Dwyer rocks Vancouver with jazz

Local jazz legend Phil Dwyer gives Lower Mainlanders a taste of Oceanside jazz

Qualicum Beach’s own Phil Dwyer impresses at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Qualicum Beach’s own Phil Dwyer impresses at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

With music festival season upon us there is no shortage of great performances to be had and Qualicum Beach jazz legend Phil Dwyer proved once again why he is in such demand and is booked at some of the summer’s biggest music events throughout the country.

His summer tour kicked off with a performance in Vancouver at the annual TD International Jazz Festival on June 24.

The multi Juno award winning musician was among a line-up of established greats and up-and-coming stars who performed at venues throughout the city over 10 days.

Dwyer and his band a sextet hand-picked from the west coast jazz scene performed on an outdoor stage in front of the art gallery.

The group played music from Dwyer’s CBC Radio 2 commissioned Canadian Songbook Project.

The tight set included the music of Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who and Ian Tyson among others and needless to say the crowd was appreciative of the beautifully expansive contemporary jazz.

After the show fans lined up to get CD’s singed by the saxophonist/arranger.

Dwyer’s show was one of the many free venues scattered around the Robson Square/Vancouver Art Gallery blocks. The festival’s four downtown outdoor stages saw a parade of incredible talent.

I enjoyed two days of jazz and blues, only a slice of the more than 1,800 musicians and 300 concerts.

The festival spanned every musical style and many of the acts really don’t fit into the conventional categorization of jazz.

A highlight was the Avett Brothers concert at the Orpheum June 26.

The spectacular show by the rowdy but sensitive brothers from North Carolina was a masterpiece and proved why fans just can’t get enough of their stunning songwriting and performing.

Their show included countrified boogie, acoustic roots-based music as well as powerful grunge-era rock.


The siblings draw on a wide range of influences and inspirations… folk, punk, honky tonk, bluegrass, country, ragtime, jazz and blues. Highlighted by fraternal harmonies including I and Love and You, and foot stomping punkgrass the concert handily makes this reporters top ten list.