The NOLA Nighthawks bring old and new together from the New Orleans jazz scene. (Photo submitted)

NOLA NightHawks celebrate music from the birthplace of jazz

Leader Andrew Homzy assembles the best professional musicians from around Nanaimo

The NOLA NightHawks celebrate the Music of Old and New Orleans at Pat’s House of Jazz at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton on Sunday, March 18.

“The show highlights traditional and contemporary music from the city that gave birth to jazz,” said pianist/arranger Andrew Homzy, who leads the 10-piece Nanaimo orchestra.

It’s music that will set your feet a-tappin’ and Homzy encourages dancers at this upbeat concert.

“If you hear an infectious rhythm, a singable melody, or a wonderful improvisation, let your mind, heart or feet give expression to what you hear,” he added.

NOLA, which stands for New Orleans, LouisianA, plays music as diverse as that in some entire countries.

“This concert will include some well-known pieces which have been reimagined, or NOLA-ized, as well as some from a new generation of New Orleans-based composers such as John Ellis, a headliner at the Nanaimo Jazz Festival, and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon,” Homzy noted.

Homzy, who moved to Nanaimo in 2009, was a key figure on the Montreal jazz scene for more than 40 years, where his Jazz Orchestra played regularly at the Montreal Jazz Festival and whose performances were broadcast many times on Radio-Canada.

He formed NOLA from the best professional musicians in Nanaimo, including: Michael Irving and Greg Bush on trumpet, Darren Nilsson and Julian Telfer-Wan on trombone, Claudio Fantinato on clarinet, Rod Alsop on baritone sax, Alicia Murray on drums, Rob Uffen on bass and Adam Dzbik on guitar.

This show is part of the Sunday afternoon jazz series presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society.

It runs every Sunday from 2 p.m. at Pat’s House of Jazz in the Osborne Bay Pub, 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton, a stone’s throw from the Salt Spring Island ferry terminal. Admission is $20.

Reservations are recommended. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m.

Phone 250-324-2245 or visit

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