Way North was formed by three Canadians and an American when they met in Brooklyn.
The musicians, trumpeter Rebecca Hennessy, bassist Michael Herring, saxophonist Petr Cancura and American drummer Richie Barshay, combine their love of jazz and improvisation with folk and world music.
Hennessy is a Toronto trumpeter and composer. She also performs in the band FOG, a New Orleans brass band. She spent seven months in New York City studying with Ralph Alessi and John McNeil, after being awarded the OAC Chalmers Professional Development Grant.
Cuncura was born in Eastern Europe. In addition to the saxophone, Cuncura also plays the banjo and mandolin. He has performed with Danilo Perez, Julian Lage, Cecil McBee and others.
Herring, a bassist and composer from Toronto, performs with a number of ensembles, including the Michael Herring Quartet and Peripheral Vision. Peripheral Vision has released two albums.
Barshay has recorded and toured with Herbie Hancock, Kenny Werner, Fred Wesley and others.
Way North made its debut in 2015 with the album King’s Country, which was chosen by the Ottawa Citizen as one of the best jazz albums of 2015. The album combined a wide range of genres including blues, Calypso, Brazilian and Balkan.
Way North performs in Nanaimo at the Lighthouse Bistro and Pub Wednesday (Feb. 22) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, $15 for students available from the bistro, Fascinating Rhythm or www.quadwranglemusic.com.