Saxophonist Jeff McGregor performs with pianist Brent Jarvis, bassist Ken Lister and drummer Hans Verhoeven at the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub Sunday (April 16) at 7:30 p.m. Photo Contributed

Saxophonist Jeff McGregor performs with pianist Brent Jarvis, bassist Ken Lister and drummer Hans Verhoeven at the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub Sunday (April 16) at 7:30 p.m. Photo Contributed

New York based saxophonist performs in Nanaimo promoting latest album

Jeff McGregor performs at Nanaimo’s Lighthouse Bistro Sunday (April 16)

New York based saxophonist Jeff McGregor recently released his debut album Leap.

The jazz musician is performing in Nanaimo to promote the album with local musicians. He’ll be joined by pianist Brent Jarvis, bassist Ken Lister and drummer Hans Verhoeven at the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub Sunday (April 16) at 7:30 p.m.

Leap began as part of McGregor’s final project for his masters degree from New York University.

“I looked at that as an opportunity to make a record, and being at school allowed me the chance to focus on the music,” said McGregor. “They’re mostly originals. It’s tough to locate one specific inspiration.”

McGregor said the album is representative of sounds and musical shapes that influenced him at the time.

“It’s very much an important part of my musical identity as it is for most jazz musicians,” he said.

Two jazz standards included on the album are My Ideal and I Could Write a Book.

The album features jazz artists Billy Drummond and Alan Ferber.

McGregor grew up in Calgary and started playing the saxophone at age 10. He describes his introduction to the jazz music scene as a “typical beginning.” He joined the school band and started listening to jazz music. It wasn’t his ability to play the instrument that made him continue learning, but the discovery of great saxophone players that inspired him, said McGregor.

For a short time, McGregor lived in Victoria before heading to New York. It was during this time he was able to connect with Verhoeven and see Lister perform. Going to New York had been a goal of his for a longtime.

“New York is the major centre for jazz in the world and all of my heroes have lived there or live there,” said McGregor.

Tickets for the show are $15 or $12 for students available at the Lighthouse Bistro, Fascinating Rhythm or by visiting http://quadwranglemusic.com.

For more information about McGregor, please visit www.jeffmcgregormusic.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com