Alabama-bred bluesman David Vest will bring it on for the inaugural musical performance at Olson’s Gym in Colwood on Saturday.

Alabama-bred bluesman David Vest will bring it on for the inaugural musical performance at Olson’s Gym in Colwood on Saturday.

Olsen’s Gym brings bluesman to Colwood

Athletics venue turns musical this weekend with David Vest's first West Shore performance

Veteran boogie woogie blues performer David Vest is about to step into a boxing ring for the first time in his life.

His opponent: a 10-foot Steinway grand piano.

The Alabama-raised Victoria import will hit the centre ring at Colwood’s Olson’s Gym (520 Mt. View Ave.) on Saturday, June 1 to play the inaugural musical concert at the sports venue.

Playing with the likes of Big Joe Turner and Tammy Wynette, Vest learned his chops from some of the best, before going on to become a noted musician in his own right.

A Canadian woman drew Vest to Victoria, and he has since played across Canada. Last year he won a Maple Blues award for best piano player of the year.

“It’s great to be away from tornados and rattlesnakes and alligators,” Vest said. “I have a nice following here.”

This will be Vest’s first show on the West Shore.

“It’s my first time ever, except coming to shop at Costco,” Vest said, laughing.

Performing in the gym reminds Vest of the chicken shack dances he used to go to as a young man in the deep South, even if he wasn’t supposed to.

“Young and old, black and white, all forgetting themselves and having a good time on the dance floor,” Vest said. “I’d like to be able to make this happen. We’re going to try our best.”

Vest will bring drummer Damian Graham with him, along with some other supports he’s keeping quiet about for now.

Olson’s owner Alan Olson, a longtime jazz and blues fan, saw Vest play at Hermann’s Jazz Club and was blown away by the talent and energy. He sensed at once this is music to dance to.

“I’m thinking ‘why don’t we put this guy in a boxing ring,’” Olson said. “His music just gets right inside you. It’s that kind of music. He sings, he talks, he’s just a total-package entertainer.”

Part of the gym will be set aside for dancing, while another will have tables. The gym also has a liquor licence and will offer wine and beer.

“I find at my shows, even if people are ordered not to get up and dance, they do it,” Vest said.

If the event goes off well the plan is to host other concerts at the gym.

“We’ve got all this Western Community and if you want to go in and listen to music, basically nobody out here is doing it,” Olsen said. “(There’s) world class musicians and they got nowhere to play.”

 

Tickets are $20 for floor and $30 for balcony, and are available Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records and CDs and Olson’s Gym. Call 250-474-4424 for more information and reservations. Doors are at 6:30 p.m., with a 7:30 p.m. start time for the show.

 

 

Just Posted

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

Most Read