Neil Fraser

Lent Fraser Wall Trio makes its way back to Vernon Jazz Club

Lent Fraser Wall Trio, with guest bassist Bernie Addington, take the stage Saturday night at Vernon Jazz Club.

Vernon Jazz Club audiences will recognize some familiar faces as the Lent Fraser Wall Trio, with guest bassist Bernie Addington, take the stage this Saturday night.

The band will be performing tunes such as Ain’t Got Nothing but the Blues (Mose Alison), Song for My Father (Horace Silver), and Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse (Bruce Cockburn).

Their sound is a hybrid mix of jazz, blues, folk, and rhythm and blues, melding together the backgrounds and specialities of each musician. The result is a body of jazz that has strong roots in other musical worlds.

The trio includes John Lent (vocals and guitar), Neil Fraser (vocals and lead guitar), and Shelby Wall (vocals and rhythm guitar).

Together, they have been playing for the past 22 years. Although members originally hail from different parts of the country, their excitement and passion for music is the same.

“It’s a unique and different story for each of us – two prairie boys (Wall and Lent) and one West Coast boy (Fraser) – but we were all middle class suburban North American kids maturing in the early ‘60s in an explosion of music that was so varied and irresistible,’ said Lent. “We’ve talked about that a lot; about how exciting music was back then and how demanding it was too. You didn’t want to do anything else. Music was endless.”

It’s that same excitement and magic that Lent tries to achieve in his composing today. When asked what inspires him to write, he says “very ordinary, day-to-day textures and situations inspire me to write.

“I find that territory so magical and rich even though you always have to be wary of sentimentality and cliché. But if you’re careful about those things, you can reach for surprise and magic instead.”

Lent, a singer, songwriter, and literary writer, moved to Vernon in the late ‘70s and taught literature and creative writing at Okanagan College for 33 years until his retirement as the college’s regional dean in 2011.

Fraser recently played at the Vernon Jazz Club with the gypsy-jazz band ShusManouche. He is an accomplished guitar teacher and has been an instructor with the Vernon Community Music School for more than 15 years.

Born in Saskatchewan, Wall moved to the Vernon area in the late-‘70s.  He first began performing rock and country-rock and became interested in jazz around 1988.

Bassist Addington has worked with top local and international artists across North America. He has played extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Australia and enjoys a successful career as a freelance musician and private instructor.

Addington will also be joining the Amanda Morazain Quintet Dec. 6 at the Vernon Jazz Club.

Lent Fraser Wall takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. and tickets are available in advance for $20 at the Bean Scene or Bean to Cup coffee houses, or at Vernon Jazz Society members receive a $5 rebate at the door.


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