Flamenco fire rekindles the Vernon Jazz Club when the high energy John Gilliat Quartet returns this Saturday.
Guitarist Gilliat is joined by new band member multi-instrumentalist Rossi Tzonkov who performs on bass guitar, Spanish guitar, Caribbean steel drums, and vocals.
Brent Gubbels on bass and Lyndon Dewitt on percussion complete the quartet.
The band performs a unique global blend of rhumba flamenco, rock, Latin jazz, swing, and Caribbean. The evening will feature a terrific fusion of pop and Latin jazz classics, from Duke Ellington’s Caravan and Michael Bublé’s Sway, to rock classics by Santana, The Eagles, and many more.
“My influences come from so many guitarists like David Gilmour, Al Di Meola, Steve Morse, Vicente Amigo, Django Reinhardt, and Ottmar Liebert,” said Gilliat.
A West Coast Music Award nominee, Gilliat has toured throughout North America and Japan, including performances at Japan’s 2005 Expo and Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympics. His recordings have been used for documentaries, television, and film in North America, Japan, Ireland, and the U.K.
Gilliat also found inspiration for his music in nuevo flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert.
“One day my in-laws took my wife and I to see Natalie Cole and opening for Natalie was guitarist Ottmar Liebert. I was blown away by that performance. I decided to create the same type of band,” said Gilliat.
Gilliat’s dedication has been richly rewarded with a highly successful performing and recording career, performing with notable artists like blues guitarist Jimmy D. Lane and rock band Hinder, and opening for Cirque du Soleil and Mae Moore. He has recorded five CDs to date, including 2009’s Winter Strings, and an instructional guitar DVD.
Gilliat’s latest inspiration is working with new member Tzonkov.
“It’s very refreshing to have met someone such as Rossi to collaborate with. I feel as though we are going to create and achieve some magnificent projects.”
Gilliat performs in two new ensembles with Tzonkov: Carumba, a Spanish-Caribbean fusion, and Ritmo Caliente, a modern fusion of electric and flamenco guitar. Gilliat has also been in the studio recording a new album with rising jazz star Olga Osipova.
Embracing a wide variety of styles, European-born Tzonkov has toured extensively in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, and Europe. He has performed at many prestigious events, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Gubbels studied music at Capilano College and with internationally known bassists such as Rene Worst and David Brown. He has performed folk, roots, jazz, and Latin music with artists such as Oscar Lopez, James Keelaghan, Susan Crowe and Dal Richards. For the past 20 years, Gubbels has toured North American and Europe, playing a variety of international jazz and folk festivals.
Dewitt began studying drums with Bill Williams before enrolling in the Douglas College music program. There he had the opportunity to study with Vancouver’s great percussionist, educator, and producer Sal Ferreras. Dewitt draws inspiration from drummers such as Buddy Rich and Neil Peart, and in particular, Police drummer Stewart Copeland who he says pushes the limits of creativity and style.
Saturday’s performance by the John Gilliat Quartet starts at 8 p.m. Doors to the Vernon Jazz Club, 3000-31st St., open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup coffee houses or online at www.vernonjazzclub.ca.