The 14th annual Pender Harbour Jazz Festival, Sept. 17 to 19, promises another exciting line up, according to the organization's artistic director Carole Rubin.
"It's like making soup or paella," said Rubin. "You've got a bit of boogie from Doc Fingers, fusion from Paul Keelin, and so on."
She's very excited by the hot Cuban Latin jazz, Wil Campa y Su Gran Union, who will represent this year's big band. Big bands usually make you think of swing music, but this Cuban style group will showcase the 12 or 14 relatively young performers in an energetic concert with free admission at the Painted Boat Resort on Saturday.
Another coup for the festival is the alto sax performance of Dmitry Baevsky, direct from New York. Originally from Russia and now living in the big city, Baevsky has been sought out for his artistry by all the top recording artists.
"His agent sent me Baevsky's CD, and honestly, I put it on and got goose bumps. I thought I was back in 1954 with a melodic John Coltrane," Rubin said.
The saxophonist will appear at one of the few ticketed concerts on Saturday at 8 p.m. on the Music School stage in Madeira Park. The other ticketed events are vocalist Nancy Ruth in concert at Motoko's Gallery (already sold out) and the dance, on one night only this year, Saturday evening at the Community Hall with Five Alarm Funk.
In other venues, local restaurants such as the Garden Bay Pub (Bradley/McGillivray Duo), the Paint-ed Boat restaurant (Ron Thompson) and the Pender Harbour Golf Club (Jennifer Scott, Rene Worst and Miles Black) ask for dinner reservations while watching the shows. Most of the other events are free including a jazz clinic for music students with Miles Black on Friday at 12:30 p.m.
On Saturday, local musician Steve Giltrow will perform in the school yard beside the Craft Affaire, a gathering of local artisans organized by the Copper Sky Gallery and Café.
Instead of a dance on Friday night, check out another exciting star, Dee Daniels, in a ticketed concert at the Community Hall at 9 p.m. The Vancouver singer will bring her classic bluesy jazz vocals to opening night audiences.
Sunday's four-hour bonanza in Millennium Park is another ticketed event. For $20 you can hear the Coast's own Definitely Diva, the Paul Keeling Quintet, Afro Caribbean rhythms from Zapato Negro and the Reinhardt-influenced Pearl Django.
A big hit at last year's festival, Astrid Sars and her quintet, performs at the Grasshopper Pub all three evenings.
The loss of gaming grants has tightened the budget belt, but the 100 volunteers will ensure no loss of fun. The bus transportation that was under-used at last festival has been cancelled this year, but the harbour ferry, the Slo-Cat, will operate between Madeira Park and Garden Bay with stops at the Sunshine Coast Resort and John Henry's. For more information and tickets, see www.phjazz.ca.