Jim Gawne on mandoquela

Sunyata sets on St. John’s vesper season

Flamenco-hybrid trio Sunyata plays St. John's United Church jazz vespers series

The sun sets on the jazz vespers season at St. Johns with  the flamenco-hybrid trio, Sunyata.

Performing original music with Mediterranean roots, Sunyata is Jim Gawne on mandoquela, Ken Hall on guitar and Laurent Boucher on percussion.

Gawne has an eclectic musical background, studying new music and electronic composition with Barry Truax at SFU, to jazzgrass with David Grisman. He has a passion for all the world’s string instruments and an insatiable desire to adopt them into the mandolin family. His earliest instruments were the piano and guitar, but in his early 20s, he was smitten with mando-fever and never fully recovered. He currently plays a custom built hybrid instrument that appears to be a guitar, but is actually a five-string mandolin. Jim co-founded Sunyata in the 1990s and their first CD was released internationally in 1997, where it was ranked as third in the World Beat charts for most of that year. The current incarnation of Sunyata has been performing together since 1999 and has released a studio and a live CD.

Ken Hall studied composition at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. Since moving to the Victoria area he has played in and been a founding member of some of Victoria’s most successful bands including The Sidewalk Blues Band, Kumbia, Sunyata and the Sara Merreiros band. He also plays with the Stomp Club, the Emily Braden Trio and the world beat group Saffron.

Laurent Boucher was raised in Montreal and comes from a musical family. He first studied violin, then moved to percussion at the age of 10.  Since moving to the west coast in the early ’80s he has been active in a variety of musical projects, ranging in style from rock and pop to big band and world music.  He also plays Cuban, Brazilian and African percussion. Laurent has performed with Randy Bachman, Mark Atkinson, Miles Black, Phil Dwyer, Neil Swainson, Rene Worst, Bill Henderson, Celso Machado and others. He lives, performs and teaches on Salt Spring Island.

Sunyata performs jazz vespers June 3, 7 p.m. at St. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich Rd. There is no admission charge and an offering will be taken.

For further information, please call Bernadette at 250-656-0875 or email her at bernadettegreene@shaw.ca.


Did you know?

The jazz vespers series takes a break and returns on Sept. 9.

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