Jazz Club Schedule:
Jazz Club - Thursdays 7:30 pm, Avalanche Bar & Grill, 275 8th St. Courtenay
($5 member, $7 non-member for smaller combos, and $10 member, $12 non-member for big bands, out of town, and special events).
JOHN LEE TRIO
September 11, 7:30 pm
Avalanche Bar & Grill
275 8th St. Courtenay
$10 for GSJS members or $12 for non-members
One of the great challenges of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society is to tempt jazz lovers to experience new acts – unknown performers about whom no one can truly attest. Such was the case last December when John Lee played his debut performance in Courtenay. Not so this time! John Lee and his Nanaimo trio return to the Avalanche Bar and Grill this Thursday. This is his second appearance, in response to the many requests we’ve received “to get him back as soon as possible”. An audience of about 70 people were stunned by a brilliant performance last time he performed, and the response was a standing ovation.
John Lee, bass, was raised on the west coast islands of Canada. He’s been playing music since the age of five. By the time John completed his high school studies, he had received much attention from professional musicians in Canada and earned an impressive collection of awards, scholarships, and honours from jazz festivals, including Envision Jazz Festival, MusicFest Canada and Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. With the support of the Slaight Family Scholarship, Lee continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he pursued a Bachelor of Music in Performance. In addition to his academic training, Lee has studied with prestigious jazz educators David Santoro, Neal Smith, Greg Osby, Ralph Peterson Jr., Yoron Israel and Bob Gullotti.
John is known for his incredible proficiency as a multi-instrumentalist as well as his ability to connect the audience to his music and live charisma. He performs regularly in colleges, universities, clubs and concert halls. Lee has performed in cities throughout Canada and the U.S. including New York City (Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, SOMETHIN’ Jazz Club), Boston (Wally’s Jazz Café, The Beehive), Toronto (The Rex, Melody Bar), Washington (Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Hamilton Live), Vancouver (Cellar Jazz Club, Vancouver Francophone Festival), and Victoria (Hermann's Jazz Club). He performs regularly with recognized young contemporary jazz artists, in addition to having shared the stage with international jazz artists such as Cyrus Chestnut, Terell Stafford, Ingrid Jensen, Christine Jensen, Phil Dwyer and Joel Miller.
Besides performing, John Lee is a dedicated educator who strongly believes in the importance of education in music. He has founded and directed his own jazz programs, including an annual five-week summer jazz program Next Generation Quintet located on Vancouver Island. After years of performing and studying in Boston, John relocated back to his hometown of Nanaimo, BC to establish an educating practice and career.
As an artist, John Lee is currently in development of his debut album featuring a complete set of original compositions and arrangements. John uses Grestch drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, and Vater sticks and brushes.
Sean Drabitt, bass, left Victoria 24 years ago to study Jazz bass in Los Angeles with mentor John Clayton. The next decade he spent first in New Orleans, where he worked with all members of the Marsalis family, then in New York, working with the best young players on the modern jazz scene, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Eric Harland and Ari Honig among them. Specializing in a hard driving hard bop informed style of bass playing he returned to Victoria close to 15 years ago. Today he divides his time between various projects on both electric and acoustic bass. More recent career highlights have included a western Canadian tour with Terrell Stafford’s quintet in 2012 and a number of gigs with pianist George Colligan.
Paul Odeh, piano, is based in New York City. He can be found performing in prestigious and highly acclaimed jazz clubs around NY such as Smalls Jazz Club (NY) and performing with the likes of George Coleman, Essiet Okon Essiet and other great jazz luminaries.
From all of this, you can see that this is no run-of-the-mill trio. More importantly, it offers Georgia Straight Jazz Society a terrific opportunity to fulfil its mandate: to allow you the chance to experience great live jazz music. Come on down to the Av, and discover why Courtenay now boasts the finest live jazz club in British Columbia. Yes, we’re fighting above our weight, thanks to the dedication and hard work of the 25 or so volunteers who make it happen. Treat yourself to a great evening for a cover charge of $10 for GSJS members or $12 for non-members, and meet some of the friendliest people around, in a club atmosphere, with international quality live jazz music in the air.
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