The Maureen Washington Quartet is coming to Parksville on March 26. (Photo by Paul Jacobs)

The Maureen Washington Quartet is coming to Parksville on March 26. (Photo by Paul Jacobs)

Maureen Washington Quartet visits Parksville March 26

Jazz musicians play Knox United Church at 7 p.m.

The Maureen Washington Quartet is coming to Parksville on March 26.

Washington and band mates, Karel Roessingh, Joey Smith and Damian Graham, who grew up in Parksville, will perform at Knox United Church (345 Pym St.) at 7 p.m.

Known for her powerful voice, rich tones and captivating emotions, Victoria-based Washington has performed at events and venues across B.C.

Music has always been part of her life, long before she became known for her jazz singing.

“I’ve just always had songs and melodies in my being,” Washington said.

“And, like my mom said, even before I could talk, she said, ‘you’d be sitting on the floor playing, and you’d be humming melodies.’”

Growing up, Washington noticed everyday things would conjure up music in her head — an emotion or feeling would trigger a melody.

“I just thought everybody was like that,” she said, adding when she became a teacher she realized not everyone has a soundtrack playing in their head that way.

Washington joined her high school choir and fell in love with sound and harmonies.

Before she became known for her jazz music, she sang folk songs in coffee houses in her hometown of Prince George.

READ MORE: Three new exhibitions on display at TOSH in Qualicum Beach

She discovered a love for jazz music while singing in local restaurants and later fronted a jazz funk band, before moving to Victoria to pursue her dream of becoming a performer.

Washington has played at venues around B.C., including the Victoria International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Island Blues Bash, the Prince George Cold Snap Music Festival and the Salt Spring Island Garlic and Music Festival.

She has also been recognized with awards including the Black Canadian Award’s ‘Best Jazz and Soul Artist’ and Monday Magazine’s ‘Jazz and Blues Artist of the Year’.

Washington has shared the stage with musical luminaries such as Bruce Cockburn, Janis Ian, Martyn Joseph, and twice hosted festival clinics with Florida’s Lee Boys and Ruthie Foster and Canadian Indie rock singer and guitarist Amy Millan.

Her ninth and most recent album, Harvest Moon, is eclectic and doesn’t quite follow the jazz genre.

“I guess it would be more kind of an adult contemporary, with a heavy jazz feel to it,” Washington said.

The album’s is bookended by songs dedicated to Washington’s late husband, including the title track, ‘Harvest Moon’.

“Anytime we heard the song, or I sang the song, he would always dance with me during the instrumental, so it was a very important song for our lives,” she said.

Washington recorded each time they danced to that song and created a montage of them dancing in different places.

She said her job as a musician is to lift people up to a higher place.

“If you come in sad, then I want to lift you higher. And if you came in and you’re all excited, I want to life you higher than that,” Washington said.

“I’m willing to let myself be vulnerable to touch someone’s heart.”

She recently ended a hiatus with a show at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria. It was her first performance since 2021. Friends and family across Canada and the U.S. were able to watch the livestream.

“It felt like no time had passed,” she said.

The band members joked that the Hermann’s show was a rehearsal for their upcoming Parksville concert, which will be even better.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and available online at Eventbrite, as well as Parksville retailers Close to You Ladies Fashions (174 Corfield St.) and Fireside Books (114 Middleton Ave).


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

EntertainmentLive musicParksville

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image