Vancouver jazz saxophonist Cory Weeds is performing in Nanaimo for the first time in three years and bringing along a special guest from south of the border.
Weeds will be accompanied by American jazz singer and pianist Champian Fulton at the Lighthouse Bistro on Monday, Dec. 4. The day before they will be recording their first album as a duo.
“Champian Fulton and I have worked together for a very long time,” Weeds said. “We made a record together with a quartet we did on a tour around four years ago. Champian and I, since we first met, have always had a really good rapport.”
Weeds first contacted Fulton to perform at his cross-boarder jazz night at the Cellar, the Vancouver jazz club he used to own. He had been regularly reaching out to New York City musicians to take part in the concert series and after hearing one of Fulton’s CDs he looked her up online and gave her a call.
“We got sort of to the end of the series and I had a little bit of money left in that budget and I needed something for a weekend so I called up Champian and said, ‘Hey, would you like to come up and play?’ and of course she was very happy to do so,” Weeds said.
“We just really hit it off, we have a nice rapport on stage and so we did that weekend and then the next time we played together she came out and we did a sort of a little mini-tour around B.C. and Alberta and we recorded a record called Change Partners live at the Yardbird Suite in Edmonton and ever since then we stayed very close.”
Weeds said Fulton reached out to him about touring around Vancouver and Weeds suggested that it might be a good time to “finally do that duo recording that we had talked about.” Their December tour will take them to Edmonton, Saskatoon, the West Coast and Washington State.
At the Nanaimo show, the duo will be performing standards and “Great American Songbook” tunes, but Weeds added that they haven’t yet discussed the exact material.
“It’s jazz. We go off the cuff, there’s not a ton of planning but that’s also what makes it … jazz music,” he said.
“It’s not all planned out and perfectly planned and timed. There’s a lot of spontaneity and some unpredictability to it, and being in the duo format kind of puts everybody out of their comfort zone a little bit so that’s exactly what we’re striving to do.
WHAT’S ON … Cory Weeds and Champian Fulton perform at the Lighthouse Bistro on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. $20 general admission, $15 for students.