Vocalist helps usher in new season of Spirited Jazz

Barbara Blair will perform Sunday at First Unitarian Church in Saanich

Barbara Blair will perform Sunday at the First Unitarian Church in Saanich.

Barbara Blair will perform Sunday at the First Unitarian Church in Saanich.

Vocalist Barbara Blair will help usher in a new season of Spirited Jazz Sunday at the First Unitarian Church in Saanich.

Last June’s service brought more than 70 people to the West Saanich Road church to hear the jazz vespers put together by Gary Theal and Rev. Shana Lynngood. A jazz singer herself, Lynngood creates a splash of spirituality for each vespers performed by some top jazz artists and programmed by Theal.

Blair’s interpretive approach comes from the great singers Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney.  Based in Victoria, Blair divides her time between concert and educational tours throughout Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. She has appeared with Victoria’s Palm Court Orchestra in the 2007 concert series dedicated to the music of George Gershwin. She was the only Canadian on the 2006 Newport Oregon Festival’s elite roster of world-class artists, Rodgers & Hart Tribute concert tour and NPR broadcast.

Blair is also known for her education concert, The School of Cool – An Introduction to Jazz, which has played to more than 50,000 students in primary and secondary schools. Her recording September In The Rain – featuring Joe Pass protégé guitarist Brian Nova, Sinatra bassist Buddy Catlett and Stan Kenton drummer Greg Williamson – has been played on CBC and NPR.

The First Unitarian Church is located at 5575 West Saanich Rd. and admission is by donation.