Arts and Entertainment column: Entertainers headed to church for gospel and organ music this month

What’s up in the arts and entertainment scene in Cowichan

If you’re in the mood for some great gospel music, there’s a concert for you next week.

The Duncan and Victoria Freedom Gospel Choirs are presenting “A Travelin’ Thru”, on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Victoria First Church of the Nazarene in Victoria, and Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Christian Reformed Church in Duncan.

You can join choir director Ann Antonides, accompanist Tanya Gillespie and award-winning Canadian jazz and blues singer Maureen Washington in this concert that’s sure to get the toes tapping.

Who is Maureen Washington? According to choir organizers, “Maureen Washington is one of Vancouver Island’s most sought after vocalists. Maureen began her musical career in her home town of Prince George. Her vocal diversity lent itself to performances of blues, swing, jazz and funk with BOP, a band widely acclaimed as the best dance band in the Prince George region. Their versatile repertoire, ranging from jazz and R&B classics to lively originals, brought them sold out crowds. Now based in Victoria, Maureen continues to create new musical avenues and is blessed with a growing entourage of fans as she performs with duos to sextets, and more recently, as guest soloist for the Royal Canadian Naden Band.”

Sounds like a powerhouse voice!

“The choirs will sing songs that inspire and songs that are inspired by our journey in life and in spirituality. From traditional tunes ‘This Little Light of Mine’, and ‘Wade in the Water’ to more contemporary songs ‘River Of Dreams’, ‘Tell your Heart to Beat Again’, ‘Baba Yetu’ and more, this concert is sure to entertain its audiences. Each choir will sing their selections, then combine, creating a mass choir of 90 voices, for the final numbers,” promise organizers.

Tickets are $20 each, with children under 12 getting in for free. They are available from choir members, at the door, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Duncan, and at Ten Old Books in Duncan.

For more information visit www.freedomgospelchoir.ca or find them on Facebook.

•••

Music from St. John’s is presenting “Stories from the Organ Bench”, with Jenny Vincent at the St. John’s Allan Organ.

The show is Sunday, Feb. 23 starting at 2:30 p.m., at St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, 3295 Cobble Hill Rd.

Vincent is the music leader at Knox United in Parksville. “She is an artist who has shed the traditional notions associated with classically trained organists and has introduced her audiences to a wide spectrum of music,” organizers say.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for those 12 and under. Get your tickets at Valley Vines to Wines, Ten Old Books or the church office, 250-743-3095.

•••

Pat’s House of Jazz has a number of concerts lined up at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton this February to drive away the winter blues.

“Rainy days and cool weather are the norm for February in our part of the world and cloudy day after cloudy day can be a downer before long. The cure is to get out and enjoy the vibrant local cultural scene. Pat’s House of Jazz serves up a healthy portion of hot jazz every Sunday to chase away the blues,” they say.

This Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. it’s the Jive Big Band with singer-songwriter Nick La Riviere.

La Riviere is an accomplished trombonist who has touried internationally with bands such as the Paperboys, Michael Kaeshammer, 54-40 and Adonis Puentes. In Crofton he’ll be playing with his Victoria community band, Jive Big Band, bringing audiences cover tunes from jazz standards to funk and pop.

Tickets are $10.

On Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. get ready for Harrison^2 (that’s right, not a typo). Pronounced Harrison squared, this group is a modern jazz quartet from Toronto featuring two up and coming jazz musicians, Harriosn Vetro on drums and harrison Argatoff on tenor saxophone. Rounding out the sound is Mike Murley on tenor sax and Steve Wallace on double bass.

“The band’s mission is to express a distinct Canadian jazz identity, and a forward-thinking modern approach to jazz,” organizers say.

The group is touring in support of its new album Trout in Swimwear (how’s that for a catchy title?).

Tickets for this one are $15.

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