Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Musical connections feed the soul at Victoria venue

Hermann’s does its part to put performers in front of live audiences, with free community concerts

Local music lovers have been craving live in-person performances for months.

For musicians like drummer Kelby MacNayr, the ability and opportunity to reconnect with audiences through live shows is like manna from heaven.

“I think everyone has been learning and changing on the fly, as we learn how to be safe and to keep the musicians and audiences safe,” says MacNayr, who performs with a version of Kelby and Friends the evening of Nov. 11 (7:30 p.m. showtime) at Hermann’s Jazz Club.

“It’s been a challenge to find the connection points [with listeners], which is what we as musicians really look for,” he says, referring to the separation of online shows.

“The emotional aspect and the feeling of being right there when something is created [has been largely missing]. For the musician, it’s about being the storyteller; that connection energizes us and electrifies us to be able to tell the story better.”

While performers have creatively used social media platforms and other online means to get their musical message out during the pandemic, venues forced to drastically cut capacity to allow for physical distancing have been dipping their toes in the water in 2020 when it comes to hosting live music.

A current example is the Hermann’s Community Nights series, free concerts at the downtown jazz hub that began Nov. 4 with the Tom Vickery Trio – they’ll be back Nov. 18. Hermann’s reopened in July after an extended closure, but managed to stay in the public eye by hosting livestreamed shows from the club, events that raised money for the performers and the venue. The free Community Nights shows are being made possible through sponsorships from local patrons and businesses.

ALSO READ: Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

“The outpouring of love we have gotten from our audiences is incredible,” Hermann’s manager Nichola Walkden says in a release.

“I get letters from people saying that the community of this place has saved their life. We know what it means to people so we want to keep it accessible, whether it’s through our livestream or these free community nights.”

MacNayr’s five-piece band (the limit under COVID health regs) for the Nov. 11 show includes Peter Dowse on bass, Tony Genge on piano, Brooke Maxwell on tenor sax and Bryce Gilholme on trombone. Regular trumpeter Miguelito Valdez and saxophonist Roy Styffe both also play in the Naden Band, which is otherwise engaged for Remembrance Day events.

Performing a live show on Remembrance Day is special, says MacNayr, because of “my grandparents place in the war, and the fact many of our audience members know the songs from those times. They have meaning.”

Having Maxwell and Gilholme be part of the mix gives the quintet a different flavour, MacNayr says, and “allows us to draw on some of the material I associate with that era.”

To secure seats for the Nov. 11 or 18 shows, the public is asked to be at Hermann’s, 753 View St., when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. The limit for the 7:30 p.m. show is 50 attendees.

For information on future Community Nights shows, visit hermannsjazz.com, call 250-388-9166 or email info@hermannsjazz.com.

ALSO READ: Victoria author releasing novel about a strange illness in a small town


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

JazzLive music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Drummer Kelby MacNayr and friends play a Nov. 11 show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, part of its Community Nights series of free concerts. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)

Just Posted

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read