Jazz guitarist Wes Carroll and his band the Confabulation perform at the Vault on Jan. 2. (Photo courtesy Kristen Cook)

Jazz guitarist Wes Carroll and his band the Confabulation perform at the Vault on Jan. 2. (Photo courtesy Kristen Cook)

VIU jazz studies graduate returns to Nanaimo to present sophomore album

The Wes Carroll Confabulation bring ‘Elephant in the Sea’ to the Vault

A VIU jazz grad is returning to Nanaimo for the first time in over two years to launch his band’s second album.

Singer and guitarist Wes Carroll studied at VIU from 2010 to 2014, but since graduating he mostly performed in Victoria before moving to Toronto to continue his jazz studies at the University of Toronto in August. In 2018 Carroll and his band the Confabulation – drummer and fellow VIU grad Cyril Loja, horn player Miguelito Valdes, keyboardist Dakota Hoeppner and bassist Trav Short – released their debut album, Off Empire, and on Jan. 2 they present their latest record, Elephant in the Sea, at the Vault.

“I got so much out of being in Nanaimo and met so many great people but wasn’t really in the stage of writing jazz music at that time,” Carroll said. “So it’s really exciting to go there now that I have written some music and perform it there and do an album release. I definitely hope to see familiar faces at the show.”

Carroll said the new record includes some songs that “weren’t quite ready” to be on the band’s first release. He said he was partly motivated to record Elephant in the Sea because he was about to move to Toronto.

“It was a great opportunity to actually get the material down,” he said. “And we felt like we were tight from all the playing we had done … it just felt like the right time.”

Like Off Empire, Elephant in the Sea is evenly split between instrumental compositions and songs featuring vocals. Carroll describes the album as having a “diverse but also cohesive sound,” which is what the band aims for when they try to perform at their best.

“There is some up-tempo music, there’s some slow music, there’s a solo guitar song, there’s songs that are almost more in like a singer-songwriter, soul, poppy style, but then with solos, and then songs that are more right in the modern jazz sound,” Carroll said.

A lot of the songs on the record have a political angle, Carroll said, with subjects including exploitative employers, coping with mental health challenges and being moved by activism. There’s even an instrumental piece that references George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

“For a long time I have been interested in social justice issues and trying to stay up on those topics to a certain degree, so when I go to write I just feel inspired by the community organizing that I see,” he explained. “And it’s also a good outlet for frustration I have with the way things are going.”

WHAT’S ON … Wes Carroll Confabulation CD release show at the Vault, 499 Wallace St., on Jan. 2 at 9 p.m. $10 at the door.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson takes her oaths of office virtually on Thursday. (B.C. Government YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson named B.C.’s mental health and addictions minister

Malcolmson succeeds Judy Darcy, who did not seek re-election

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from Nanaimo daycare

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

The 190-step Seabold stairs, damaged by a storm in 2018, have been rebuilt from Vancouver Island yellow cedar and are once again open to the public. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Seabold Park stairs in north Nanaimo open again

Stairs, damaged by storm in 2018, have been rebuilt and reopened to public

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Police in Nanaimo never know what they’ll encounter when called upon to check on the well-being of people. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo RCMP find ‘heart-breaking’ circumstances during wellness checks

Police offer sampling of outcomes from well-being checks over recent weeks

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

Crews fight a fire in a home on Wakesiah Avenue on Thursday afternoon. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Crews putting out fire in a house on Wakesiah Avenue in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue was called out at noon Thursday

Beef to Halloween, a celebration of death, weapons, blood and murder. Halloween is a mockery of death and our beloved deceased. Why do we celebrate it?
Beefs & Bouquets, Nov. 25

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Most Read