Richard Whitehouse at the piano. He brings a trio to the Crofton Hotel’s Osborne Bay Pub for Sunday’s Pat’s House of Jazz performance. (Photo submitted)

Whitehouse performing at Pat’s House of Jazz in Crofton

Professional piano playing career began in Victoria

Victoria-raised pianist Richard Whitehouse was smitten by the piano at age five, seduced by the jazz of Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson and John Coltrane.

Classically trained, Whitehouse honed his jazz chops at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and has recorded a CD of his own compositions and a few jazz classics with two Canadian jazz greats, Victoria-raised bassist Neil Swainson and drummer Terry Clarke.

That CD, The Voice of Youth, was in steady rotation on Toronto’s JazzFM radio station for years.

Whitehouse began playing professionally in Victoria in the ‘70s, but moved to Toronto in 1977 where he built a career over four decades before returning to Victoria.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, Whitehouse brings his own trio, including bassist Bruce Meikle and drummer Bob Brown, to Pat’s House of Jazz in the Crofton Hotel’s Osborne Bay Pub for the first time.

Whitehouse fondly recalls playing a six-night-a-week steady dance gig in the lounge of the Century Inn, across from the McPherson Playhouse.

“A local radio station — CFAX, I think — used to broadcast us live one night a week. We had our own ‘On The Air’ light on the stage; I think Bill Sample ended up with that — a cool memento.

“We also played a steady seven-day-a-week gig on the Victoria-to-Vancouver ferry — thank you, then-premier Dave Barrett.

“I have fond memories of Noos Pizza near Centennial Square. Paul Horn came and played with us, as did his son Robin Horn on drums.”

The performance is part of the weekly Pat’s House of Jazz series, presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society. It runs every Sunday from 2 p.m. in the pub, 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton, a stone’s throw from the Salt Spring Island ferry terminal.

Admission is $15. For information, phone 250-324-2245 or visit

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