Morgan Childs and his quartet perform at Simonholt on Jan. 12. (Photo courtesy Mark Robinson)

B.C.-raised jazz drummer Morgan Childs and his quartet play Nanaimo’s Simonholt

Drummer said band’s composition leans towards the avant-garde

Toronto-based jazz drummer Morgan Childs will be starting his 2019 with a string of shows in his home province of British Columbia.

After a stop in Vancouver, Childs, who hails from Invermere, heads to Vancouver Island for a show at Nanaimo’s Simonholt on Jan. 12 followed by dates in Crofton, Courtenay and Victoria.

Childs will be joined by the Vancouver Island trio of Patrick Boyle on trumpet, Ryan Oliver on tenor saxophone and John Lee on bass. He said they’re some of his favourite musicians living on the Island. Both Boyle and Oliver are longtime friends of his and he’s eager to to sharing stages with them.

“Pat and I met in about 2009 up at the Banff Centre and Ryan and I have known each other for even longer than that. And when Ryan still lived in Toronto we used to play together all the time, so I’m kinda looking forward to reuniting with those guys,” Childs said. “I haven’t played with Ryan in a couple years, since he moved back to Vancouver Island, so that’s going to be a little bit of a reunion for us.”

Childs said Lee is an up-and-coming younger musician who brings some “fresh blood” to the quartet. He said he likes to mix and match players whom he admires, and while they’re all a bit different, they share common threads.

“I’ve kind of been hearing about John for the last several years,” Childs said. “I’ve met him a couple of times and stayed in touch with him on social media, kind of following his progress, and I’m pretty knocked out with his abilities.”

Childs said he hasn’t decided what the band will be playing, but said the band’s repertoire will reflect its composition. He mentioned some famous groups to utilize the same instrumentation include musicians like Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins. He said there’s a more “open” sound without an instrument with dense harmony, like a piano.

“The music that I play is always really rooted in straight-ahead swing and jazz,” Childs said. “As a drummer, that’s the stuff that I love playing the most. But with this instrumentation it can go a little bit more towards the avant-garde side at times just because the history is there with that way of playing with that lineup.”

Childs said he has the luxury of being able to do whatever he wants.

“The idea behind this is I don’t have new album to promote, I don’t have anything to sell anybody,” he said. “I just have badass musicians and we’re going to have a great time.”

WHAT’S ON … The Morgan Childs Quartet performs at Simonholt on Jan. 12, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15 for students, available at Simonholt, Fascinating Rhythm, Arbutus Music, or

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