Port Alberni native and graduate of Alberni District Secondary (now residing in New York) Bassist Lauren Falls will be featured in the West Coast Jazz Festival Adjudicator’s jazz combo in the International Jazz Day Celebration Concert held at Vancouver Island University Theatre on Thursday April 30 at 7:00pm. This concert is part of the West Coast Jazz Festival, a regional jazz festival for Musicfest Canada.
The West Coast Jazz Festival is a two- day event featuring 60 student high school ensembles from all over Vancouver Island and the mainland. Three Jazz Bands and five Jazz Combos from the Alberni District Secondary jazz program will participate in the festival. Dunn Middle school’s 65 member jazz band is also scheduled to perform. To quote Dunn Middle school band director Michelle Dyler, “It should be interesting fitting all 65 of the keen young jazz musicians from Dunn Middle School on the VIU theatre stage! “ Daytime student performances are open to the public and admission is free.
The International Jazz Day Celebration Concert features a pre-show at 6:30 pm with the Kwalikum High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dave Stewart and Dan Craven. The concert then features the West Coast Jazz Festival Grade 12 All-Star Jazz Combo, which features outstanding grade 12 students from Island High Schools, including Alberni District Secondary students Connor Snaith-piano, Devon Barker-drums, Kennedy O’Donovan-clarinet and Nikolas LaPrade-guitar.
Next on the program is the West Coast Jazz Festival Adjudicator Combo, featuring Toronto’s Kelly Jefferson-tenor sax, Victoria’s Nick LaRiviere-trombone and Kelby MacNayr-drums, New York’s Vickie Yang-piano, Matt Holman-trumpet and Port Alberni native (now residing in New York) Lauren Falls-bass. The Nanaimo Musicians Association Big Band directed by Bryan Stovell finishes off the concert.
Tickets for this event are only $10.00 and are available in Port Alberni at Pete’s Mountain Meats and Rollin Arts Centre and in Nanaimo at Fascinating Rhythm, Long and McQuade and Tom Lee Music.