Jazz guitarist Astrid Lyre fronts an electrifying new trio, performing her original compositions and interpretations of her favourite jazz standards. Joined with the drum talents of James McRae, a veteran of the Vancouver Island music scene, and the adventurous bass lines of Brock Meades, the trio weaves an intricate improvised tapestry of interaction and interplay.

A graduate of Capilano University’s jazz program on bass, Astrid always had a love for guitar, but it was not until she was offered a two and a half year stint in the jazz club on Royal Caribbean’s flagship cruise liner “Allure of the Seas” that she began playing jazz guitar in earnest. Informed by her rhythmic awareness from years of bass playing and coloured by her interest in rock music, Astrid displays a dynamic and confident voice on the guitar.


The Cuban Jazz

Miguelito Valdes began studying music in Cuba, his country of birth, at the age of 11 while attending the Elementary School of Music "Paulita Concepcion". He completed his studies at the Provincial School of Music "Amadeo Roldan" at age of 19.

His first professional experience was with the group "Jelengue" in 1992. Since then, he has performed with many of Cuba's top performers, including the Cabaret Tropicana Orquestra, Giraldo Piloto & Klimax, Pablo Milanes, Haila Mompie, Chucho Valdes, Havana Ensemble, Augusto Enriquez and Mayito Rivera (from Los Van Van).

Described as one of Cuba's most highly regarded trumpet players of his generation, Miguelito has become, since making Vancouver his home, very involved in the local music scene. In the short time he has been on the West Coast of Canada, he has performed with local musicians as Luis Giraldo, Brick House, Kenny Blues, Johnny Ferreira, Zapato Negro, Paperboys, Santa Lucia, Mariachi del Sol, Jazz Baby, Kutapira, Goma Dura, Hard Robber, Salsa Dura, Goby Catt, and his own band “Puro Son”. His collaboration with other musicians is not limited to his local area, but also includes musicians from other cities like Hilario Duran from Toronto, among others.

Since he lives in Canada he had already recorded the following CDs:

"Cellar Live" Zapato Negro 2006
“Hybrid” MO Project 2007
"Album 4" Rumba Calzada 2007
"Sunday Brunch" Jazz Baby 2007
"It's Always You" Luis Giraldo 2008
"Ahi Na' Ma" Puro Son 2008
“La Ultima Palabra” Jaimy Gabriela 2008
“The British Columbians” BC 2008
“Synergy” Kutapira 2008
“Callithump” Paperboys 2009
“Fluye Asi” Somos Collective 2009
“Amandote” Marlin Ramazzini 2009

Miguelito Valdes is now part of "Afro Cuban All Stars" project directed by Juan de Marcos Gonzalez. With this project he has toured the United States and Canada on the year 2009 and has upcoming tours scheduled for the year 2011 including USA, Europe, South Africa, Australia and Japan. (see touring for more info or check Afro Cuban All Stars website www.afrocubanallstarsonline.com)


The Unique Monik

“… solid performance and writing chops.” – Downbeat Magazine

Juno nominated saxophonist Monik Nordine has a powerful, lyrical, and impressive command of the saxophone and has received several prestigious arts awards. She has recorded with John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra and has also toured with Hugh Fraser’s band VEJI.

Monik directs The Victoria Jazz Orchestra and has shared the stage with award-winning musicians Ian McDougall, Hugh Fraser, Guido Basso, Matt Catingub, David Foster, Campbell Ryga, PJ Perry, Michael Buble, Rob McConnell, Tommy Banks, Brad Turner and many other high-profile artists. Monik has toured Canada widely performing in the Montreal, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, and Medicine Hat jazz festivals. She has also toured with Canadian greats Pat Coleman and Mike Allen. Monik holds a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance and Composition from McGill University and teaches at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, St. Margaret’s School in Victoria and at her home studio.

She has also led ensembles including the jazz quartet Departure with pianist Brent Jarvis which performed in Victoria, Vancouver, Medicine Hat and Calgary as well as venues across Vancouver Island and is now busy with The Monik Nordine Trio and The John Miller Quartet. Monik started and ran the Salt Spring Island Jazz Festival for 3 years as well as the jazz series “Jazz at the Acme” in Nanaimo. She has recorded three albums as a leader: Not Just To But Over theMoon (1998), Departure (2010) and The Old-New Town (2017).

Monik has also given clinics at numerous public and private schools including the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Island University. She has studied privately in London, England and New York City and taught for 6 years at Vancouver Island University and now teaches at the Victoria Conservatory through Camosun Colloege in the Post-Secondary Music Program in Victoria, BC, Canada.

In 2016 she was commissioned by Vancouver Island University to write for the VIU Jazz Ensemble. For more information visit https://moniknordine.ca


Seven Pieces of Joy

Nick La Riviere has made a full time living as a musician for the last 12 years. He has performed in many parts of the world, including Mexico, England, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, The USA, and across Canada. Nick has toured with award winning bands that play jazz, folk, pop, latin, Celtic, klezmer, classical, ska, and more. He plays trombone, conch shells, bass, and sings. He’s also known for using a programmable harmonizer with his trombone to make one horn sound like a three piece section. Nick plays with many different bands including The Paperboys, Locarno, The HiFi, Adonis Puentes, and Michael Kaeshammer, and more. He’s also been a special guest with various bands including 54•40, Nikki Yanofsky, and The Temptations.

The Nick La Riviere Band blows the room away with its powerful horns, talented soloists, and energetic tunes. The band performs originals as well as unique versions of tunes by everyone from Professor Longhair to Sly and the Family Stone. The 7 piece band features 3 horns, 3 singers, piano/synth, guitar, bass, drums, and some unusual instruments including conch shells and wine glasses. The memorable show is full of variety and fun.

A former jazz student of Capilano College, he’s now asked to adjudicate and be a clinician at conferences such as the BCMEA, and the West Coast Jazz Festival. As the title of his debut album suggests, there’s just ‘Too Much To Do.’

Nick also offers arranging, recording, and teaching services. He also leads a community R&B band and a community big band with weekly rehearsals.



A number of years ago I decided to form a jazz quintet, I had come across some very talented jazz musicians who shared a love for playing jazz and the time was right. The Jazz Sextet is the most recent “group” incarnation, the will be performing arrangements based on traditional jazz standards. Members of the group all love jazz and are pleased to share our artistry with enthusiastic Vancouver Island jazz audiences.

Dave Stewart: Trumpet, is an active musicians he is currently a member of the Arrowsmith Big Band, the Dave this Sextet, and the Island Brass Quintet. Earlier this year he performed in the Schmooze Theater Company production of Chicago in Nanaimo. He has received accolades and awards as a former high school band and choral teacher, provincially, nationally and internationally. Dave continues to teach privately, at summer music programs and recently at Vancouver Island University.

Claudio Fantinato: Alto Saxophone, originally from Port Alberni, Claudio went on to study music at Malaspina University College (VIU), and later Berklee College of Music. For the past 25 years, he has continued to perform in a wide variety of musical groups including big bands, small jazz ensembles, rock and pop bands and musical theatre. Currently he is playing lead alto sax for the Arrowsmith and Clarinet in the Andrew Homzy jazz ensemble. He recently started the Sea Wind musical instrument company with Phil Dwyer, specializing designing and building saxophones.

Dan Craven: Tenor saxophone, has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many top musicians such as Phil Dwyer, Arnie Chycoski, Ian McDougall, P.J. Perry, Don Thompson, John McDermott, Campbell Ryga, Mike Herriott, and others. In 2007 Dan joined Phil Dwyer's Sax Summit, which first launched in 2002 with the release of Sax Summit on CBC Records, and has recurred in various incarnations throughout the country since then. Dan currently performs with, Oceanside's Arrowsmith Big Band. He has performed frequently around Canada's West from Victoria to Fort Nelson. Dan currently teaches at the renowned Kwalikum Secondary school music program. He has worn many hats with the Comox Valley Youth Music Center, facilitator, Big Band leader and Saxophone teacher, and has served the local jazz community as clinician, honour band conductor and guest performer at the Comox Valley Big Band Challenge. He brings the benefit of extensive performance experience to his students. A 2001 recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence, he is an educator.

James Darling: Piano, received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from VIU and has studied piano with Phil Dwyer, Bob Murphy and Steve Smith. He has spent a decade working on cruise ships in lounge bands, showbands the NMA big bandand played keyboards in the Chemainus Theatre’s production of Rock Legends. Most recently James has been the keyboardist of the high energy dance band Johnny Inappropriate.

Rob Uffen: Bass, has become and active jazz performer in the Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach areas, he currently performs with the Andrew Homzy Jazz Ensemble, Arrowsmith Jazz band and thas performed with a number of Jazz Combos. Rob has been involved in the Canadian jazz scene as a double bassist, guitarist, composer and educator for 40 years. He earned his B.F.A. as a guitar player in jazz performance from York University in 1978 and went on to study double bass with Michel Donato, Don Thompson, Joel Quarrington and Gary Peacock. Rob taught music in the Ontario public school system and at the Queen’s University summer jazz programme for high school students and continues to teach privately. Rob has performed and recorded throughout Canada, U.S.A., Italy and Germany, the U.K. and New Zealand with a diverse range of musicians including Kenny Wheeler, Joe Lavano, Billy Hart, Bill Frisell, Don Thompson, Bernie Senensky, Brian Dickinson,the Blen Miller Orchestra and the Orange Devils and many others. As well as performaing in the Dave Stewart Quintet, Rob performs in the Arrowsmith Big band and the Andrew Homzy’s NOLA Nighthawks.

Wayne Finucan: Drums, is one of the most active musicians in the Qualicum Beach/Nanaimo area, he plays in numerous groups as a multi-instrumentalist and singer. His musical career began in the late fifties jazz and rock scene in Winnipeg. He played on more than 300 tv shows including Music Hop where he played with the legendary guitar player Lenny Breau and one of Canada's top jazz bass players, Dave Young. He owned a well-known recording studio and film production company and played in nightclubs and on tv shows during the 70’s and 80’s. In 1990 he moved to Vancouver and worked as a sound mixer for 15 years on dozens of shows including Highlander, Stargate and Battlestar Galactica.


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"Nanaimo Arts Council acknowledges with gratitude that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation."