The Harbour City All-Stars rehearse at the NDSS band room ahead of the 2019 Harbour City Jazz Society Jazz Fest. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Harbour City Jazz Fest helps keep up city’s ‘powerful legacy’ of jazz

Port Theatre, Lighthouse Bistro host 20th Harbour City Jazz Society Jazz Fest

The 20th annual Harbour City Jazz Society Jazz Fest is coming to Nanaimo on Friday and Saturday night.

The event features performances from the Harbour City All-Star Band, composed of students from John Barsby, Wellington and Nanaimo District secondary schools and this year’s special guests are Vancouver and Montreal-based saxophonists Cory Weeds and Christine Jensen, herself an NDSS grad.

Also performing is a 10-piece alumni band with members whose careers have taken them as far as New York City.

“It’s a really powerful legacy that there’s a continuum that excellent jazz musicians like Christine Jensen … come back and they’d be our guest artists and then they [make] these other musicians want to become professional and maybe they get to be the guest artist some year,” All-Star Band director Rick Becker said.

WHAT’S ON … The 20th annual Harbour City Jazz Society Jazz Fest takes place on Friday, March 8 at the Port Theatre and Saturday, March 9 at Lighthouse Bistro at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $12 for the Port Theatre show, $5 for the Lighthouse Bistro show. Available from the venues.

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