Impromptu serving up reflective jazz vespers

Group melds jazz and classical musical styles for North Saanich performance Sunday, April 12.

Musical trio Impromptu takes the stage for Sunday’s jazz vespers with an originality of sound that comes from musicians performing together for the first time.

Headlined by group anchor Amy Nold, pianist and singer, Impromptu’s standard musical fare is a fusion between jazz and classical, both genres what she calls “musician’s music,” and her style blends and travels between the two.

“It’s challenging and stimulating for me to play. There are structural elements, and within those structural elements there’s room for creativity,” she says.

Nold has been tickling the ivories since she was nine years old, and through an associate of music diploma and studying with Victoria jazz legend George Essihos, has honed her performance skills over the last 35 years as a professional musician.

Impromptu is her creation, started up about five years ago, with accompanying musicians rotating through as they’re available.

Jonnie Bridgman is on saxophone for the performance, sure to be satisfying. Bridgman studied with several of B.C.’s finest saxophonists including Phil Dwyer, Wendell Clanton, Larry Crawford and Larry Miller. He’s also written and recorded music with a number of groups and teaches the sax, flute and clarinet.

Completing the triad is Matthew Hodgins on percussion, a musician with decades of experience and devotion to drumming. Hodgins has been teaching percussion in England and B.C. for 16 years, and is well-loved for his student workshops.

Though accomplished musicians all, it’s the first time the three will be playing together, and that freshness could well spark some new sounds.

“This is a brand new combination, and it’s mostly new material as well,” said Nold. “The word impromptu means in the moment, off the cuff, and that often happens in the world of jazz.”

Also lending a new sound is the electronic keyboard that Nold will be playing – rather different from her usual grand piano.

Having performed at jazz vespers several years ago, she’s put together a program with a spiritual tone in mind.

“As the poster says, it’s where jazz meets spirit. It is a church service, so I’ve selected my repertoire with that sensibility in mind,” she says. “I’ve chosen the program from the jazz lexicon that I think is more reflective and interpretive.”

The performance will offer “good variety of music and sound textures,” she says. “And hopefully, a melding with the spiritual aspect of the church service.”

Jazz vespers services begin at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 12 at St. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich Road. There is no admission, though an offering will be taken to cover the cost of the musicians and the vespers program.

Jazz vespers continues May 3 with trombonist Nick LaRiviere.

For more information, call Bernadette Greene at 250-656-0875 or email at bernadettegreene@shaw.ca.

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