P.J. Perry makes his annual visit to the Cowichan Valley Sunday at the Osborne Bay Pub.  (Photo submitted)

P.J. Perry makes his annual visit to the Cowichan Valley Sunday at the Osborne Bay Pub. (Photo submitted)

Saxophonist Perry at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton for a special summer concert

Impressive credentials over a long career and still going strong at 76

Celebrated jazz saxophonist P.J. Perry — Canada’s Mr. Bebop — makes his annual visit to the Cowichan Valley on Sunday Aug. 19, leading an all-star quartet into Pat’s House of Jazz at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton.

Perry will perform with bassist Neil Swainson, keyboardist Dr. Tony Genge and drummer Hans Verhoeven.

Perry, of Edmonton, has performed with countless jazz greats, from Dizzy Gillespie to Michel Legrand, from Kenny Wheeler to Ellis Marsalis, to name just a few.

In 1993, he won a Juno Award for Best Jazz Recording for his album, My Ideal. He was awarded the Order of Canada two years ago.

He’s perhaps best known as the lead alto saxophonist with Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass and with the Tommy Banks Band.

At age 76, Perry continues to perform across Canada as a studio musician, jazz soloist and a regular performer for CBC radio and television, as well as a recording artist with Justin Time Records.

Swainson, originally from Victoria, began playing in his home town in the ’70s, backing visiting musicians such as Herb Ellis, Sonny Stitt and Barney Kessel, and working regularly with flutist Paul Horn in Victoria.

He moved to Toronto in ’77, where he remains a leading player in the local jazz scene.

He’s perhaps best known for his relationship with the late pianist George Shearing, with whom he recorded numerous records and worked with top artists such as Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson and Diana Krall.

Genge, a composer and arranger with a doctorate from State University of New York, has performed and recorded with leading Canadian and international jazz artists, including vocalist Joe Coughlin and Paul Horn.

He is home in Victoria on sabbatical as a professor of music at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.

Verhoeven, an instructor in the jazz program at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, is recognized for his authenticity and his joyful playing. As the go-to drummer on the mid-Island, he has played with a wide variety of artists, from bassist Brandi Disterheft to trombonist, pianist and composer Hugh Fraser.

The concert, presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society, is a special summer offering of a weekly Sunday afternoon jazz series at the pub, which will begin its fall season Sept. 9 with a performance by Victoria vocalist Edie Daponte.

The P.J. Perry concert begins at 2 p.m. at the pub, 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton. Admission is $20. Reservations are recommended. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m. Call 250-324-2245.