Jazz lover alert! There's a free night of Christmas jazz being served up in Walnut Grove this weekend.
The Watershed Arts Cafe is gearing up for the holidays by not only hosting a Christmas concert, but a musical event featuring one of Langley's premiere jazz bands - Quintessential.
"We have always done at least one Christmas show as part of our public performance schedule. We get asked to play quite a few private events - corporate receptions, dinners, " private parties, etc.," said bassist Gerry Teichrob, one of the three mainstays of the group.
"But we have a fan base that enjoys our music so we usually try to play four to six events per year that are open to everyone."
The next public show is being held Friday, Dec. 14, starting at 7 p.m. at the Watershed, 20349 88th Ave. There is no cover charge.
"We are looking forward to sharing our jazz arrangements of best-loved Christmas songs - everything from an almost surreal arrangement of Away in a Manger to an upbeat and funky God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, along with Charlie Brown favourite Christmas Time is Here," Teichrob said, noting the first of two sets will feature their best-loved Christmas songs from a Quintessential Christmas CD released a few years back, then be followed by songs from their latest CD Quintessential Coffee, which has been featured on CBC radio.
Quintessential started out as a quintet almost a decade ago playing "classic jazz with a twist." But more recently it has been playing as a quartet, and currently as a trio - Teichrob joined by keyboardist Phyllis Heppner of Langley and guitar and sax man Doug Dunbar, who grew up in Langley but now lives in Mission.
"Our music covers a wide range of jazz styles including ballads, bossas, bebop, and a little funk/fusion." Teichrob said, noting that specific for this Friday's show, the trio is being joined by guest drummer Mike Michalkow and former Quintessential trumpeter Bob Shatford.
While Quintessential rehearses weekly and performs an average of 25 gigs a year in venues ranging from hotel ballrooms to outdoor festivals to private house parties, they are looking forward to spending some time in the studio.
In addition to rehearsing and performing, Quintessential released its first digital-download album [quintessentialjazz.ca] called Out and About this year, and the members are writing songs for a new album they hope to record in the spring: "Composing and recording will be a big part of our plans for 2013," Teichrob concluded.