McBride and his cross-generational band trained in the art of jazz music – Cowichan Valley Citizen

Chelsea McBride, a 26-year-old saxophonist, lyricist and orchestration supernova who leads a 19-piece modern jazz band, has taken Toronto by storm.

And now she’s ready to wow big band fans in the Cowichan Valley. On Sunday, June 24, his modern jazz band Socialist Night School, currently touring across Canada, will take the stage at Pat’s House of Jazz at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton at 2 p.m.

McBride is thrilled that one of her dreams has come true after six years of hard work.

“I’ve been watching my heroes do this for years now,” she noted. “Whether it was the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra a few years ago or Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society also around this time, touring big bands across Canada is a huge undertaking, but not an impossible one. What makes this project so unique is the fact that we are not just a bunch of old pros.

The Socialist Night School brings together emerging musicians like McBride and his peers with established professionals like Brownman Ali (also owner of Browntasauras Records, to which the Socialist Night School is signed), Colleen Allen and William Carn. There is almost a 40 year age gap between the youngest and oldest members of the band.

“It’s magic, though,” McBride added. “What we learn from playing with our mentors transcends a lot of what my peers and I learned in school. It teaches us to listen in a totally different way.

The show that the band is touring is also unique: the story of your life. Set on a rainy beach under purple skies and orange clouds, Socialist Night School’s expansive palette of musical imagery takes you on a nostalgic journey through your childhood dreams, early growing pains. of adulthood and the peace of mind that comes with finding out who you are.

Be prepared to rethink your definition of big band music. It doesn’t sound like the traditional big band of the 1940s. Think of it as modern jazz for large ensembles, with avant-garde voicings and harmonies.

The band’s first album, The fall of twilight, has been hailed as “dazzling” and “a progressive jazz epic” by critics. It recently received four stars in DownBeat Magazine.

In an interview with the Citizen of Ottawacritic Peter Hum called her album “a forward-looking, engaging listen from start to finish that brims with melody, personality and youthful vitality”.

The CBC named McBride one of Canada’s top female jazz musicians under 35. She has already performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival and many others.

Originally from Vancouver, McBride started playing the piano at the age of three and learned the saxophone in elementary school.

She graduated from Humber College in Toronto in 2014 and already has five albums to her credit, including three with her pop-fusion group, Chelsea and the Cityscape.

Sunday’s show, the last of the spring season, is presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society. Reservations are strongly recommended. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m. Call 250-324-2245.

Pat’s House of Jazz is located in the Osborne Bay Pub at 1534 Joan Ave. at Crofton.

Ada J. Kenney