For some time, the Vernon Jazz Club audience has been asking Neville Bowman to add more of his silky vocals to the set list. This is exactly what they’re going to get when Bowman hits the stage Nov. 2. The night will prove to be one that’s high in energy and full of the high-quality musicianship that’s come to be expected of these top players. Bowman first played the Vernon Jazz Club in our opening fall season back in 1999. For some of us, it was truly “love at first song.” Saturday will be Bowman’s 28th performance at our club. It’s kind of obvious he is a house favourite, especially when the math tells you that the Vernon Jazz Club has only been up and running for 20 years.
During those Vernon Jazz Club performances, Bowman played with Just in Time, Cathy-Ann Wells, Robert Fine, Craig Thomson Quartet, Larry Crawford Quartet, Bernie Addington Quintet, Pat MacGibbon Quartet, Anna Jacyszyn & Café Jazz Band, Neville Bowman Quintet, Amanda Morazain, Neville Bowman Trio with Curtis Parry, Michael Garding Quintet, Ali Henry, Groove Engine, Kinga Heming, and Michael Garding Fundraiser. It’s no surprise, really, that we possessively think of him as ours.
The admiration seems to be a two-way street, as Bowman comments, “Venues like the Vernon Jazz Club give those of us in this business a place which offers that all too rare privilege, that of an audience which listens. It also allows us, as creative entities, to test ourselves, explore music on a deeper level than just safe background music.”
A long-time Okanagan valley resident of Kelowna, Bowman may be very comfortable in these surroundings, but he is anything but typical. His sincere dedication to his craft, his professional showmanship, and his meticulously high standards, together have melded him into an absolutely outstanding performer. Bowman’s expertise on the piano will amaze you, as will his ability to express his solos with such adherence to musicality, avoiding the trap of merely showing off his technical prowess. However, when he sings…that’s when you’ll fall completely under his spell.
Neville Bowman Band will be onstage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31 St.) on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15. Cash-only bar on site. Tickets $25 only available online at www.vernonjazz.com – with a $5 rebate at the gig for VJS members.