Neville Bowman plays his 27th performance at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, April 8. Bowman has been playing the club since its opening season in 1999. (Photo submitted)

Neville Bowman plays his 27th performance at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, April 8. Bowman has been playing the club since its opening season in 1999. (Photo submitted)

House favourite returns to Vernon Jazz Club

Before you get too far along, I think I should disclose that I am Neville Bowman’s biggest fan

Candice McMahon

For The Morning Star

Before you get too far along in this article, I think I should disclose that I am Neville Bowman’s biggest fan.

Honestly, I thought I held this exclusive status until I started telling people how great he was. That’s when I found out I wasn’t alone at all, not even a little bit. The Vernon Jazz Club is home to many hard-core Bowman fans.

Bowman first played the Vernon Jazz Club in our opening fall season back in 1999. For some of us, it was truly “love at first song.” Saturday will be Bowman’s 27th performance at our club. It’s kind of obvious he is a house favourite, especially when the math tells you that the Vernon Jazz Club has only been up and running for 18 years.

During his Vernon Jazz Club performances, Bowman played with Just in Time, Cathy-Ann Wells, Robert Fine, Craig Thomson Quartet, Larry Crawford Quartet, Bernie Addington Quintet, Pat MacGibbon Quartet, Anna Jacyszyn & Café Jazz Band, Neville Bowman Quintet, Amanda Morazain, Neville Bowman Trio with Curtis Parry, Michael Garding Quintet, Ali Henry, Groove Engine, Kinga Heming, and Michael Garding Fundraiser.

This will be the fourth time Bowman has fronted a band at the Vernon Jazz Club, much to the demand and excitement of our patrons. It’s no surprise, really, that we think of him as ours.

The admiration seems to be a two-way street.

“Venues like the Vernon Jazz Club give those of us in this business a place which offers that all too rare privilege, that of an audience which listens,” said Bowman. “It also allows us, as creative entities, to test ourselves (and) explore music on a deeper level than just safe background music.”

A long-time resident of Kelowna, Bowman is comfortable in these surroundings, but he is anything but typical. His sincere dedication to his craft, his professional showmanship, and his meticulously high standards have melded him into an absolutely outstanding performer.

Bowman’s expertise on the piano will amaze you, as will his ability to express his solos with such adherence to musicality, avoiding the trap of merely showing off his technical prowess. However, when he sings, that’s when you’ll fall completely under his spell.

“Neville sings a lot of Michael Bublé songs. Well, around here we think he is actually better than Bublé. You don’t want to miss his performance,” Iain Ritchie, MC at the Jazz Club, boasts to the crowd.

No strangers to the Vernon Jazz Club and rounding out Bowman’s high calibre band are Loni Moger, a simply amazing guitarist; Bernie Addington, an exceptional bass player; Martin Lord, master of the drums; and Craig Thomson, a bedazzling tenor saxophonist.

Neville Bowman Band will be onstage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st Street) on Saturday, April 8th at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Cash only bar on site. Tickets available for $20 online at www.vernonjazz.com and at Expressions of Time (2901-30 Ave), with a $5 rebate at the doors for VJS members.