Saxophonists to give rare solo concert in Kelowna

Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art to host performances by Yves Charuest, from Montreal, and Craig Thomson, of Kelowna.

  • Nov. 12, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Craig Thomson.

Saxophone music fans will be given a rare treat on Nov. 15 with a  rare joint solo concert appearance by award winning saxophonists Yves Charuest, from Montreal, and Kelowna’s very own Craig Thomson.

The concert will take place at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art located inside Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts.

For the performer, solo saxophone performance may well be the definitive creative risk.  For the audience, the degree musical intimacy can be arresting as the musician explores the relationships between spontaneous conceptions, composed form, the instrument, and the room.

This concert will be the 14th installment of the Skin And Bones Music Series.  Now in its second year of production, Skin And Bones is an Okanagan Arts Award nominated concert series devoted to the presentation of experimental music in the Okanagan, produced through the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art.

Charuest has been performing freely improvised music since the 1980s.  A recipient of the François-Marcaurelle prize, Charuest has toured throughout North America and Europe with many of the world’s best improvisers.

Past performances and recordings include collaborations with pianist Georg Graewe, multi-reedist Roscoe Mitchell, bassist William Parker, as well as playing in the Peter Kowald Trio with the late bassist Peter Kowald and drummer Louis Moholo.

He describes his cerebral approach to improvisation:  “I’m not so much interested in music stacked up in layers, like in free jazz, but in finding ways of getting the parts to fit together like a puzzle. So it’s not a matter of how I play on top of others but more of inserting myself into the spaces that occur in the music.”

Beyond being a musician, Thomson is also a jazz music educator and the BC Interior Jazz Festival coordinator.

Winner of many prestigious awards including the 2013 Okanagan Arts Award for Music, Thomson is very much an in-demand musician having just released his own debut CD, Bright Beginning.

Fully fluent in all aspects of jazz, including the more progressive post-bop works by Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson, this concert is a rare opportunity to hear Thomson perform purely in a solo context.  “There’s an immense sense of satisfaction in being able to pick up my instrument and create something beautiful instantaneously or to be able to convey my emotions out of the instrument,” he said.

For the concert, doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m.  Admission is $10 for the public and $8 for Alternator members.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the Alternator.  Non-members also have the option to purchase tickets at Milkcrate Records on Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna.

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