The full house at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse rose from their seats into a standing ovation for the Daniel Brubeck Quartet.
That was not the only occasion that cries for an encore could be heard during the 19th annual Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival last weekend. But it was the Friday evening kickoff that showcased smooth, professional musicians.
Saxophonist Steve Kaldestad was brilliant. Bassist Adam Thomas proved a melodious vocal presence, while Tony Foster on piano reproduced with talent the stylings of the late pianist and composer Dave Brubeck.
Daniel, Dave’s son, switched intricate rhythms with ease and showed the audience what a real drummer can do.
We also learned much about Dave, the father, including that he was once a cowboy on a vast ranch. All of his sons are musical — one of them started the first jazz program in South Africa and stayed to teach for 25 years.
Iola Brubeck, Daniel’s mother, was an accomplished lyricist and her touch was heard on many of the evening’s tunes. Although Brubeck recently moved to the Sunshine Coast, he continues to perform and travel to gigs elsewhere — he was off to New York the next morning.
Saturday’s jazz fest opened on Gower Point Road with a slightly late start while the volunteer crew put together the new stage.
Definitely Diva was eagerly waiting to sing mellow jazz favourites plus a smattering of Beatles and Motown.
The Orkestar Slivovica, a brass band with a powerful vocalist, offered the tunes of the Balkans. Most were delighted when the group also paraded around Lower Gibsons in a random act of music.
Jazz fest organizer Linda Williams was happy about closing off the street for the day. “It turned out to be a success,” she said, “as the merchants brought tents and product out on the street. The roving Balkan Band, the chalk drawings and street performers [Pan Willson, Gerardo Avila and Sandy Buck] made it inviting for the crowd to feel good about strolling the streets.”
Williams also said that the new stage and signage added an element of quality and made the visuals of the bands great for the audience.
Guitarist Budge Schachte has moved to the Sunshine Coast and he brought the gypsy jazz music of Van Django to the stage, helped by one of the elites of harmonica playing, Keith Bennett. This man can make a harmonica sing.
The Brad Turner Quartet drew discerning fans into their spell and the high energy of Zimbamoto closed the afternoon show.
On Saturday night, a fresh new band, Just the Funk, performed Motown and funk tunes at the Roberts Creek Hall for everyone to sing along as well as dance. Other jazz fest gigs were sold out: the Jazz Group of Seven at Boomers and the concert, More Jazz in June, at St. Bart’s.
The Sunday concert in Winegarden Park featured the ever popular Creek Big Band and Juno award-winning Celso Machado. And the highlight of Sunday’s show was a brilliant collaboration between vocalist Katherine Penfold, pianist Miles Black and bassist Jodi Proznick. All are talented in their own spheres, but the trio combined to put on a great show that left the audience shouting for more and showing no signs of letting them leave the stage. Penfold has probably gained a few hundred new fans and left her previous fans thrilled that she’s getting better all the time.
For those wanting more, the music is not going to stop in Gibsons.
The popular free program Music in the Landing starts this weekend, June 27. See the Art Beat column in today’s edition for more details.
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