The Burntwood Curling Club will be transformed into a hip Jazz club on April 25 when the R.D. Parker Jazz Ensembles take over the building for Java Jazz Night.
University of Manitoba Jazz Studies Department head Steve Kirby will be travelling up to Thompson to work with the R.D. Parker Jazz Ensembles.
Kirby’s visit, and the Java Jazz Night are not credit courses for the students, but are enriching in their music education.
“Every few years we apply for a grant to bring in outside musicians to work with the students,” said R.D. Parker music instructor Kevin Lewis, “so this year we’ve decided to bring in Steve.”
The R.D. Parker Jazz Ensembles recently returned from the Brandon Jazz Festival in March, where they performed a number of pieces.
“We have a lot of music prepared from Brandon,” said Lewis, “and now we get to bring in a clinician to really work with the students on it and move forward towards the final concerts.”
Close to 45 students will be performing at Java Jazz Night, as parts of three different student groups; the Junior Jazz Band, Adrenaline Jazz which is the senior band, and the R.D. Parker Jazz Combo.
Kirby will also be performing with the students, along with some R.D. Parker graduates who have gone on to music schools and are coming back for the night of the performance.
“It’s going to be a really laid back, impromptu kind of jam session,” explained Lewis, “Jazz music works better in that type of lounge environment, and the curling club suits that. It’s not really the same when you listen to Jazz in a concert hall.”
Tim Hortons will be sponsoring the event and providing the coffee and desserts, which will be provided for those paying the entry fee.
All the proceeds from the night will be going to the Thompson Music Parents, the group that is responsible for actually bringing Kirby in.
“There are expenses in bringing someone like Steve in to town,” said Lewis, “travel costs and hotel stay, so the money we raise for this night will go to paying them back for bringing him here.”