A New Orleans-based jazz trumpeter who got his start at VIU is returning to Nanaimo for his first concert in five years to present his debut album.
“It’s a lot of compositions that I’ve been writing for a while, mostly focused through my experiences down here in New Orleans, but oftentimes also a lot of my songs are pretty reminiscent of my time back on the Island,” Jonathan Bauer said of his first record, Walk Don’t Run, released this spring.
After graduating from VIU’s jazz studies program in 2014, Bauer, a former member of the Nanaimo Musician’s Association Big Band, moved to New Orleans to continue his studies at the University of New Orleans and started playing with the Grammy Award-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.
On Oct. 27, Bauer and his band are performing at the Lighthouse Bistro. He said he’s looking forward to playing for friends and family.
“I still stay in touch with a lot of people back on the Island,” he said. “The Island very important to me and I have some family out there, too, so I’m excited to see a lot of familiar faces.”
He said the Island is often on his mind.
“I close my eyes and I think about that place a lot,” he said.
Bauer said Walk Don’t Run draws on his musical influences and showcases his “contemporary take on a lot of classic sounds.” He added that the album felt like “something I had to do.”
“It just felt like it was time,” he said. “I told myself I was going to cut a record several times previously in my life and I just kept not doing it and this time it just felt like it was the right time.”
So far Walk Don’t Run has been well-received, Bauer said, even though it came about almost by accident.
“Initially the goal was to create some demos so that my band could work,” he said. “And then after our first day in the studio we listened back to what we had and we said, ‘Oh damn, we’ve got a record.’ So we just kept going.”
WHAT’S ON … Jonathan Bauer performs at the Lighthouse Bistro, 50 Anchor Way, on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15 for students, available from the venue, Fascinating Rhythm, Arbutus Music and online.