A pair of New York-based jazz musicians are finally getting the chance to perform for a Nanaimo audience after a year-long delay thanks to COVID-19.
On March 20, pianist Geoffrey Keezer and vocalist Gillian Margot are presenting a pre-recorded concert in support of the Friends of Nanaimo Jazz Society. It’s part of a series the society is presenting to raise money as it was forced to cancel last year’s big Jazz Affair fundraiser. The series started last month with a concert featuring Nanaimo-raised jazz musicians and sisters Ingrid and Christine Jensen.
The upcoming show comes a year after Keezer and Margot’s touring was to have brought the couple to the Lower Mainland. Margot, who hails from Ontario but has cousins “basically all over Nanaimo and Victoria,” said they planned on visiting the Island and let Carmella Luvisotto of the FNJS know they would be passing through.
“We had reached out to her to let her know we were going to be in town and she had actually booked us to do a show and master classes and that all got cancelled,” Margot said. “So she reached out to us again to work it out virtually this time around.”
This time around Keezer and Margot will be presenting a program including originals and standards recorded in their music room at home. Margot said the performance was recorded in “two or three chunks,” since it’s challenging to play a program all the way through with a three-year-old in the house.
Keezer and Margot were also able to offer an online master class in February in which they critiqued students’ pre-recorded performances and discussed the technical aspects of jazz. Margot said their performance ties in with the class.
“We often do a lot of original stuff that each of us have released on our respective albums over the years,” she said. “But we thought we would do some standards as well that a lot of the students might recognize or might actually be studying.”