Cap U Faculty. (Photo submitted)

Capilano University jazz toup returns to Vernon

The group will take the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club on Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m.

Last spring, the Capilano University faculty, along with students from the school, blew the roof off the Vernon Jazz Club.

The faculty members are back again to treat the Vernon audience to another evening of jazz. According to the Cap-U faculty, the Vernon Jazz Club is a favourite venue who regularly perform to a sold-out crowd.

“There’s no club like the Vernon Jazz Club in Vancouver,” said Dennis Esson, jazz studies coordinator and instructor.

Capilano University, located in North Vancouver, offers a premiere four-year bachelor of music and jazz studies degree, as well as a two-year diploma program, and is recognized nationwide as one of Canada’s top jazz training institutions. Focusing on jazz performance and composition, the degree program sets extremely high standards of musicianship and draws from amongst the strongest music students in Western Canada.

These world-renowned instructors are amongst the greatest jazz musicians in Canada and are tremendously exciting to experience.

Dennis Esson, jazz trombonist, since moving to Vancouver in 1980, has established himself as a highly respected and sought after trombonist for a wide variety of musical endeavors. He has recorded music for cartoons, movies, jingles and soundtracks in addition to albums with many pop and rock groups. He has also been in the pit orchestras of several Broadway shows. In 1993, Dennis was the recipient of a Canada Council of the Arts “B” grant to study jazz trombone in New York where he studied with Conrad Herwig, Steve Turre, Benny Powell and Slide Hampton.

Brad Turner is a Juno award-winning jazz trumpeter. His phenomenal talents as a trumpeter, pianist, drummer, and composer make him one of Canada’s most sought after and highly esteemed musicians. Turner’s groups have opened for McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry, Diana Krall and Tony Bennett.

Steve Kaldestad has become one of the most in-demand saxophonists on the scene. His musical career has taken him from the Canadian prairies to Montreal, obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, to London, England, for eight fantastic years playing and recording, and finally to the B.C. coast, where he is extremely busy teaching, playing and recording.

Jared Burrows, guitarist extraordinaire, is a dynamic force on the Vancouver scene as a performer, composer and community organizer. He works in a huge variety of ensembles in jazz, new music, and world music settings and leads the Jared Burrows Quartet and Sextet and the Vancouver Improvisers Orchestra.

Dave Robbins, jazz drummer, has spent his career performing and recording with the finest jazz musicians in Canada and has always loved writing. The 20-year-old Dave Robbins Sextet was formed to spotlight this aspect of his musicianship, with a classic hard bop formation and exciting sound that also incorporates African and rock-infused jazz styles. They’ll be going into the studio right after this gig to record their second CD.

Dr. Laura Harrison, jazz vocalist, hails from Vancouver, where she completed a Bachelor of Music at Capilano University and a Bachelor of Education degree at UBC (the University of British Columbia) to become a high school teacher. Laura finished her Master of Music at USC in 2002 and her Doctorate of Music in Jazz Studies in 2007. As of 2010, Laura became the “Artist in Residence” at Irvine High School. In August of 2010, she debuted her first jazz CD that has been played in forty-three states and thirteen countries, climbing to #18 on the CMJ Jazz National Chart. Her heaviest radio play areas are fourteen stations in the greater New York City area, followed by Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Memphis Tennessee. She is in demand as a vocalist, private voice instructor, and educator throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Dr. Harrison has recently returned to the Cypress College Music Department where she teaches choir, private voice, group voice, and music theory.

Cap U Faculty will be onstage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31 Street) on Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets $20 online at and at our sponsor, Expressions of Time (2901-30 Ave), with a $5 rebate at the gig for VJS members. The bar will be cash only.

Related: Caught in the middle of folk and jazz

Related: Jazzy songstress returns to Vernon club

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