Jazz quintet at The MAC

Former Kwalicum Secondary teacher performing at the show in Parksville

The Dave Stewart Quintet will be at The MAC on Friday.

Recently retired, Stewart was a former music educator at Kwalicum Secondary School.

A few years ago, Stewart decided to form a jazz quintet with some very talented musicians in the mid-Island area who shared a love for playing jazz music.

The group’s philosophy is to interpret traditional jazz standards and original compositions from a new artistic perspective while still maintaining the original framework of the music. In the traditional spirit of jazz, each group member presents their unique spontaneous improvisation on the harmonic structure of the music while maintaining the integrity of the music.

The show is April 8 at The MAC (133 McMillan St., Parksville). Tickets are $15 and $12 for Oceanside Community Arts Council members.

Tickets can be purchased at Cranky Dog (154 Morison Ave., Parksville) or at The MAC. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

Dave Stewart, trumpet

Stewart taught music for 35 years receiving many accolades and awards as a high school band and choral teacher, provincially, nationally and internationally.

He was involved with Bard to Broadway for a number of years playing trumpet and conducting in musicals.

Stewart still teaches in his private studio and teaches at summer jazz programs on central Vancouver Island.

He studied trumpet at the University of Victoria where received a double major in music and education.

As a jazz trumpet player he is currently a member of the Arrowsmith Big Band, Georgia Straight Big Band and the Dave Stewart Quintet.

Dan Craven, tenor saxophone

Craven teaches music on central Vancouver Island, and brings the benefit of extensive performance experience to his students.

A 2001 recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, he is an educator who has also had the privilege of sharing the stage with top musicians like Phil Dwyer, Arnie Chycoski, Ian McDougall, P.J. Perry, Don Thompson, John McDermott, Campbell Ryga, Mike Herriott and many others.

He has performed frequently around Canada’s west from Victoria to Fort Nelson, has worn many hats with the Comox Valley Youth Music Center, facilitator, Big Band leader and Saxophone teacher, and has served the local jazz community as clinician, honour band conductor and guest performer at the Comox Valley Big Band Challenge.

 

Chad Geekie, piano

Geekie is an enigma on the Canadian jazz scene. He is known and well-respected among Canada’s jazz elite as one of the most harmonically capable and musically refreshing players around, yet he rarely performs outside of his native Vancouver Island.

Geekie’s habit of associating with the very best players available to him has led to national acclaim, yet he willfully maintains the approachable demeanor of a local player.

He completed a jazz degree at McGill University before moving on to perform with the likes of Benny Golson, Jamie Aebersold, Phil Dwyer, Ingrid Jensen and Christine Jensen.

His recording credits include projects with Damian Graham, Tina Jones and Victoria guitar phenomenon Marc Atkinson, and he was the piano player of choice for Phil Dwyer’s annual summer jazz series at Milner Gardens.

 

Rob Uffen, bass

Recently relocating to Qualicum Beach, Uffen has been involved in the Canadian jazz scene as a double bassist, guitarist, composer and educator for 40 years.

He earned his B.F.A. as a guitar player in jazz performance from York University in 1978 and went on to study double bass with Michel Donato, Don Thompson, Joel Quarrington and Gary Peacock.

Uffen taught music in the Ontario public school system and at the Queen’s University summer jazz program for high school students and continues to teach privately.

He has performed and recorded throughout Canada, Italy, Germany and New Zealand with a diverse range of musicians including Kenny Wheeler, Joe Lavano, Billy Hart, Bill Frisell, Don Thompson, Bernie Senensky, Brian Dickinson,the Blen Miller Orchestra and the Orange Devils and many others.

As well as performing in the Dave Stewart Quintet, Uffen performs in the Arrowsmith Big band and the Andrew Homzy’s NOLA Nighthawks.

 

Alicia Murray, drums

Murray graduated from the jazz program at Capilano University in 2011.

She is a very active drummer as has played in numerous musicals and most recently in the Chemainus Theatre Festival.

Murray was in the studio recording a rock album with her band Eleanore. She has gained a reputation as an outstanding jazz drummer and is sought after by numerous jazz groups for her exciting and very skillful abilities that make for great performances.

 

— Submitted by The MAC

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