It’s reunion time! Two years after their last concert together, the original members of the Jazz Council are bringing their infectious swing, magnetic energy and new original tunes to Crawford Bay’s Harrison Memorial Church at 7 p.m. Aug. 14.
Drummer Sven Heyde, pianist Tim Plait, saxophonist Bernie Primbs, trumpeter Laurel Ralston and bassist Joel Kroeker have been honing their skills and exploring new musical horizons — here in the Kootenays, across the country, and abroad. They are thrilled to meet back at home this summer and pick up where they left off — making great music in their signature style.
The Jazz Council has given over 40 performances since forming in 2010, and releasing a successful debut album, Dawn, in 2011. The group is renowned across the Kootenays for its unique sound and blend of instruments, skillful playing and irresistible stage presence.
Primbs, a MacEwan University music graduate, has played the sax for over 18 years. He has a great love for performing and simply having a good time on stage. He plays the baritone and tenor saxes. When not playing his horn, he can be found doing first aid with the ski patrol in Kimberley, and has a great love for the outdoors and nature.
Trumpeter and flautist Ralston studied classical music performance at the University of Ottawa, and has enthusiastically embraced the challenges of jazz, making her reasonably confident that one day she will no longer be square. She is a longtime member of the Symphony of the Kootenays and former conductor of the Kimberley United Church choir and Kimberley Community Band. She’s currently honing her jazz skills as a member of Ralph Mercredi Quorum in Ottawa.
Heyde earned a diploma of music performance from MacEwan Univeristy before completing his bachelor’s degrees in arts and education. He is a versatile percussionist who has studied with Paul Walker (University of LEthbridge), Brian Thurgood (MacEwan) and Tyler Hornby (Mount Royal University). He also plays with redGirl, a melodically-inspired folk-rock-alt-country band, as an occasional player for Symphony of the Kootenays, and as a pick-up player for Cranbrook blues band, Grand Larseny.
Pianist and arranger Plait has enjoyed improvisation ever since he started piano lessons with Arne Sahlen in his hometown of Kimberley. He studied piano, piano teaching and vocal accompaniment in the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s diploma program. He loves to arrange music and has especially enjoyed preparing pieces for the group’s jazz vespers evenings. Plait has also served as the Kimberley Summer Theatre’s accompanist and music director for six seasons. He moved overseas in autumn 2012, where he was inspired by the amazing music and culture in Germany and Ireland, and is now settling into life in Edmonton.
Kroeker picked up the bass out of necessity. He was already fluent on several other instruments, including guitar, piano and saxophone, but the ensemble needed a bass. He has a great ear, which compensates for his less-than-adequate sight-reading skills. Kroeker appreciates all genres, though he more than often chooses to listen to classic rock on his iPod. Jazz has always intrigued him; he finds its complexity both challenging and rewarding. Joel currently teaches music and drama in Sparwood.
The Jazz Council firmly believes that jazz is, at its core, popular music, and can be both authentic and accessible. Their original compositions and their covers weave together many different strands and sub-genres of jazz, giving the listener’s ears a well-balanced diet, while their ability to select sounds from a specific palette gives them a unique, clear sound that is all their own.
Admission to the concert at Harrison Memorial Church is by donation.