Chris Harwood-Jones  (centre) brings his instrumental jazz fusion to the Powerhouse Theatre Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Chris Harwood-Jones (centre) brings his instrumental jazz fusion to the Powerhouse Theatre Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Dream team takes the stage

Local musician Chris Harwood-Jones will be live in concert at Powerhouse Theatre for the first performance of his debut album

By the time he was 17 years old, Chris Harwood-Jones was working as a professional musician.

At 21, he recorded some of his original music and was featured on a radio station in Winnipeg, his hometown.

That early gig as a bassist with Ron Paley, Kas Siwik and others was put aside when Harwood-Jones pursued a vocation in the Anglican Church.

Now in his 40s, the musician has returned to music both inside and outside the church.

His solo album, Unhooked, was released in November and includes guest appearances by Alain Caron, Bill Ray, Mike Janzen and Kim Richardson.

On Tuesday, Harwood-Jones takes the stage at Powerhouse Theatre for the premiere performance of his debut album.

The music itself is instrumental jazz fusion, a hybrid of rock and jazz pioneered by Miles Davis and the signature style of guitarists like Jeff Beck and Allan Holdsworth.

“The music is notoriously difficult to play and in order to complete the album, master instrumentalists were recruited from Toronto, Montreal and San Diego,” said Harwood-Jones.

In his review of the album, Morning Star music reviewer Dean Gordon-Smith called the music “surprising…an update of Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop…and a startling jazz rock discovery…a guitar head’s wet dream.”

In order to pull together a live performance, Harwood-Jones has assembled a dream team of local musicians: keyboardist Henry Piovesan, bassist Cam Ward and drummer Matt Harwood-Jones.

Piovesan began playing piano at age four and is a graduate of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, studying under Chuck Mangione, Mike and Pat Metheny, Gary Burton and Quincy Jones.

He has played and toured with his own bands, Formation and Whitewater, across the United States and at many festivals. More recently, he has worked with The Platters, Dave Sinclair (Sarah McLachlan), Christine Duncan and Sherman (Tank) Doucette.

Ward has played six-string bass and double bass for more than 30 years in the Okanagan Valley, with artists like P.J. Perry, Campbell Ryga, Ross Taggart, Carol Welsman and Jennifer Scott.

As a member of the Just In Time trio, he won the Scorpion Entertainment Award for jazz three years in a row. He is a first-call musician for out-of-town performers and plays with the Kamloops Symphony in the rhythm section for guest vocalists.

As a high school student, Matt Harwood-Jones gained a reputation as a local drumming phenomenon, receiving numerous awards and accolades, as well as a scholarship from Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

He appeared on the main stage at the Vernon Rarearth Music Festival at age 17, and his YouTube video drumming to pop hit Gangnam Style went viral with close to a million views in its first week.

Chris Harwood-Jones and his band will play a high-octane, 90-minute show that includes other favourites from within the jazz fusion genre by Pat Metheny, Tribal Tech and UZEB, and offers a musical feast for both the connoisseur and the casual fan.

The show takes place Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Powerhouse Theatre. Tickets are $20 for adults, students (25 and under) are $10. Tickets are available at Blenz, Record City and the Bean Scene or can be reserved online at chrisharwoodjones.com

 

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