After last year’s diamond anniversary, the North Okanagan Community Concert Association opens its 61st season with a kaleidoscope of sound.
The NOCCA is once again presenting a full season of five concerts at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre that features a colourful array of music from a flamenco-Latin-jazz guitarist to a renowned 40-voice women’s choir.
“It is going to be a busy season, full of energy and variety and one not to be missed,” said NOCCA president Paul Maynes.
The season opens Thursday, Oct. 16 with Servantes, featuring the Latin-infused jazz and flamenco guitarist and his quartet out of Quebec.
At 35, Gatineau-based artist Servantes, born Patrice Servant, has been playing the guitar since the age of six and describes his music as ever changing and growing.
“As time goes on and humans evolve, new possibilities come to a musician’s ears, creating new sounds, new mixes, new languages. Music is the sound of our culture, our soul, our history,” he said.
As a student at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec, Servant won diplomas in classical guitar interpretation and chamber music and also studied percussion, composing, harmony, counterpoint, writing and music editing, as well as theory and solfege.
After completing two master’s degrees in music and giving hundreds of performances with various projects, Servants studied Latin rhythms in Peru and flamenco in Spain. When he returned, his musician friends nicknamed him “Servantes,” reflecting his passion for his music of choice.
As Servantes, he has since played for former Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean and opened for jazz icon Wynton Marsalis at the Ottawa International Jazz festival.
In November, NOCCA welcomes les Violons du Roy, an internationally recognized chamber orchestra from Montreal. The Joe Trio takes the stage in March, with some possibly irreverent classics for strings, and in April, The Bergmann Piano Duo will provide music from Bach to their own jazz compositions.
NOCCA closes its season in May with the glorious voices of Elektra, a women’s choir from Vancouver, which returns in timely fashion the weekend after B.C.’s Chorfest celebrations take place in Vernon.
“NOCCA is also sponsoring a showcase of North Okanagan youth talent Feb. 1 to provide the opportunity for young classically trained musicians to perform at the Performing Arts Centre,” said Maynes.
Season ticket subscriptions for the full concert series are still available and can also be used to enjoy concerts put on by both the Kelowna and Penticton community concert associations.
“Technically, you may attend 14 concerts for the price of five,” said Maynes.
Servantes is at the Performing Arts Centre, Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets are $35 for adults, $17.50 for students under 18 and $5 for eyeGo students. A NOCCA season ticket is $100 for all five concerts or $50 for those under 18. Tickets are available from the Ticket Seller box office at the centre, or call 250-549-7469.