Heather Keizur performs a bilingual show for Canada Day on July 1 at Diners Rendezvous.

Heather Keizur performs a bilingual show for Canada Day on July 1 at Diners Rendezvous.

For the love of jazz

Heather Keizur incorporates French into Canada Day performance

Heather Keizur always loved the French language.

Born in the U.S., but raised mostly in Canada, she tried to mimic the sounds of French as a child.

“I think I tried to say it long before I could speak it,” she said.

Keizur performs a selection of French and English jazz standards as part of her Canada Day concert at Diners Rendezvous.

Keizur caught the performance bug at a talent show in Grade 7. Her vocal talent earned her second place.

“I’d never performed in front of anyone before,” Keizur said.

After that, she sang for fundraisers and events, competing in the Miss Port Alberni pageant in 1981.

At 19, she started playing in jazz clubs in Nanaimo and Victoria, moving to California in 1984 before she settled in Portland.

She stopped performing, instead raising her children. Once her children were grown, she started performing again.

“We have an amazing jazz scene,” Keizur said.

Regular jazz jams provided the venue for Keizur to reawaken her skills and hone her chops under the guidance of talented and welcoming musicians.

She was nervous heading to that first jam but soon realized she needn’t be.

“They are unbelievable musicians who just show up at the jazz jams,” Keizur said. “They still welcomed me – they coached me.”

At the jams she met many of the musicians who performed on her album. Steve Christofferson accompanies Keizur during her concerts by playing piano and melodica, also called a blow-organ or a key flute.

“He’s really got a soul for music,” Keizur said. “His passion for music is equal to mine.”

Her love of the French language translated to music and she sang La Vie En Rose, which garnered so much praise she added the French songs to her repertoire.

Keizur, who graduated with a degree in French, teaches at a Montessori school, incorporating her two passions of French and music into her lessons. Her students sing three annual concerts, which always include a French song.

“They just fall in love with these songs,” Keizur said. “I just try to open up the world of music to them.”

Keizur said she can’t wait to return to the Island, which she regards as her hometown, to share her music with family and friends.

“I just love performing,” she said. “It’s the most exciting thing to come there and perform.

“It’s like coming home.”

Keizur performs Sunday (July 1) at 8 p.m. Tickets $20/advance; $25/door. Please call 250-740-1133.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

A conceptual rendering of a commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith image)
Commercial plaza in north end of Ladysmith passes public hearing

Councillors debate proposed land use at 1130 Rocky Creek Rd.

The Nanaimo sign at Maffeo Sutton Park could be hazardous for children, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo sign will cause falls

Children can’t resist climbing on sign, says letter writer

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomy by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal plays the Port Theatre on June 25. (Photo courtesy Alanna Morton)
Nanaimo rapper Sirreal and friends play the Port Theatre

Live-streamed concert the second in venue’s Discovery Series highlighting local artists

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding partnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read