The warmer weather reminded us that spring cannot be far off with cocktails on the balcony so we did some research on the best gin for martini making.
Our vote goes to Broker’s London Dry Gin. We are not alone. It has been an award winner at New York’s Ultimate Cocktail Challenge for six years in a row. Classic flavours of juniper with citrus and a little bit of exotic spice. $27.99 at BCLCB and the bowler hat comes for free!
Shaken, not stirred. (Cocktail creator Cameron insists that exactly 121 shakes makes for perfection)
And the best place to buy those Queen Size Stuffed Olives for the garnish? Persia Foods at 1st & Commercial. $2.29 a jar ($5.99-$7.99 everywhere else for exactly the same product.)
And on to this week’s cultural events…. there is a lot of ‘em.
PuSH Festival Jan 20-Feb 8
The international Performing Arts Festival is one of Vancouver’s signature events. Produced over three weeks each January/February, the PuSh Festival presents boundary pushing theatre, music, dance and multimedia performances by artists from around the world at various venues.
NEW!! Saturday Afternoon Concert Series
Skinny Fat Jack’s (back alley bar behind Slickety Jim’s) 3475 Main St5-7p.m. Small cover/donation
Hosted by Petunia and Jimmy Roy with weekly guests
Petunia & Jimmy Roy play swinging old-time jump but the musical guests are diverse talents. See January 31 below for this week’s line up.
Tuesday January 27
Rio Theatre E. Broadway 7p.m. $6
Oscar nominated. A promising young drummer enrols at a cutthroat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.
Wednesday January 28
VPL Central Branch Alice MacKay Room 7.30p.m. Free
Incite : Linden MacIntyre & Michael Christie
Award-winning journalist and author Linden MacIntyre reads from his Scotiabank Giller prize-winning novel The Bishop’s Man and his new novel, Punishment — a powerful exploration of justice and vengeance, and the peril that ensues when passion replaces reason.
Michael Christie’s The Beggar’s Garden was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Vancouver Book Award. His debut novel, If I Fall, If I Die, is an unforgettable story about learning when to protect the ones you love and when to let them fall.
The Emerald Supper Club 555 Gore Avenue 9p.m. Donation
Ian Weiss – alto sax, Meghan Gilhespy – vocals, Devon Elaschuk – guitar, Stephen Edwards – bass, Jesus Caballero – drums/percussion/cymbals
Lead by Jesus Caballero, this music is a combination of very emotional melodies, heavy riffs, loose melodies and free improvisations.
Thursday January 29
Libra Room 1608 Commercial Drive 7p.m. Donation
Deanna Knight & the Hot Club of Mars
Tangent Café 2095 Commercial Drive 8.30p.m. No cover
Dave Robbins 4tet
Master drummer Dave Robbins with an all star quartet (they opened for John Schofield at Van Jazz Fest last year). With Mike Allen on sax, Steve Holy on bass, & Bill Coon on guitar.
Friday January 30
Vancouver Art Gallery 750 Hornby St 8p.m. $20
FUSE X PUSH
The Vancouver Art Gallery and the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival will co-present the 2nd annual special edition of FUSE x PuSh. Pushing boundaries where art and performance collide.
Skinny Fat Jack’s (behind Slickety Jim’s) 3475 Main St 8p.m. (show 9p.m.)
Spectral Theatre’s Late Night Double Feature
Dusting off the KGRM “on air” sign and rounding up the Grimmsfield Radio Players to present two spooky tales from the dank, dark vault of horrors the last Friday of every month. A rotating cast performs staged readings of original works in the style of the radio programs of yesteryear. THIS MONTH: “Sam Hainn” by Andrew Harron and “Day of the Lobster” by Kris Buller.
Pacific Cinematheque 1131 Howe St 9.00p.m. $12
Hippocrates (Vancouver Premiere)
A seriocomic social drama set in a busy Paris hospital, writer-director-doctor Thomas Lilti’s second feature was the closing-night film at the 2014 Critics’ Week at Cannes and, more recently, a box-office hit in France. Boyish intern Benjamin (Vincent Lacoste) is the protagonist; a newcomer on the ward run by his physician father (Jacques Gamblin), he’s confident he has the stuff to be a great doctor, but he quickly makes a serious mistake. Fellow intern Abdel (Reda Kateb) is the film’s moral conscience; although a seasoned Algerian physician, as an immigrant he’s been forced to restart his career at the bottom.
Saturday January 31
Skinny Fat Jack’s (behind Slickety Jim’s) 3475 Main St 5-7p.m. Small cover
Saturday Afternoon Concert with Petunia & guests
This week… guests Burying Ground , a ragtime band consisting of washboard, saw, harmonica & strings.
Tony will be joined Brent Gubbels bass and Joe Poole drums and will play music by Henry Mancini, Ennio Morricone.
Pal Theatre 851 Cardero St 8p.m. $20
Eh! Seamus Blake plays the music of Eddie Harris featuring Geoffrey Keezer
with Andre Lachance – bass, Jesse Cahill – drums, Seamus Blake – saxophones, Geoffrey Keezer – piano and fender rhodes
For the last two years Seamus has been performing the music of jazz legend, Eddie Harris, at Smoke Jazz Club in New York
Fairview Pub 898 W. Broadway 9.30p.m. $10 at door
St Andrews Wesley Burrard & Nelson 7.30p.m. $30
4th Annual Stayed on Freedom- A Musical Celebration of Black History Month
The City Soul Choir (director – Brian Tate) and The Marcus Mosely Chorale (directors – Marcus Mosely, Darlene Ketchum, Bill Sample) are pleased to announce their 4th annual co-production.
Two choirs, a trio, a quartet and special guest solo artists Dawn Pemberton, Eleanor Collins & Will Sanders. This event is a partial fundraiser to honour Leon Bibb and support his foundation ‘A Step Ahead’, an anti-racism school program (www.astepaheadfoundation.ca). Tickets available through choir members, or online through The Marcus Mosely Chorale’s website http://www.themarcusmoselychorale.ca/events.
Joe’s Cafe 1150 Commercial Drive doors 8p.m. $20 (also on Jan 31)
C.R. Avery (with Melody Mangler & Violet Femme)
The Georgia Straight presents local poet, rapper and singer-songwriter, C.R. Avery, in his rock show Some Birds Walk for the Hell of It
Sunday February 1
Tangent Café 2095 Commercial Drive 4-7p.m. No cover
Lloyd Arntzen Trio
In the band with Lloyd will be Arnt Jeffrey Arntzen on Banjo and/or Guitar, and Hudge Hudgins on upright Bass. Can you spell SWING?????
St.Andrew’s Wesley Burrard & Nelson 4p.m. Donation
Don Stewart 5tet
Don-vocals, Ron Johnson-piano, Olaf de Shield-guitar, Dave Guiney-bass, Buff Allen-drums
Kino Cafe 3456 Cambie St 2p.m. Donation
Roots n’ Shoots n’ Jazz Series
Linda Villarreal & Good Company
Pat’s Pub 403 E. Hastings 3p.m.
Let’s Jam en Francais
Vancity Theatre Seymour St 6.10p.m. (also on 2, 3, 4, 17 & 18) $11
Black History Month presents Keep on Keepin’ On
Meet “the happiest sound in jazz” – and maybe the brightest mentor, too. Clark Terry was Dizzy Gillespie’s favourite trumpet player, but he’s also an inspirational teacher – the antithesis of the character played by JK Simmons in Whiplash.
Shot over the course of five years by first time filmmaker Al Hicks, Keep On Keepin’ On depicts the remarkable story of the 93-year-old legend. A living monument to the Golden Era of Jazz, Terry – a mentor to Miles Davis and Quincy Jones – is among the few performers ever to have played in both Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s bands. In the 1960s he broke the colour barrier as the first African-American staff musician at NBC – on “The Tonight Show”. Today, after a life spent working with and teaching the most totemic figures in jazz history, Terry continues to attract and cultivate budding talents.
Keep On Keepin’ On highlights his friendship with the preternaturally gifted Justin Kauflin, a blind, 23-year-old piano prodigy who suffers from debilitating stage fright. Not long after Kauflin is invited to compete in an elite Jazz competition, Terry’s health takes a turn for the worse. As the clock ticks, we see two friends confront the toughest challenges of their lives. Kauflin’s work on the film’s score with composer Dave Grusin sets the tone for a story that spans decades, lifetimes and the entire history of modern Jazz, complete with firsthand anecdotes from Jones and Herbie Hancock. Keep On Keepin’ On is a film crafted with great affection by Hicks – another former student of Terry’s – a grace note for his teacher, infused with soulfulness and serendipity.