McBride and her intergenerational band schooled in the art of jazz music

McBride and her intergenerational band schooled in the art of jazz music

Twilight Tour hits Crofton Sunday as part of a cross-Canada venture

Chelsea McBride, a 26-year-old saxophonist, lyricist and orchestration super-nova, who leads a 19-piece modern jazz orchestra, has taken Toronto by storm.

And now she is set to wow big-band fans in the Cowichan Valley. On Sunday, June 24, her Socialist Night School modern jazz orchestra, currently on a cross-Canada tour, hits the stage at Pat’s House of Jazz in the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton at 2 p.m.

The tour began in Calgary Saturday, June 16 and McBride takes her inter-generational orchestra to 11 locations in five provinces during a rare summer tour over 36 days, winding up at Waterloo, Ont. July 21.

Bass trombonist Nicholas Sieber was born and raised on Vancouver Island so stops in Victoria Saturday, June 23 and Crofton the next day will be extra special for him.

McBride is thrilled that one of her dreams is coming true after six years of hard work.

“I’ve been watching my heroes do this for years now,” she noted. “Whether it’s Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra a few years back, or Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society also around that time – big bands touring across Canada are a huge endeavour, but not impossible. What makes this project so unique is the fact that we aren’t just a band of old pros.”

The Socialist Night School brings together emerging musicians like McBride and her peers with established pros like Brownman Ali (also the owner of Browntasauras Records, to which the Socialist Night School is signed), Colleen Allen, and William Carn. There’s almost a 40-year age gap between the youngest and oldest members of the band.

“It’s magic, though,” McBride added. “What we learn from being able to play with our mentors transcends a lot of what my peers and I have learned through school. It teaches us to listen in totally different ways.”

The show the band is touring is unique as well: the life story of you. Set on a rainy beach under purple skies and orange clouds, the Socialist Night School’s expansive palette of musical images takes you on a nostalgic journey through your childhood dreams, the growing pains of early adulthood, and the peace of mind that comes with finding who you are. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, The Twilight Tour takes you for a ride, but always brings you home.

Be prepared to re-think your definition of big-band music. It doesn’t sound like the traditional big band of the ’40s. Think of it as modern, large-ensemble jazz, with avant-garde voicings and harmonies.

The band’s debut album, The Twilight Fall, has been hailed as “dazzling” and “a progressive jazz epic” by critics. It recently received four stars in DownBeat Magazine.

In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, reviewer Peter Hum called her album “forward looking, an engaging listen from beginning to end that brims with tunefulness, personality and youthful vitality.”

The CBC named McBride one of Canada’s top jazz musicians under 35. She has already performed at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival and others.

A Vancouver native, McBride began playing piano at age three and took up the saxophone in elementary school.

She graduated from Humber College in Toronto in 2014 and already has five albums under her belt, including three with her pop-fusion band, Chelsea and the Cityscape.

Sunday’s performance, the last of the spring season, is presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society. Reservations are highly recommended. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m. Call 250-324-2245.

Pat’s House of Jazz is in the Osborne Bay Pub at 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton.

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

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read