The Jazz Birds are ready to fly

Local group slated to hit the stage for their debut at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville

Ray Haynes on sax

Ray Haynes on sax

The Little Qualicum Jazz Birds are about to debut.

Made up of four talented local musicians, they will perform Thurs., May 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) in Parksville.

Putting their own spin on jazz standards, members of the quartet admitted during a rehearsal at the MAC last week that their approach to music is fun.

The group started when Ray Haynes, of Little Qualicum Cheese Works in French Creek, asked a few people over to his house to play some music together. They enjoyed each other’s music and company so much that they began weekly rehearsals.

Haynes said the sounds of voice, guitar, piano and saxophone gives them lots of room to explore various musical combinations.

With Haynes on saxophone, Dave Klinger on piano, John Charron on guitar and Denise Charron on vocals, the group features popular songs with light jazz interpretations.

Some of the pieces in their program include It’s Only a Paper Moon, It Had To Be You, Stand By Me, and Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.

John and Denise both grew up in Montreal and spent 30 years in Vancouver where they were members of a ten-piece R&B band for over 20 years.

Denise has been singing for 30 years and although jazz is a new genre for her to perform she said she enjoyed listening to it growing up and now loves singing it.

Little Qualicum Cheese Works will be providing the refreshments during the intermission on the Thursday night performance.

For those who can’t make it to the group’s inaugural concert at the MAC, the quartet will be performing at Morningstar Farm on July 15.