Order of Canada jazz musicians to play in Qualicum Beach

Don Thompson and Phil Dwyer to perform together at TOSH

Don Thompson and Phil Dwyer will be performing together in Qualicum Beach at The Old School House on Sunday, Aug. 18.

The two distinguished Canadian jazz musicians haven’t shared a stage in the Parksville-Qualicum Beach area since 2013, when they played to a sold-out audience at Knox United Church.

Dwyer is a Qualicum Beach resident, and Thompson lives in Toronto, although he is originally from Powell River.

Both have received the Order of Canada for their contributions to Canada’s musical scene.

Both are also Juno winning musicians.

Thompson won Best Jazz Recording in 1980 for Sackville 4005, Best Jazz Album in 1985 for A Beautiful Friendship and Best Traditional Jazz Album in 2006 for Ask Me Later.

Dwyer is also no stranger to the Juno Awards, having appeared on 10 winning recordings.

Dwyer is excited to play with Thompson, whom he lists as one of his biggest mentors and musical influences in Canada. The two have been playing together for 35 years.

“We’ve had a very rewarding musical relationship and friendship,” said Dwyer.

Thompson has played in Qualicum Beach only twice before, and the last time was over a decade ago.

The two generally perform standard jazz music at their shows, but sometimes throw in a little twist.

In the past, they’ve performed an all Frank Sinatra program, and also performed shows based entirely on audience requests.

“Don is world-famous for knowing literally thousands and thousands of songs,” said Dwyer.

“I know a lot of tunes — not as many as him — but between the two of us we have a pretty vast repertoire … people really get a kick out of it when their request gets played.”

Dwyer says for this show, there’s no guarantees that they will play a request-based show, but it’s not totally off the table.

The show will take place on Saturday, Aug. 17 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at TOSH in Qualicum Beach. Tickets are $20 for members, and $22 for non-members.

Fans of jazz can also take note of upcoming performances by the students of the Phil Dwyer Academy of Musical and Culinary Arts’ Adult Jazz Camp.

The performances will feature students from the jazz camps as well as faculty.

The first show takes place at Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge on Friday Aug. 16, starting at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25

The second show happens on Friday Aug. 23 at TOSH, and starts at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation

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