Jazz Vespers welcomes popular duo

Tom Ackerman and Joey Smith will kick off the New Year at Jazz Vespers

Tom Ackerman

NORTH SAANICH — Tom Ackerman and Joey Smith will kick off the New Year at Jazz Vespers at St. John’s United Church on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.

While most Victoria jazz lovers will probably be more familiar with the sight of Joey Smith waltzing with his bass in performance, the guitar is actually his first instrument and the one he will be playing at Jazz Vespers on Jan. 5.

Ackerman will join him on clarinet and saxophone and Ryan Tandy will play bass.

Ackerman was born in Hollywood and began tap dancing and playing the clarinet at age six.

He was at that time a member of a family act Dixieland band which led to an appearance on the famed Ted Mack Amateur Hour television show.

Eventually he moved to Hawaii in 1975 and worked with several jazz bands and performed with some great artists including Sammy Davis, Jr., Joe Williams and Julio Iglesias.

He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts, lived and worked in Washington D.C. and eventually became a bandleader for Princess Cruises for 10 years where he met his Canadian bride, Sarah.

Now residing in Victoria, Ackerman has worked with the Ian McDougall Big Band and the Don Leppard Big Band and is a regular member with CanUS and The Stomp Club.

After touring for two-and-a-half years with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as bassist and arranger, Smith, originally from Tennessee, also ended up settling in Victoria with a Canadian bride.

An in-demand freelance bassist, Joey performs regularly with the Marc Atkinson Trio, the Karel Roessingh Trio, the CanUS traditional jazz band and many other groups in Victoria.

Tandy began his musical career in the jazz studies program at Esquimalt High.

Since graduating in 2006, he has been in demand all over Victoria.

Jazz Vespers continues on Feb. 9 with The Victoria Chamber Jazz Quartet (VCJQ) returning to perform Claude Bolling’s second Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio. On March 2, vocalist/pianist Amy Nold will bring her trio.

Jazz Vespers services begin at 7 p.m. St. John’s United Church is located at 10990 West Saanich Rd. across from Deep Cove School.   There is no admission charge. An offering will be taken to cover costs of the program.

— Submitted