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

 

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

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read