The Kit Eakle Trio plays Pat’s House of Jazz in Crofton on Sunday, June 17. (Photo Submitted)

VIDEO: Kit Eakle Trio makes some special music at Pat’s House of Jazz

With such exciting players showing their stuff, it’s a good idea to book those seats now

There’s something special at Pat’s House of Jazz in Crofton Sunday, June 17.

Thelonious Monk and Django Reinhardt have a lot in common, says violinist Kit Eakle.

The Kit Eakle Trio, with guitarist Michael Dunn and bassist Scott White, celebrates Thelonious Sphere Monk’s 100th year in Crofton this Sunday starting at 2 p.m.

The show contrasts compositions by pianist Monk and guitarist Django Reinhardt, two of the most independent voices in jazz, along with originals performed in their spirit.

“Monk was the quintessential modern jazz genius, but his work had a great influence on Django, and Django also clearly influenced Monk.

“Part of my shtick is seeing the Django aspect of the show not as the gypsy jazz Reinhardt … but as a jazz composer on par with the great Thelonious Monk, whose middle name was Sphere,” Eakle said last week.

“It’s not a nickname, but the name his mother gave him.”

As noted jazz reviewer Andrew Gilbert put it in the San Jose Times, “What would have happened if legendary gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt wandered into Minton’s Playhouse … in 1946 and jammed with pianist/composer Thelonious Monk at the Harlem nightspot that served as the essential forum for the birth of modern jazz?

“The resulting encounter might have sounded something like what jazz violinist Kit Eakle delivers on DjangoSphere, a rhythmically dexterous roller-coaster ride that artfully melds the sounds of two irreducibly brilliant artists.”

Eakle says that because Reinhardt’s music inspired a new style of jazz that we now call “gypsy jazz,” few non-string players understand his contribution to the development of bebop and modern jazz.

“By breaking away from the guitar-based rhythm section with no drums, Django’s later music is capable of adapting to and expanding the vocabulary of modern jazz.”

In comparing Monk’s music with Reinhardt’s, Eakle shows their “use of parallel and chromatic harmonies, their highly individual and original approaches to the instrument and their experimental and idiosyncratic use of unusual forms.

“Bringing their unique styles together expands the stylistic possibilities of their compositions, opens their vocabularies to new interpretations and possibilities for the voices of gypsy jazz violinists and guitarists and gives to pianists and horn players a whole new jazz repertoire to explore.”

The performance is one of a weekly 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 $15.

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

Phone 250-324-2245 or visit

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