It may have once been considered “the work of the devil,” but today jazz music can be found in some of the most divine places.
That will be evident when Toronto-based jazz pianist, composer and singer Mike Janzen performs at Vernon’s All Saints Anglican Church Saturday, Nov. 28.
Janzen, who has previously visited the Vernon Jazz Club with his trio, is currently touring on his most recent recording, Nudging Forever, an eight-movement piece featuring jazz trio, flugelhorn, and string orchestra.
“We are very lucky Mike was able to arrange a solo appearance in Vernon in the midst of his busy schedule,” said Rev. Canon Chris Harwood-Jones, with All Saints.
Nudging Forever explores the themes of kairos and chronos (the Greek words for time), and follows the Benedictine hours of prayer.
“Unique, moving and powerful, this piece wonderfully melds the beauty of the classical world with the spontaneity of jazz improvisation,” reads Janzen’s website.
Janzen plays an engaging blend of Broadway standards and explorative versions of popular songs from Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson to Coldplay’s God Put a Smile Upon Your Face, along with well-crafted originals.
His primary group, The Mike Janzen Trio, has toured across Canada and has been featured at the Toronto International Jazz Festival, the Wreckhouse International Festival and Winnipeg International Jazz Festival (as a duo), and is a regular national fixture on both CBC Radio (Tonic) and Jazz 91.1.
Janzen’s song, There’s No Escaping Spring, recently won best jazz/blues song of the year at the Gospel Music Association of Canada awards in Calgary.
At the trio’s sold out concert at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto in 2013, Dennis Patterson (CBC engineer) remarked, “that’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard in here!”
Opening for Janzen is vocalist Karen Wiseman accompanied by Jim Leonard on piano and Harwood-Jones on bass. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $25, available at the Bean Scene, Wentworth Music and at All Saints Anglican Church at 3205 27th St.