Called a “jazz sensation” by Monday Magazine, with the Times Colonist calling Heather Ferguson’s music, “lush, expertly performed, with an engaging setlist and…she will fill the room with her silky-smooth notes” Heather’s journey to music was long and winding but the singer, based in Victoria, Canada, is becoming known for her interpretations of great 20th century songs. A dynamic and consummate performer with a smouldering sound and a soulful warm voice, Ferguson’s music can be found on streaming platforms including Spotify, YouTube and Apple. Her debut album “Lush Life” releases in November, 2022.
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Joey Smith – Bass, Guitar, Arranger
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.
Currently, several of his arrangements appear on recordings by The Bills and The Marc Atkinson Trio. Joey plays with the Marc Atkinson Trio, the Karel Roessingh Trio, the CanUS traditional jazz band and many other groups in town. He has been a faculty member at the VCM in the Jazz Studies Department since 2004 and has been involved with the Conservatory’s Summer Jazz program since 2006.
Dr. Anthony Genge – piano and organ
A native of Vancouver, Tony Genge is one of Canada’s leading jazz organists and jazz pianists. He is also a respected music educator, and a well-known and much-recorded composer of classical music.
Genge started as a jazz organist performing for a number of years in Vancouver, before studying classical composition in the late 1970s. He completed a Ph.D. in composition with the composer Morton Feldman in 1984.
From 1989 until 2005 Genge taught jazz piano in the Dept. of Music at St. Francis Xavier University, and also performed extensively with leading jazz artists.
Damian Graham – drums
Having performed across Canada, USA and Europe, Damian has been busy changing the way people think about the drums. Born in New Zealand and raised on the west coast of Canada, Damian’s musical diversity has led to performances with some of the finest musicians in the country and abroad. Damian maintains a busy live and studio schedule with his own ensemble and as an in demand freelance musician.
Performance highlights have included sharing the stage with Joshua Redman, Albert Collins, Cecil McBee, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Holly Cole, The Shuffle Demons, Buddy Guy, Metalwood, The Paladins, Colin James, The Odds, Junkhouse, Jane Bunnett, Dave Bartholemew, Joey DeFrancesco. Shows in Chicago, London, New York, San Francisco, Cologne, Stockholm and numerous festival appearances including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Toronto and Vancouver DuMarier Jazz Festivals, Beilefeld Jazz Festival (Germany), Hultsfred Festival (Sweden), High Sierra Music Festival (USA), Tuno Festival (Denmark).
As well as playing drums, Damian regularly works in the chair of Producer, Engineer, Web and Graphic Designer, Composer and has run his own label Bagel Boy Records since 1989. Recording highlights include his latest release as a band leader entitled “Trios” a follow up to the well received album “Digs”. As a composer Damian has written a large collection of material encompassing a wide variety of musical genres both on his own and in collaboration with other artists. Many of these compositions have been featured on radio and TV throughout Canada, Europe and the US.
Barrie Sorensen - Tenor Saxophone
Barrie Sorensen originally hails from Prince Edward Island. He studied at the prestigious music school at McGill University, where he attained a Bachelor of Music, majoring in jazz performance. He later had the opportunity to study privately in New York with the world-renowned contemporary jazz saxophonist Bob Berg.
Before moving to Victoria, Barrie had performed with a wide variety of ensembles and artists on the East Coast, including Symphony Nova Scotia, the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, the PEl Symphony Orchestra, Measha Brüggergosman, Jean Stilwell, Dutch Mason, Matt Minglewood, and was a member of the two-time East Coast Music Award winning swing band, the Jive Kings. In 2012, he was awarded the "Doug Riley Artist of the year" by the PEl Jazz & Blues Festival, and as such was a featured headline performer at that year's festival. Barrie also spent some time on the cruise ship circuit, working in the show bands of Holland America and Carnival Cruise Lines.
Since moving to Victoria, Barrie has become one of the most in-demand saxophonists on the Canadian West Coast. The list of artists he has recently performed and/or recorded with includes Sarah McLachlan, The Paperboys, Jets Overhead, Nick La Riviere and the Best Laid Plans, Lelolai Latin Fusion and the Vancouver Island Repertory Jazz Orchestra, to name just a few.
As well, he is currently the big band director of The Pacific Blue Big Band of the
Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy. As a composer/arranger, he has been commissioned by the CBC, many educational and community ensembles, as well as commercial artists to write music for a wide variety of ensembles and musical settings, including big band, symphony pops arrangements and independent film. Many of his original tunes and arrangements have been broadcast extensively on CBC national radio.
Miguelito Valdes – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Congas
Studying music in Cuba, his country of birth, at the age of 11 while attending the Elementary School of Music "Paulita Concepcion". He completed his studies at the Provincial School of Music "Amadeo Roldan" at age of 19.
His first professional experience was with the group "Jelengue" in 1992. Since then, he has performed with many of Cuba's top performers, including the Cabaret Tropicana Orquestra, Giraldo Piloto & Klimax, Pablo Milanes, Haila Mompie, Chucho Valdes, Havana Ensemble, Augusto Enriquez and Mayito Rivera (from Los Van Van).
Miguelito participated in the award-winning recording "La Rumba Soy Yo", which won a Latin Grammy in 2001. In 2000, he began playing with Omara Portuondo (Diva of Buena Vista Social Club) with whom he toured the world for 6 years. He has also played with important musicians abroad including Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Wayne Shorter, Wallace Roney, Brian Blade and, from the Latin scene, Michael Stuart, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Ricardo Lemvo, among others. In 2005, had the opportunity of participating in the recording of the CD named “Rhythms del Mundo” with musicians like Sting, Clodplay, U2, Maroon 5, just to mention some.
In 2002 and 2003, he was invited to play the Mexico venues of the Buena Vista Social Club, which included musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo, Barbarito Torres, Cachaito Lopez, “Guajiro” Mirabal, Jesus “Aguaje” Ramos. He also participated in the latest European tour of Ibrahim Ferrer in July 2005.
In the area of recording, he has participated in more than 50 CDs in Cuba. In 1993 he recorded his first CD at the age of 18 with the group "Jelengue", receiving excellent reviews. Later, he joined two of Cuba's more prolific trumpet talents, Alexander Abreu and Yaure Muñiz, to form one of the most renowned of Cuba's recording teams.
Jan Stirling – piano
ARCT – Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto – Performance
B.Mus. Arts. – University of Western Ontario, London
Humber College, Toronto – Jazz Studies
Biofield Tuning Practitioner Certification
Reiki - Level 2, Quantum Touch and Super Charging
Although Jan is best known as a jazz, classical, and pop musician, performing as a soloist or in duos, trios or quartets, she is also a teacher, a composer, a Biofield Tuning Practitioner, and a writer.
Born in Brantford Ontario, she has made the West Coast her home for the better part of her life. She has entertained in Victoria, Vancouver, Thailand, Japan, Australia, Penang, and on cruise ships. She continues to perform in Victoria for events at Government House, the Empress Hotel, Butchart Gardens, The Oswego Hotel and at weddings and private parties where uplifting music is called for.
Jan either plays solo piano, or in duos or trios with people like Joey Smith on bass, Al Vance on guitar, Edie Daponte on vocals or Dick Smith on saxophone. When working in Vancouver for five years, she had a regular gig at the Pan Pacific with Patty and Oliver Gannon, Ross Taggart, and Roy Reynolds
Kelby MacNayr – drums
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.
- 1) Lush Life
- 2) Bewitched
- 3) Body & Soul
- 4) At Last
- 5) The Look of Love
- 6)All the Things You Are
- 7) Stardust
- 8) Cry Me A River
- 9) Lover Man
- 10) Round Midnight