Music & Musicians

These musicians have performed in past Sooke Fine Arts Shows, many of them multiple times. We thank them for their spirit of sharing and for their generous donation of the music on this page.  Enjoy listening to this beautiful music while you browse through the artworks!

Los Gringos Locos

The acoustic guitar duo, Los Gringos Locos, featuring Al Sabourin and Mike Sampson, are well known to Victoria, having entertained audiences with their unique blend of instrumental standards and original compositions since 2000…

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…They have developed a steady following playing at numerous festivals and events in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. These include: the Victoria International Jazz Festival; the Latin Caribbean Festival; the Classic Boat Festival; the Dragon Boat Races Festival and the Esquimalt Lantern Festival. Los Gringos Locos have also performed at the Butchart Gardens, Vista 18 and the Union Club. They have been the “feature act” at both the Deep Cove and Highlands Folk Clubs as well as performing at cafés, arts and crafts fairs, local pubs, lounges, and numerous private functions. They have appeared on the A Channel TV morning show and have received favourable air play on local radio stations. Their music has been included in a number of documentary videos.

“As Los Gringos Locos, Mike and Al are consummate musicians. Real music is felt in the bones and the soul and played freely with engagement and expression. They played the music like a conversation between two guitars. It was ever shifting, alternating back and forth, up and down in volume, sometimes neat chordal runs sometimes bell tone single notes. The favourites were interesting and always pleasingly arranged and the original compositions were a delight. Mike and Al are among the best frets men I have ever had the joy to hear!” – Tark Hamilton, Deep Cove Folk Club.

Broke & Blue

Broke and Blue came together when pianist Kathryn Le Gros and flutist Diane Berry first discovered their mutual love of the music of French jazz pianist, Claude Bolling (1930-2020). With two suites for flute and jazz piano, the California Suite as well as a number of other pieces, there is a rich choice of wonderful music available to them…

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Bolling’s fusion of classical and jazz elements in his work is a wonderful vehicle for these two classically trained, versatile musicians. Both are experienced performers, connected to a number of ensembles in and around Victoria, embracing a number of different genres and styles. In the years since forming Broke and Blue, they have become regular performers on Victoria’s Jazz Vespers circuit, and will be performing at Hermann’s Oct 24, 2021.

Diane Berry grew up in Toronto graduating from the music program at York University and since then she has been working as a private teacher and freelance flutist. She began composing in her thirties. She has had works performed by the Erato Ensemble, the Turning Point Ensemble, NuBC, the SOCCO string quartet in Seattle, flutist Mark McGregor, Kamloops Chamber players, and many local Victoria performers. Her compositions have been featured in the Sonic Boom New Music Festival and in the Oak Bay Music series. Her works have been broadcast on Seattle’s KING FM, performed by the Victoria and Vancouver Symphonies and in Dublin, Ireland. She is a registered music teacher, an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers, the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Victoria Composer’s Collective and the Canadian League of Composers.

Kathryn Le Gros enjoys playing piano and clarinet in chamber music and other small ensembles. After graduating Wilfrid Laurier’s Bachelor of Music program with a major in two instruments, she co-founded the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra (and was also the manager for several years). She was a regular recitalist in southern Ontario before moving to Victoria in the 1990s. In Victoria, she has played in classical and jazz trios quartets and quintets, as well as performed with singers and other instrumentalists. Recent performances on both clarinet and piano include An Die Musik (an evening of Schubert music) and Amor (an evening of Spanish music) with Resonance, Spring Romantique with cello and singers, classical repertoire with the Aerie Trio, light jazz with Broke and Blue (featuring music of Claude Bolling), newer Canadian music with on the ‘hat, and jazz with 5 Shadez of Blue. In addition to her musical pursuits, Kathryn had successful careers in downtown management and postsecondary education before recently retiring.

Ryan Tandy‘s bass playing is inspired by Ray Brown and influenced by Christian McBride and others, but the solid time and visible enthusiasm he brings to the bandstand are all his own. Born in Auckland, NZ, and raised in Victoria, Ryan played gigs on piano, bass, and drums in high school before going on to establish his career as a bassist. He’s been a member of Lust Life Jazz Band since 2009 and appears on their CD “On Remembrance” (2011). In 2012, Ryan joined Nick La Riviere, Art Booker, and Damian Graham in forming New Orleans-inspired funk group The Hi-Fi, who recorded their third EP, “On Tap”, in 2016. An in-demand sideman, Ryan appears alongside local and touring artists. Recent highlights include performances with Stephanie Greaves, David Vest, and Michael Kaeshammer.

At age 5, Bert Hamer fell in love with drumming when he heard his first parade with what he thot were 100s of  Drummers coming down the street toward him. He says he has never recovered from that original heart thrilling sound of the drums. In High School he started the stage band with a hand full of trumpet, sax, guitar and piano players. He also played in an Italian dance band where he learned to play a variety of rhythms. A lucky break came in grade 11, when he was asked to join The Velvetones, a  popular Rock n Roll band that had a 45 rpm record out. After High School, he joined the Copper Penny, an up and coming band out of Kitchener, who recorded on RCA Victor. He also took weekly lessons at the Ontario Conservatory of Percussion in Toronto where he was exposed to God’s music; Jazz.  For some 15 years, Bert played in seven different full time show bands performing 6 nights a week, up and down the east coast from Montreal to Miami. During that time, he was able to study with Jazz drummers that he would seek out in the cities he was performing in. After quitting the road, Bert played in Dance, Swing and Jazz bands in Toronto for the last 20 yrs. In Nov. 2019 he moved to Victoria. He is a member of The Swiftsure Big Band and has played with the Boogie Woogie Pianoman, David Vest. He freelances with different musical projects such as Broke and Blue.

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Bill Holtom

As a solo guitarist, Bill performs using a loop effect. Using a loop effect allows him to create full-sounding songs by overdubbing multiple guitar tracks that he tastefully blends together. The result is beautiful music…

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Bill also uses a Bose sound system, which delivers his music with clarity, and he always keep the volume at a level that lets people comfortably converse while he plays. The mellow quality of Bill’s music at his performances helps to enrich people’s experience. Audiences say his music is vibrant, refreshing, and original.

 

Kent & Rae

Bill Kent: Pianist Bill Kent has spent most of his 40-year professional music career as a jazz pianist and respected music teacher. Many of those years were spent as a solo performer and leader of a number of trios….

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Ten years ago he gave in to the siren song of the bass, an instrument that had long fascinated him, and is now equally adept on bass or piano.  He enjoys discovering and developing emerging talent, using his extensive experience to mentor and encourage.  Bill is in high demand and plays with five groups in Victoria and Vancouver.

 Shannon Rae: Vocalist Shannon Lee Rae first sang in front of an audience at the age of five at her grandparents’ church in Saskatchewan. She is an artist and photographer, and since moving to Vancouver Island from Alberta she has been spreading her musical wings and exploring new vistas. Jazz is her favourite genre and suits her voice, which is a throwback to the sound of the 40’s and 50’s. Shannon sings with two other groups in the Victoria area, and hosts a monthly open mic with her husband, a guitarist, in the hamlet of Shirley. She also does a mean Marilyn Monroe impression, and has delighted countless birthday boys with her rendition of ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’.

Morry Stearns

Morry Stearns is a Canadian recording artist and performer, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer.  He is a seasoned live performer, with an extensive background in concerts, bands, touring, radio, television, and recording…

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Morry’s concert appearances have included tours across North America, Japan, Hawaii, Finland, and the U.S.S.R.  He has performed with David Foster, Kenny Loggins, Peter Cetera, Bryan Adams, Gordon Lightfoot, Chicago, Richard Marx, Michael Mcdonald, Booker T, Kenny Rogers, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Sheena Easton, Paul Brant, Lisa Brokop, Nelly Furtado, and many more.

Crissa Constantine

Crissa’s passionate love of music showed at an early age.  She started playing Chopin after one year of lessons. Her father dearly wanted her to be a medical doctor, so she did not pursue music seriously until after she earned a B.A. in English (with a science minor) in 1973 from UBC…

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She earned her B.Mus. in 1976 and dreamed of composing music for the piano. Crissa’s M.A. in music was earned from CWRU in Cleveland in 1980 and a B.Ed. from LSU in Shreveport in 1982. She taught all subjects in elementary schools while earning heer M.Ed. (LSU,1986). She enjoyed teaching school for several years in Louisiana and in California and music theory and piano at a college in North Vancouver. Crissa finds the Island an endless source of inspiration, and her three CDs are for sale in some local stores and from her website.

Karel Roessingh TRIO

Born in Leiden, Holland, raised in Calgary, Karel Roessingh began his professional musical career in 1970 and has played throughout the world. He has led bands for…

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…Howie Mandel, Rich Little (and his lesser known brother Fred), Bob Newhart, Shari Lewis (and Lambchop), and Ted Knight, played with the Valdy, Moody Blues, Powder Blues Band, Jan Arden, The Shirelles, and Leslie Gore, and opened for the Temptations and solo for legendary jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli. Karel has composed extensively for film, television and video productions, produced more than sixteen of his own recordings, two jazz trio CDs and many solo piano CDs.

After touring for two and a half years with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as bassist and arranger, Joey Smith was married in Victoria and moved to Rochester, N.Y. to pursue graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music. For the past 18 years he has been bassist for many local groups and has collaborated with various artists during their stops in Victoria. Joey has written numerous arrangements for such groups as the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony, also arranging some of the music for the Commonwealth Games in 1994.

Drummer / composer / band-leader Kelby MacNayr performs groundbreaking original music, soulful swinging jazz, reaching contemporary music and traditional music from around the world. A dynamic and creative musician MacNayr performs in Canada and abroad with leading musicians from New York, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto & Europe. A faculty member of the renowned Jazz Port Townsend Festival under director John Clayton, staff at the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, Kelby follows his passion to create and collaborate, teach and learn. The Kelby MacNayr Quintet released The Measure of Light featuring Phil Dwyer, Dan Lapp, Miles Black & Tom Wakeling. Other projects include the Great American Songbook Trio featuring Louise Rose, the Swing Rhythm Kings and the SoulTet! MacNayr has performed with Phil Dwyer, Neil Swainson, Regina Carter, Jeffery Clayton, Marianne Trudel, Ingrid Jensen, Larry Fuller, John Clayton, George Colligan, Geoffrey Keezer and more.

The Soul Shakers

The Soul Shakers have entertained Victoria area audiences for more than a decade with their own brand of funky R&B dance music. They combine superb musicianship with five strong vocalists led by lead vocalist Joyce “the voice” Allensen…

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There is no doubt they are one of the best dance bands on Vancouver Island!

The Soul Shakers have three CDs in their original music catalogue. “Live at the Yale” was recorded off the floor at the venerable Vancouver blues club in 2009 and their 2015 release of “Love Is Love” and 2019’s album “Ready For You” the band showcases their song writing skills on a broad range of styles from blues to New Orleans/country street beat to RnB.

Recent performances include Victoria International Jazzfest, Vancouver Island Blues Fest, Ribfest, Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, Nanaimo Summertime Blues Festival, numerous music in the park concerts as well as a regular gig at Bart’s pub.
Their show in undeniably entertaining and audience engaging led by powerhouse front person Joyce Allensen. The band includes Henning Kanstrup (bass), Sean McCool (guitars), Paul McLellan (drums) and Alexander B. Ferguson (keyboards).

Their repertoire includes tunes from the ‘60s to current popular songs featuring artists like Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye, Santana, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Adele, James Brown and George Michaels to name a few. All guaranteed to fill the dance floor.

Not to be missed, this is a polished, professional group of entertainers.

Shreyas Bailaih & BILL KENT

Shreyas started taking piano lessons from Bill Kent at age 10.  Born with an amazing sense of rhythm and connection with the piano, the music becomes his second voice…

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In addition to playing at the Sooke Fine Arts Show for the past three years, Shreyas, his younger vocalist sister, and Bill have performed in at a number of retirement homes, private functions and the Sidney summer market.  Shreyas is 15 and continues to be an honour student at school.

Bill Kent: Pianist Bill Kent has spent most of his 40-year professional music career as a jazz pianist and respected music teacher. Many of those years were spent as a solo performer and leader of a number of trios. Ten years ago he gave in to the siren song of the bass, an instrument that had long fascinated him, and is now equally adept on bass or piano. He enjoys discovering and developing emerging talent, using his extensive experience to mentor and encourage. Bill is in high demand and plays with five groups in Victoria and Vancouver.

Jennifer Louise Taylor

Jennifer Louise Taylor creates music that makes you feel from the sweet depths of your soul to the soles of your feet. Her music explores the humour in our human condition with songs of love, loss and inevitable change…

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Jennifer has toured in North America, played extensively on Vancouver Island and has been a guest musician for CBC Radio. Her music has its roots in the folk tradition and she consistently receives positive feedback from audiences for her authentic voice. Jennifer plays solo, in a duo with Ken Hall as well as with the trio Threewheeler (Auto Jansz and Kathy Omalley.) You can reach Jennifer for bookings or to join her email list at: mus[email protected] or through Facebook.

Jim Townley, former President of the Peninsula Country Market Society says Jennifer’s music is, “… perfect for those times a person looks to music to make them feel joy!”

The Brentwood Bay Times writes that “[Jennifer] captures the west-coast feel in a way few others can.”

If you enjoy Jennifer’s music, you can download her latest album, Shadows from the Heart Tree here.

Robert K (Bob Nelson)

For over 40 years Robert K has been entertaining audiences on Southern Vancouver Island. He started his musical journey as the guitarist/vocalist in the Brigham Bros. Band, a top 40 trio that did the Legion circuit in the 70s…
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His next project was as the bass player/vocalist in “Vintage Rock & Roll Band,” Victoria’s top show band in the late 70s & 80s.

Robert, better known to many as “The Big Bopper” made the transition from being the bass player to being the band’s Tenor Sax player. His energy, humour and rich vocals made him a fan favourite.

Then came a 14-year stint as the Bass singer in the well-known local a capello group, Cornerstone. His unmistakable bass voice, sense of humour, and abilities as a composer and arranger provided the foundation for the group’s sound. More recently been seen as the drummer/vocalist in the The Blue Moon Band.

This multi-talented musician has now embarked on another project. Robert K has always been known for his bass voice as part of a group but has recently been working hard to polish his unique style as a lead vocalist. In his own words: “Finally, now that I have the freedom, it’s time to get serious about the thing I love the most… my music!” He has recorded two of his own albums, “Just Me”and “Lessons In Love”.

Steve Pridgeon

Steve Pridgeon is a pianist and keyboard player who enjoys performing pop and rock music from the 60s and 70s. He also occasionally writes original compositions. He played (and exhibited!) at the first Sooke Fine Arts show in 1986 and has performed at most of the shows since.

Dave Paulson & Linda Gould

Dave joined his first band at age twelve. He began playing professionally in Vernon and Kelowna, working as a solo pianist and in small groups at local restaurants and clubs. He has a music degree…
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…from Central Washington State University and taught music in the public school system.

A mid-70’s move to Victoria led to a diverse career in playing, teaching, and rebuilding pianos and opening his own piano business. Dave has played with local and visiting musicians including the Paul Mascioli Big Band, Grand Slam, Fraser McPherson, and had a ten-year stint as musical director/conductor for Butchart Gardens’ summer show.

Linda debuted with Calgary’s Mount Royal College orchestra at the age of eleven, under the baton of J.S. Bach (great-great-etc grand-nephew of the famous Bach). She received a BMus with distinction in piano performance in 1978. Linda studied with Georgy Sebok in Victoria and at the Banff Centre for Performing Arts as well as with inspiring jazz teachers Randy Halberstadt, Karel Roessingh and Lynne McNeil.

Winner of numerous medals in concerto, solo and chamber music competitions, Linda was also awarded “Tech Teacher of the Year” at the national CFMTA.

A BCRMTA-registered piano teacher since 1971, Linda teaches group and private piano lessons at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and in her own studio. She provides workshops for teachers and inspires students to share their joy of music by playing at her famous Musical Matinees.

Dave and Linda now spend time developing their adult teaching program “Play Piano Today”, working as solo and duo pianists, and spending as much time as they can at the keyboard. They helped form the Universal Jazz Advocates & Mentors (U-JAM), to promote jazz and encourage music making at all levels.

Brad Prevedoros

Something happens when you combine fifty years of musical seasoning and the fingers of a magician….

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Something happens when you combine the soul of a classical musician, a world musician, and a jazz musician, with a dash of rainy west coast sensibility…and stir vigorously. Brad Prevedoros happens.
“Stylistically speaking I might go from Bach to Latin to the Beatles,” Prevedoros explains, “Then you can touch different people with different songs.”
Whether it’s a special reception, a prestigious jazz festival, a world class theatre, or an intimate house concert, a Brad Prevedoros performance stays with you. It’s an experience that simmers long afterwards, like a warm home-cooked meal. It’s a sound that soothes your soul like a fine wine.
Primary Instrument: Guitar. Style: World, Contemporary, Jazz and Classical, Performances per Year: 200+ Awards & Accolades: Western Canadian Music Awards Nominee (2003), Monday Magazine Performer of the Year (2006). Vancouver island Music Awards Instrumental Album of the Year Nominee (2013) Venues: Cabra Concert Hall in Spain, Chan Centre in Vancouver, Victoria Jazz Fest, Filberg Fest on Vancouver Island, Harrison Festival (BC).

Doug Farr

Doug Farr has enjoyed a long career of both teaching and performing music in Victoria. Starting with bass as his main instrument, Doug gigged for several years on the Island…
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… Doug later resumed his love of Piano, which has become his main tool of performance. This hasn’t stopped him from doing engagements on Guitar, Vibraphone and Chromatic Harmonica. His own quartet played the 2011 Victoria Jazz Festival and he has performed with “Shades of Shearing” playing the music and arrangements of George Shearing, the Crofton Hotel’s jazz venue with Latin Organ Quartet and with Strings of Note.

Rob & Linda Cheramy

Linda has debuted as a featured artist with the Layton Noble big band 15-piece orchestra at the Royal Theatre. She has been featured with Canada’s finest Jazz vocalists Shannon Gunn, and Denny Clark and has performed…
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…with notables such as Marshall (Tiny) Rips, Ross Taggart, and sax-master of Stan Kenton fame Roy Reynolds, Pete Thompson.

In addition Linda has been recruited for Jazz festivals and workshops with Victoria’s Louise Rose.  She has performed many concerts for the city; Jazz festivals, benefits, noon-hour concerts.  She has also played in every situation from Jazz ballads to raunchy blues. 

Rob Cheramy has played in big bands featuring Paul Horn, Hugh Frasier, Phil Dwyer, Ross Taggart, P.J. Perry, Campbell Rigga, and many more wonderful Jazz performers.

One of the West Coast’s best jazz guitarists, Rob is also Southern Vancouver Island’s busiest guitar teacher.  Rob has accompanied such legends as Tommy Banks, Herb Ellis and Paul Horn, and his playing and composing have received acclaim on recordings by Gord Clements and Roy Reynolds.

When becoming Easy Street, Linda and Rob joined forces as Jazz teachers for many years in Victoria, and as instructors for U-JAM (Universal Jazz Advocates and Mentorship).

Easy Street has enjoyed playing at many of Victoria’s best Jazz venues, regularly at Brentwood Inn, Hermann’s Jazz Club, and decades at Camille’s, Empress Hotel, Alhambra, and many more restaurants, Jazz festivals, park concert venues, benefits, and private engagements.

Their music is classy, ranging from background dining styles, to Swing and Blues performances, playing both as a dynamic duo, or with Victoria’s top rhythm sections.  Easy Street’s repertoire is the ultimate in Jazz standards and Swing favourites.

Aerie Trio

The Aerie Trio features familiar as well as seldom performed music across the ages. From Haydn sonatas, to Piazolla tangos, the trio presents interesting and delightful selections….

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This piano trio combination has many works written for it, which Aerie loves to fine and delve into; they also arrange music to fit this instrumentation.

Diane Berry grew up in Toronto graduating from the music program at York University and since then she has been working as a private teacher and freelance flutist. She began composing in her thirties. She has had works performed by the Erato Ensemble, the Turning Point Ensemble, NuBC, the SOCCO string quartet in Seattle, flutist Mark McGregor, Kamloops Chamber players, and many local Victoria performers. Her compositions have been featured in the Sonic Boom New Music Festival and in the Oak Bay Music series. Her works have been broadcast on Seattle’s KING FM, performed by the Victoria and Vancouver Symphonies and in Dublin, Ireland.

She is a registered music teacher, an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers, the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Victoria Composer’s Collective and the Canadian League of Composers.

Nathan Jacklin is the Director of Strings and Orchestra at Oak Bay High School. He holds a Bachelor Music and a Master of Arts in Social, Cultural, and Foundational Studies from the University of Victoria. Nathan is also the Associate Conductor for the Civic Orchestra of Victoria and has conducted orchestras from all over the Island, including the Cowichan Consort Orchestra, Meridiem Wind Ensemble, and the Juan de Fuca Community Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Victoria Cello Quartet and performs regularly as a cellist around town, including with the Victoria Symphony. Nathan has been fortunate to perform and record with a wide number of artists, most recently including award-winning folk band West My Friend and Juno-nominated singer Chelsea Amber.

Kathryn Le Gros enjoys playing piano and clarinet in chamber music and other small ensembles. After graduating Wilfrid Laurier’s Bachelor of Music program with a major in two instruments, she co-founded the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra (and was also the manager for several years). She was a regular recitalist in southern Ontario before moving to Victoria in the 1990’s. In Victoria, she has played in classical and jazz trios quartets and quintets, as well as performed with singers and other instrumentalists. Recent performances on both clarinet and piano include An Die Musik (an evening of Schubert music) and Amor (an evening of Spanish music) with Resonance, Spring Romantique with cello and singers, classical repertoire with the Aerie Trio, light jazz with Broke and Blue (featuring music of Claude Bolling) and jazz with 5 Shadez of Blue. In addition to her musical pursuits, Kathryn had successful careers in downtown management and postsecondary education before recently retiring.

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