Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Musical connections feed the soul at Victoria venue

Hermann’s does its part to put performers in front of live audiences, with free community concerts

Local music lovers have been craving live in-person performances for months.

For musicians like drummer Kelby MacNayr, the ability and opportunity to reconnect with audiences through live shows is like manna from heaven.

“I think everyone has been learning and changing on the fly, as we learn how to be safe and to keep the musicians and audiences safe,” says MacNayr, who performs with a version of Kelby and Friends the evening of Nov. 11 (7:30 p.m. showtime) at Hermann’s Jazz Club.

“It’s been a challenge to find the connection points [with listeners], which is what we as musicians really look for,” he says, referring to the separation of online shows.

“The emotional aspect and the feeling of being right there when something is created [has been largely missing]. For the musician, it’s about being the storyteller; that connection energizes us and electrifies us to be able to tell the story better.”

While performers have creatively used social media platforms and other online means to get their musical message out during the pandemic, venues forced to drastically cut capacity to allow for physical distancing have been dipping their toes in the water in 2020 when it comes to hosting live music.

A current example is the Hermann’s Community Nights series, free concerts at the downtown jazz hub that began Nov. 4 with the Tom Vickery Trio – they’ll be back Nov. 18. Hermann’s reopened in July after an extended closure, but managed to stay in the public eye by hosting livestreamed shows from the club, events that raised money for the performers and the venue. The free Community Nights shows are being made possible through sponsorships from local patrons and businesses.

ALSO READ: Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

“The outpouring of love we have gotten from our audiences is incredible,” Hermann’s manager Nichola Walkden says in a release.

“I get letters from people saying that the community of this place has saved their life. We know what it means to people so we want to keep it accessible, whether it’s through our livestream or these free community nights.”

MacNayr’s five-piece band (the limit under COVID health regs) for the Nov. 11 show includes Peter Dowse on bass, Tony Genge on piano, Brooke Maxwell on tenor sax and Bryce Gilholme on trombone. Regular trumpeter Miguelito Valdez and saxophonist Roy Styffe both also play in the Naden Band, which is otherwise engaged for Remembrance Day events.

Performing a live show on Remembrance Day is special, says MacNayr, because of “my grandparents place in the war, and the fact many of our audience members know the songs from those times. They have meaning.”

Having Maxwell and Gilholme be part of the mix gives the quintet a different flavour, MacNayr says, and “allows us to draw on some of the material I associate with that era.”

To secure seats for the Nov. 11 or 18 shows, the public is asked to be at Hermann’s, 753 View St., when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The limit for the 7:30 p.m. show is 50 attendees.

For information on future Community Nights shows, visit hermannsjazz.com, call 250-388-9166 or email info@hermannsjazz.com.

ALSO READ: Victoria author releasing novel about a strange illness in a small town


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

JazzLive music

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

 

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Just Posted

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Andrew McBride is among those who deck out for Sea of Lights floating ship parade annually. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic sinks Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Sea of Lights

Oak Bay club encourages donations to the charities event supports

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read