by Alex Wilks/Special to the Langley Advance
With more than 40 years of pianist experience, local musician Brad Turner has dabbled in a variety of genres.
But the art of jazz music has always been his forte.
“The improvisational aspect of jazz is what drew me to it,” he told the Langley Advance.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing music, but creating it on the spot is what I really like to do.”
The 51-year-old Willoughby native is an alumnus of the Langley Community Music School (LCMS) and has played roughly a thousand shows worldwide since his first gig in the 1980s.
“I have played in nearly every venue that has featured live music in Vancouver, and have been lucky to have toured Canada many times, as well as having performed throughout the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia,” he explained.
“I like telling stories through music, whether it’s for other people, or for myself.”
Although Turner enjoys playing mostly jazz music he also likes to be versatile.
“I have played a lot of R&B, funk, rock, soul, top 40, classical, fusion, and improvised,” he said. “I enjoy playing any style of quality music.”
He is not only a critically acclaimed pianist but a trumpeter, drummer, and composer – as well.
“Along with piano and trumpet, I also play the drums, which I am told I have done since I was a very little boy,” he added.
“I have been playing trumpet since age 10 at Willoughby Elementary, and followed through into high school on that as well,” Turner said.
“It seemed natural for me to continue on with music [so] I studied trumpet at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
Naturally, he has even shared his musical education with other jazz lovers as a member of the jazz studies faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver.
“Throughout my life, music has given me a channel of communication with other people that is different from all others,” he elaborated.
“It is one that provides an opportunity to evoke feelings in the mind of the listener… the audience is tuned into it… [and] it’s in the hands of the performer. I treasure those opportunities.”
Turner noted that musical creativity even runs in the family.
“My entire family is involved with music, and many of us play an instrument. Both of my sisters are instrumentalists but they don’t do it professionally,” he said.
“My dad still plays in the New Westminster and District Concert Band, which he himself directed for many years.”
After many years, LCMS is welcoming Turner back to the stage alongside his band the Brad Turner Trio at an upcoming concert.
“We are thrilled to welcome back LCMS alumnus Brad Turner with his trio,” said LCMS artistic director Elizabeth Bergmann.
Introducing Turner as a three-time Juno award winner, Bergmann said he is one of Canada’s most in-demand and highly esteemed jazz musicians.
“Building on the success they achieved with their earlier recording, Question the Answer, their latest CD deserves all of the superlatives it has received,” she added.
Turner has released nine albums, seven as a trumpeter with the Brad Turner Quartet, and two as a pianist with his trio.
“The album is comprised of original compositions, and one jazz standard tune,” he said.
“I wrote the pieces with my band mates bassist Darren Radtke, and drummer Bernie Arai in mind. We have played together since 1997, and I continue to enjoy writing for and performing with them in this group.”
The concert is happening in the music school’s Rose Gellert Hall, 4899 207th St., on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The musicians are gearing up to “jazz it up” by promoting their latest CD, Here Now.
Tickets are available from the box office at 604-534-2848 or online.