards for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, recognizing his work in the internationally acclaimed electric jazz group Metalwood.

Lister, a professional jazz bassist and teacher for over 30 years, has played, recorded and toured with some of the top musicians in the jazz world. Lister has won two Juno Awards and toured extensively in Canada, the United Kingdom, Cuba, South and Central America, as well as Australia.

Having started his career in the Vancouver music scene in the 1980s, Ken now lives in Qualicum Beach, teaching and performing locally, as well as maintaining a connection with the Vancouver scene, often collaborating there with visiting jazz legends from New York city.

The concert Celebrating Spring, Dwyer said, will give audiences something more to celebrate this year.

“We’ve picked a lot of tunes that are spring tunes,” Dwyer said. “It’s such an optimistic and uplifting time of year. I’m sure everyone has got their favourite songs about spring.”

In past performances, Dwyer said he has taken requests from the audience during intermission.

“That always seems to create a real connection with the audience,” said Dwyer, adding that he’s looking into incorporating that into Saturday’s performance.

“You’ll start playing a tune and you can look around and you can tell who requested it because they’ll get all excited.”

Dwyer said playing requests is doable since the three artists know plenty of songs. He also said the requests don’t usually come out of left field.

“Between the three of us, we know in the thousands of songs and the people that are coming to the concert, are going to know the kind of stuff that we do,” he said.

Dwyer said it’s a fun little thing to do if an artist isn’t promoting a new album or doing a retrospective of their hits.

“Sometimes picking the songs to play is the hardest thing if you know so many songs. How are you going to pick which ones?”

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