Chelsea McBride brings her Socialist Night School group to the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton Sunday, June 24. (Photo submitted)

Chelsea McBride brings her Socialist Night School group to the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton Sunday, June 24. (Photo submitted)

McBride and her intergenerational band schooled in the art of jazz music

Twilight Tour hits Crofton Sunday as part of a cross-Canada venture

Chelsea McBride, a 26-year-old saxophonist, lyricist and orchestration super-nova, who leads a 19-piece modern jazz orchestra, has taken Toronto by storm.

And now she is set to wow big-band fans in the Cowichan Valley. On Sunday June 24, her Socialist Night School modern jazz orchestra, currently on a cross-Canada tour, hits the stage at Pat’s House of Jazz in the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton at 2 p.m.

The tour began in Calgary Saturday, June 16 and McBride takes her inter-generational orchestra to 11 locations in five provinces during a rare summer tour over 36 days, winding up at Waterloo, Ont. July 21.

Bass trombonist Nicholas Sieber was born and raised on Vancouver Island so stops in Victoria Saturday, June 23 and Crofton the next day will be extra special for him.

McBride is thrilled that one of her dreams is coming true after six years of hard work.

“I’ve been watching my heroes do this for years now,” she noted. “Whether it’s Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra a few years back, or Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society also around that time – big bands touring across Canada are a huge endeavour, but not impossible. What makes this project so unique is the fact that we aren’t just a band of old pros.”

The Socialist Night School brings together emerging musicians like McBride and her peers with established pros like Brownman Ali (also the owner of Browntasauras Records, to which the Socialist Night School is signed), Colleen Allen, and William Carn. There’s almost a 40-year age gap between the youngest and oldest members of the band.

“It’s magic, though,” McBride added. “What we learn from being able to play with our mentors transcends a lot of what my peers and I have learned through school. It teaches us to listen in totally different ways.”

The show the band is touring is unique as well: the life story of you. Set on a rainy beach under purple skies and orange clouds, the Socialist Night School’s expansive palette of musical images takes you on a nostalgic journey through your childhood dreams, the growing pains of early adulthood, and the peace of mind that comes with finding who you are. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, the Twilight Tour takes you for a ride, but always brings you home.

Be prepared to rethink your definition of big-band music. It doesn’t sound like the traditional big band of the ’40s. Think of it as modern, large-ensemble jazz, with avant-garde voicings and harmonies.

The band’s debut album, The Twilight Fall, has been hailed as “dazzling” and “a progressive jazz epic” by critics. It recently received four stars in DownBeat Magazine.

In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, reviewer Peter Hum called her album “forward looking, an engaging listen from beginning to end that brims with tunefulness, personality and youthful vitality.”

The CBC named McBride one of Canada’s top jazz musicians under 35. She has already performed at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival and others.

A Vancouver native, McBride began playing piano at age three and took up the saxophone in elementary school.

She graduated from Humber College in Toronto in 2014 and already has five albums under her belt, including three with her pop-fusion band, Chelsea and the Cityscape.

Sunday’s performance, the last of the spring season, is presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society. Reservations are highly recommended. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m. Call 250-324-2245.

Pat’s House of Jazz is in the Osborne Bay Pub at 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rainforest Arts in downtown Chemainus is closing temporarily. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Rising COVID cases cited in temporary Rainforest Arts closure

Contact can still be made through email and social media

The Red Zed 1 aroused a great deal of curiosity when it was stationed off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Alaskan fast ferries the eventual load for heavy hauler

The Red Zed 1 stayed anchored in Chemainus for the better part of a month and a half

North Cowichan is looking for public input through a survey as it updates its Master Transportation Plan. (File photo)
North Cowichan looking for public input on transportation

Online survey to be held until April 22

The Bowen Queen has a slightly larger capacity than its predecessor on the Crofton-Vesuvius route. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Bowen Queen on the Crofton-Vesuvius ferry route until October

MV Quinitsa temporarily moved to Buckley Bay

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read