story from my friend AJ Tefft who lives in Colorado- july 9th - 2024

In a small, dimly lit jazz club, the drummer played with unmatched skill,
each beat echoing through the room. 
Yet, his eyes held a secret sorrow. One evening, a wandering monk
entered the club, drawn by the drummer's
haunting rhythm and ordered a gin and tonic from the bar.

After the performance, the monk approached and asked,
"Why does your music carry such a weight of sadness?"

The drummer sighed, "I am cursed by the evil star Algol.
Every note I play is tainted by its malice."

The monk replied, "The stars above do not strike the drum,
nor do they move your hands.
What, then, is the source of your curse?"

The drummer fell silent, pondering the monk's words.
From that night, his beats carried not sorrow, but enlightenment.


Update to May 23rd, 2024.

I presently find myself involved in a number of musical projects and groups which is great, 
bu also challenging in terms of juggling all the various rehearsals required to fulfill my
responsibilities in all this.. I am going to list the upcoming gigs i have based on the band
or group I am playing with here beginning with the earliest dates. Ask for more details via
my e mail address if their is more info you'd like.. thank you..
Chris Noel and the Burning House
The Vault Cafe Friday June 14th  9pm
Moose Hall July 13th 7-10pm
Lady O and the Omen
Victoria Jazz Festival Saturday June 29th 12-1pm Bullen Park, Esquimalt.. Free..
39 Days of July in Duncan, Sunday Aug 4th, 7pm.. Free
Chris Whiteley and Diane Braithwaite
39 Days of July in Duncan, Sunday June 30th 7pm. Free
Nanaimo Blues Festival, Sunday Aug 11th 3pmish.. 
The Shineolas
July 7th in Nanaimo at the Sunday Queens Blues Jam hosting. 3-7pm.
July 16th Waterwheel Park in Chemainus at 7pm.
July 20/21 Saturday/Sunday.. Islands Folk Festival in Duncan.. 
Saturday July 27th Moose Hall @ 7pm.
Sunday Aug 4th 220-315pm Nautical Days in Comox.
Friday Aug 23rd Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo 7pm. Free.
Sept 7th, Oct 5th, Nov 23, Dec 7th. Moose Hall 7pm. 
Glen Foster Group
39 Days of July in Duncan, Sat. July 13th 4pm. Free.
Sat July 27th Bathtub Weekend in Nanaimo. 230pm.
Skye Douglas Project
Friday Aug 9th, Old City Quarter, Nanaimo. 12-1pm. Free.
Nanaimo Jazz Festival Sat Sept 13th 3pm. Free
Marty Steeles Treblemakers
Thursday Aug 15th in Courtenay for the GSJS. 
Sunday Sept 14th 2pm Nanaimo Jazz Festival. Free
I will update info into Sept and the fall in the next few months! 
Below is a recent picture of The Treblemakers.

Update to March 28th.

we had some great pictures taken at the Georgia Straight Jazz Society event on Feb 29th
here are 2 links which contain these pictures from Bill Jorgensen and Katie Hubberstey
Thank you Bill and Katie!! great pictures can be seen in the blue links to their names..

Update to March 26th.

had a holiday in france for 3 weeks.. it was lovely!! lots going on upon coming back
yesterday!  i am playing this Saturday March 30th at the Moose Hall in Nanaimo 730-1030pm
with the Shineolas.. see this link for other dates i am doing with this group.. thanks..

I am playing Pagilaccis on Monday April 8th with Marty Steele.. 8-10pm.. free to get in!
Thursday April 11th i in Courtenay for the Georgia Straight Jazz Society event with Jennifer
Scott and Rene Worst. This happens at the new venue for GSJS - Hi Tide Pub.. Sunday April 14th
@ 130pm, i am delighted to be playing with Geoff and Trish Horrocks "Fiddelium" at
Nanaimo Conference Centre.

On Friday April 19th, i am playing with Lady O and the Omen at the Vault Cafe 9-11pm. 
Sunday April 21st i am with Glen Foster Group at SimonHolt Restaurant 730pm which is 
also here in Nanaimo.. Please come out to these shows if you are able to.

On a related note, i was in the studio playing on 3 tracks for an upcoming album  that 
Beverley McKeen is releasing. It looks like i am going to be playing on more tracks in the next
month as well. I am enjoying the music and creative liason with Beverley, Jeremy Sagar and 
Trevor Davies in all of this! Hopefully you can hear the recording when it comes out later in the

Update to Feb 10th.

Most all of the gigs listed in the previous update are happening. However the Stevie Wonder
gigs in April - 14th and 21st in Parksville have been postponed until the fall.  I am 
playing also on sunday Feb 18th @ The Queens  Blues Jam 3-7pm with Chris Whiteley
and Diane Braithwaite. Cover is  10$..  I am also playing in Duncan @The Showroom
from 3-5pm on Sunday Feb 25th with Lady O
and the Omen. 20$ cover. Please
see the previous update for additional gigs I am playing on.

Update to Dec 24th 2023.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!
I am playing next Friday Dec 29th at the Vault Cafe 8-11pm with Lady O and the Omen.
Cost is 15$ and band includes Nico, Brad and Orith - 4 piece band doing Oriths originals.
My gigs with the Shineolas are Friday Jan 19th at the Vault Cafe - 499 Wallace St, 
Saturday Jan 20th at Gabriola Arts Center early show - 4 - 7pm, and Feb
in Courtenay for the Georgia Straight Jazz Society - 7-9pm.
My gigs with the Palace Band are the vaudeville burlesque shows at Errington Hall on
the last 2 weekends of February - 16, 17, 23, 24. See the blue link to Errington Hall for more 
info on tickets and etc. 
Glen Foster Group is playing Friday March 1st at the Vault Cafe, and also Sat. April 27th
at SimonHolt Restaurant in the North End of Nanaimo. Hopefully Glen will update his
website with the details on these events.. Glen is coming out with a cd recording in the
new year, and i am playing on this on a number of the tracks.. Looking forward to hearing it!
I am also a part of the Marty Steele Band which performs May 12th at Osborne Bay Pub 
2-5pm Sunday.. I was also asked to perform summer of 2024 as part of the big celebration
of Pagliacci's Restaurant in Victoria of 50 years of live music Saturday Aug 24th, 2024.
I am sure lots more will come up and hopefully I will keep the website realtively up to date! 

Update to Sept. 9th 2023
Nanaimo Jazz Festival next weekend  - Friday Sept 15 to Sunday Sept 17th.. Calendar
with free events listed on NIJFA website below. I play twice on Friday 12- 1pm and
930pm - Nanaimo Bar.  See Nanaimo Jazz Fest website for details.

I have some gigs with the Shineolas - Friday Sept 22nd - Duncan Showroom 730pm,
and in Parksville at Knox United Church on Saturday Sept 30th at 700pm.
See the
blue links for advance tickets.. On Friday Sept 29th I am playing at the Vault Cafre
499 Wallace St
in downtown Nanaimo with Lady O and the Omen - 9pm - 10$ cover.
We are also playing on Sunday at the Duncan Showroom at 3pm- same band.
In October and November,
I am doing gigs with the Palace Band.. Will update later.

Update to July 9th 2023
i have a busy few months coming up here. Please consider coming out to these shows!
i am playing with Glen Foster on 3 dates39 days of july in duncan - saturday
aug. 5th 3pm
- train station stage. Sunday aug 13th -transfer beach in ladysmith 6pm,
and parksville beachfest on friday Aug. 18th 6pm


i am playing with the Shineolas on the following dates - parksville beachfest outdoor theatre-
saturday july 29th 6pm, saturday aug 26th ladysmith artjam concert 8pm? friday sept 15th
wesley st. stage - nanaimo jazzfest, sat sept 30th parksville - knox united church


the palace band is busy come september.. lasquiti island fall fair sept 23th at the hall - 8pm?
sat oct 28th haloween dance at errington hall, thursday nov 9th in courtenay for the GSJS
saturday nov 11th vault cafe in nanaimo and sunday nov 12th at the osborne bay pub in
crofton 2pm.

i'm also playing with O'wreath - 'lady o and the omen' 39 days of july on sunday aug 6th 6pm,
friday aug 11th 12-1pm in the old city quarter music series in nanaimo, and the vault cafe
friday sept 29th 9pm.

additionally i am overseeing a once a month jazz vespers series beginning sunday aug 20th
at st pauls anglican church
in downtown nanaimo, 100 chapel st 4pm is the start time.  i
also have various gigs scattered thru this time frame that i don't need to promote, but one
more which i will share the poster for happens aug 10th at the vault cafe 9pm. please
consider coming to any of these gigs, or the ocq music series here in nanaimo if you can!

Update to April 18th 2023
below is the new 'sounds of summer in the ocq poster for 2023! looks great.. please come 
and enjoy this varieity of live music performances for 1 hour every friday beginning in june!


Update to April 3rd 2023
I was given a copy of a video of a song that I wrote with my friend Dave Clark called The
Nanaimo Song
. Nanaimo Sings also shared a full video of the March 5th Port Theatre
, for anyone who would like to watch this on youtube. Nanaimo Sings has
done a wonderful job of  building community here in Nanaimo.. Thank you Nanaimo Sings! 

Update to March 18th 2023
playing tonight at the Vault Coffee House - 499 wallace st... 15$ - 9pm.. thanks.. I am busy
rehearsing for the musical theatre show coming up and listed below.. please consider coming!
finally - i received a few pictures from Bill Jorgensen, taken on Thursday March 11th in Comox.
See the link on Bills name.. Thank you Bill and GSJS in Courtenay

Update to March 4th 2023  
A lot of the performances yet to happen are in the updates shown below.. Pease read down.
Thanks!  I am involved in a musical theatre show - Brother 12, written by Bill Miner and the 
music composed by Marty Steele.. Consider coming if you are able to.. The Poster is shown
below and includes the dates March 30, 31, April 1st and April 2nd at the VIU Theatre. 
Tickets for this show
can be gotten thru the Port Theatre box office, or online

Marty Steele and I are also playing Pagliaccis in Victoria Monday April 10th 8-10pm..
On Thursday April 13th at 730pm I am playing with Jennifer Scott and Rene Worst
in Comox for the GSJS. Please look at the GSJS website and support this organization
if you live in the Courtenay -Comox area. On  Saturday May 20th 9pm on Saltspring Isl.
at Mataeda,  I am playing with The Shineolas.  The Palace Band performs again
on Saturday June 10th at the Errington Hall.. Stay tuned for more details.. Thanks! 

Update to Feb 24th
Here is a quick overview of what i have coming up musically.. Tonight and tomorrow i
finish doing the vaudeville-burlesque shows at Errington Hall.. It has been super fun!
Thursday March 2nd, i am playing with the Palace Band at the Red Church in Comox
730pm.. Check GSJS website for the details on address..  2182 Comox Avenue! 
Sunday March 5th 330pm at the Port Theatre - Nanaimo Sings event.. Please come!
Thursday March 9th
also thru the GSJS society at the church in Comox.. I am playing
with Ralph Barrat doing the music of Mose Allison and more.. do come!
Saturday March 18th at the Vault Cafe - 499 Wallace St - Noah Becker Trio.. 15$ see
poster immediately below.. it will be fun!

Beginning March 30th - Brother 12 musical at VIU... I don't have a poster for this event yet but will
share with details when i do.. thanks for reading all this! james

Update Jan 25th
This is a Letter from LInda Dier, Chair  of Nanaimo Sings
regarding performance
on March 5th 330pm at the Port Theatre. 2 songs that I wrote with my friend Dave Clark
are being performed as noted below.. Please consider buying a ticket and coming! 

Photographer is Katie Hubberstey. Thanks Katie!  Performance for the Georgia Staight Jazz Society Jan 12th 2023


Update to Jan 14th 2023 

Here is a poster for the gig on Thursday Jan. 26th 9pm at the Vault Coffee House - 499 Wallace St.



Update to Jan 3rd 2023

I am doing a show at the Vault Coffee House on Thursday Jan 26th 9pm with Jeff Agopsowicz,
Kosma Busheiken and Marty Steele
, playing some originals and jazz standards. cost 10$ at the door.

I am playing the Vaudeville- Burlesque shows at the Errington Hall this year- Feb 17,18 and 24, 25..

 Meanwhile I am excited to be a part of Nanaimo Sings Show on March 5th at the Port Theatre.. 

In Courtenay on Thursday March 2nd, the Palace Band is performing as part of the ongoing GSJS
 (Georgia Straight Jazz Society) live jazz at the little Red Church. See their website for details.  Last,
but not least, I am playing in the musical at VIU- Brother Twelve.. This happens March 27th thru to 
April 2nd
.. When I get the poster and ticket info, I will share it.. Thanks for checking in. Please come out! 

Update to Nov 6th

i am playing wednesday nov 23rd at hermanns jazz club in victoria with noah becker.. please come! 
saturday nov 26th i am playing with marc atkinson and scott white - a type of reunion of sorts at pags.
that is pagliaccis for anyone who doesn't know - great italian restaurant on broad st in victoria.  i am 
in the studio with glen foster for a few days this month, recording some original songs by glen.  i play
with orith horwitz  and nico rhodes saturday dec 10th in duncan at the duncan showroom as a 
part of 'lady o and the omen'. doors at 7pm and show is at 730pm.

new years eve is at the nanaimo yahtt club with glen foster and friends.  thanks for checking in 
here. send me a note if you want more details - sandstone8@yahoo.com 

Update to Sept 6th.

I have been involved with the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association since last Dec.
Please consider visiting the website and getting involved, especially if you live in the Nanaimo
area.  I am playing in two of the upcoming shows as part of the festival Sept 16th to 18th.


Update to July 28th.. 

Sunday July 31st,  Skye Douglas Project  5pm and Jan Sterling 6pm in downtown Duncan
39 Days of July. Syke Douglas Project
also plays at the Waterwheel Park in Chemainus
on Tuesday Aug 2nd 7pm.
Admission is free to all 3 events.. 

Update to May 29th 2022.. gigs are happening more! i played last night at the Vault for the 
first time in a couple of years.. Liam Murphy asked me to play with him and David ( not sure
of Davids last name as i had never played with him before) and had a lot of fun.. free jazz!
here is a Video of the Skye Douglas Project April 14th Hermanns gig for anyone interested.. 

I am playing June 26th Queens Blues Jam with Blue Dog Ramble! Brian Whitty who moved
back to Toronto 8 months or so ago, is back!  gig is 3-7pm. I am playing with Andrew Homzy
July 2nd.. I have gigs at the 39 days of July Festival in Duncan!
The 3 sundays are July 10th with Hamish MacDonald 5pm, Orith Horowitz July 17th 5pm
July 31st, Jan Sterling 2pm and Skye Douglas 5pm.. 
Syke Douglas Project
also plays at the Waterwheel Park in Chemainus on Tuesday Aug 2nd 7pm.

Quick note! - i am the music coordinator for the "Sounds of Summer in the OCQ" which begins
this coming Friday June 3rd 12pm.. Come out if you are free.. All these performances are free!


Update to March 28th 2022 - add Syke Douglas Project  Sunday May 8th 2pm Duncan Showroom.

Update March 15th 2022. e mail for details! Playing April 1st in Tofino with Nico and Kosma.
April 14th Hermanns in Victoria with Syke Douglas Project.. April 16th 7pm  Live @ The Shaw
Nanaimo Conference Center, which is a part of a 6 show series.. Poster and Marty Steele Trio
with Teighan Couch picture is immediately below.. April 24th Queens Blues Jam with Hamish
MacDonald, Marty Steele
and Claudio Fantinato is happening. Orith Horowitz and Nico  
May 14th Duncan Showroom 7pm and May 15th Nanaimo Unity Church 1pm. 


update Jan 23rd 2022.. Gigs have been postponed or cancelled.. What is happening is this - 
GSJS event Courtenay Feb 24th with Marty Steele trio featuring Teighan Couch, and
Feb 26th in Duncan with Orith Horowitz - Duncan Showroom.  Meanwhile the
double weekend dates end of February at the Errington Hall with the Palace Band
has been cancelled until  2023..  thanks for checking in! 

update to Dec 15th - Jazz Pianist revisits music from 'Charlie Brown Christmas Special'

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS - multiple shows, see below - a festive and fun concert for the
whole family! Your favourite songs from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special - Holiday classics from
Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and more!

Friday Dec 17th and Saturday Dec 18th 2021, 7pm in Nanaimo, BC at the Unitarian Hall (595 Townsite Rd)
AND Sunday Dec 19th 2021, 230pm in Parksville BC at Knox United Church (345 Pym St)

Simon Paterson, vocals / Patrick Courtin, piano / Andrew Cullen, upright bass /
James McRae, drums / Dean Boland, trumpet

Tickets available for Nanaimo shows at Fascinating Rhythm (51 Commercial St, Nanaimo)
and online at: https://tinyurl.com/CharlieBrownNanaimo

Tickets available for Parksville show at Fireside Books (114 Middleton Ave, Parksville) and
Close to You Boutique
(174 Corfield St, Parksville) 
and online at https://tinyurl.com/CharlieBrownParksville

update to Oct 29th - It’s happening!  Woo Hoo! “The Night at the Palace”
Show nights: February 18 – 19 – 25 – 26 - 2022  Errington Hall.

update to Oct. 21st  Nanaimo musicians performing jazz renditions of Gordon Lightfoot songs
The above link is article in todays Nanaimo News Bulletin by Josef Jacobson..


Update Oct 6th.. I have 3 gigs coming up at the beginning of November.. Nov 1st and 10th at
Nanaimo's Port Theatre and Nov 14th matinee at Duncan Garage Showroom with Orith Horowitz..
The Nov 1st date is Impressions of Lightfoot on a double bill as part of Nanaimo Jazz Festival. The
Nov 10th date is as part of Skye Douglas Group, also a part of the Nanaimo Jazz Festival 2021..
Nov 1st and Nov 10th dates are being livestreamed as well for those who want to watch from home!
thanks for visiting my website! 


James is a drummer, mentor, composer, arranger, leader and producer living in Nanaimo B.C.

Photos by Doug Fetherston in the Fall of 2020 @ Queens Hotel and Nanaimo Entertainment Centre..
Top picture is Blue Dog Ramble.. 2nd picture is of Lucas Smart Quartet.

UPDATED TO June 8th 2021  in no particular order..

Article on a recording I am playing that was just released in the Nanaimo News Bulletin June 7th.

Old City Quarter is scheduled to have 8 live music performances every Friday 12-1pm beginning
August and ending last Friday of September. I am the artistic coordinator for this.. Stay tuned for more
information coming. Thanks.. 

Queens Blues Jam starts Sunday July 4th - 4pm start with Blue Dog Ramble.. 
Blue Dog Ramble also play the DInghy Dock Pub on Protection Island Saturday July 10th 5-8pm.

I am playing a couple of jazz type trio gigs under the leadership of Orith Horowitz ( acoustic bass-singer)
and with Phil Newns ( piano) on July 8th and 30th  - 5pm - as part of '39 days of July' in Duncan B.C. 
This is an outdoor performance. Come out if you are able to. Thanks..  Will be fun!

Blue Plate Special fundraiser recorded Oct 2020 released 2021  https://nanaimoblues.ca/blues-plate 

I recorded 5 tracks for an upcoming Jerry Story release in April 2021. Jerry Story is a boogie woogie
piano player whose song Colin Story plays guitar. MIles Black is playing some sax and B3 organ
sounds. Here is a link to Jerry Storys youtube channel. 

In November 2020 I recorded a few songs I wrote with Marisha Devoin, Nico Rhodes and Joelle Rabu.
When I figure out how to upload these sound files, I will share them, . Thanks..

Nanaimo Virtual Jazz Festival March 2021 https://nanaimojazzfest.ca/festival/  I play with the
Lucas Smart Quartet and Diane Braithwhite and Chris Whiteley Quartet seen on the videos on
Nanaimo International Jazz Festivals website.. 

I'm on a new recording of Hamish MacDonalds which you can buy or listen to here. I'm also on a
new recording / cd by Blue Dog Ramble that will be released soon.. stay tuned.. Update coming..
I am also on a recording of a Christmas song written by Glen Foster and Marty Steele that will be
coming out in the next few months. It has a catchy melody and is called 'Christmas in Vancouver'. 

Butts Giraud released a CD last year, summer of 2020 that I play on most of the songs. Contact
Butts direct - dogsear@shaw.ca or 250-751-4386. Butts is the famous wrestler of the past some
might remember him as.. CD is called Puamana Sunset by Butts Giraud and Friends. Thanks..

My close musical friend Patrick Coutin also released a CD 2019-2020 that I play on.. Please support him!

Live recording with Astrid Lyre Trio from Oct 14th 2019 at Osborne Bay Pub here...

Studio recording with Astrid Lyre Trio "Coming Home" released Nov 5th 2019

Photo credits on this website also include - Peter Sinclair, Bill Jorgensen and Wink Richardson

Interview on drumming with Alexis Deighton MacIntyre October 31st 2017.

Interview with Rick Gibbs at islandjazz.ca from June 9th 2016.