Jazz series continues with Esq 

Who: Esq

When: Dec. 28 and 29, 8 p.m.

Where: Maurice Young Millennium Place

Explore the shadowy and sultry sides of saxophone, as things remain instrumental this week with jazz band Esq.

Led by trumpeter Kevin Elaschuk and saxophonist Dave Say, the Vancouver quartet has recorded for the CBC and has performed at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival several years running. With the traditional theatre stage and superb acoustics of MY Place, there’s no better place to enjoy jazz, a music tradition that relishes the art of improv.

Esq perform originals from Breakfast in Kamloops , their first CD, as well as jazz standards. The quartet features a strong horn section, drums and bass.

Trumpet and flugelhorn player Elaschuk looks to the smooth renditions of Miles Davis and Chet Baker to hone his own sound. He has played with pianist Chris Sigerson, bassist Chris Nelson, and guitarist Bill Coon, and keeping the flow going at gigs with the Tony Wilson sextet.

Say brings 20 years of experience performing at Vancouver venues, including experimenting with funk, blues and a little Latin salsa, in addition to jazz. He looks to musicians Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis as ongoing influences in his work.

Darren Radtke is a regular member of the Denzel Sinclair Quintet, the Brad Turner Trio and the Bill Coon Trio. Radtke hails from the Fraser Valley, but honed his musical talents in Edmonton. Alternate projects have included a solo album of guitar pop and a CD released in 1998, whose songs were used on the CBC TV series Edgemont.

Paul Townsend recently joined Esq, bringing music expertise from his time with the Chad Makela group and Jillian Lebeck’s trio. His previous band, Fifth Avenue, won top award at the Alcan Jazz Festival in 1989.

Esq’s two Whistler shows are the second part of a three-part series of jazz concerts titled Season Your Winter. The band Crash kicked off the series with two performances at Millennium Place, Dec. 21 and 22. The Mike Allen Trio round out the series with concerts Jan. 4 and 5.

Season Your Winter is intended to promote jazz at Whistler’s new arts umbrella venue, Maurice Young Millennium Place. For information and tickets call Gillie Easdon at the offices of Millennium Place 604-935-8410.

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