I’m happy to say that COVID hasn’t completely put a stop to my live performances. One of my steady gigs has found a way to come back. I’m playing at Pagliacci’s in Victoria every 2nd Sunday (check the show listing for dates). The restaurant is renting the space beside it that used to be a camera shop, and that is allowing them to have enough space for distanced tables and a band again.
I’ve also got some shows coming up at Hermann’s Jazz Club. I’ll be there on Oct 31 with Pretzel Logic playing the music of Steely Dan… AND, on November 14 The Nick La Riviere Band will be playing two seatings as we do a tribute to the great trombonist and composer, Hugh Fraser.
The last time I brought my band to Hermann’s Jazz Club was in March of this year, just before the pandemic was declared. Since then, a lot has changed for all of us, and musicians are certainly no exception. It’s quite an odd experience for the career you’ve worked on your whole life to suddenly be impossible and irrelevant. Whatever the future holds, we’d like music and culture to be a part of it. That’s why we applaud Hermann’s for finding a way to continue keeping the music alive during this difficult time.
The Nick La Riviere Band will perform LIVE and IN PERSON at Hermann’s on July 31 and August 1, with some changes made to follow new COVID safety guidelines. Among those changes are a 50 person capacity, and a 5 musician limit on stage. The band will also play a single hour and a half set rather than two shorter sets. Tickets are now also available online at http://www.hermannsjazz.ca, which we’re very excited about. This new ticketing system should make things easier for the audience and the band.
We’re very excited to perform again, and promise a stellar show featuring Barrie Sorensen on sax, Chris Van Sickle on keys, Louis Rudner on bass, Damian Graham on drums, and Nick on trombone/vocals/surprises. The music is fun, high energy R&B/soul.. modern New Orleans style, with originals and more. You’ll want to dance (but sorry, you can’t), so tap your feet, enjoy the show, and support music and culture in this brave new world.
With the limited capacity, we encourage you to get your tickets early. For anyone unable to attend, experiencing symptoms, or with a compromised immune system, you can watch the show online FOR FREE through Hermann’s Facebook Page, even if you’re not a Facebook user and don’t have a Facebook account – just go to https://www.facebook.com/hermannsjazz/live_videos/. During the show and after, you’ll be able to make donations to both the band and Hermann’s Jazz Club at artsonview.ca/donate. Hermann’s has been a great supporter of the arts for many years, let’s not allow COVID to put a stop to it!
Thanks everyone! I hope you’re all keeping safe and healthy.
I hope you’re all doing well in these crazy and difficult times. It’s certainly a hard time to be a musician, with none of us knowing how soon the craft and career we’ve dedicated our lives to will be something that makes sense again.
While many other musicians have been doing live streaming solo shows from their own homes since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been slow to do one myself. Why? Well for one thing my main instrument sounds a lot better with accompaniment. So I’ve been working on finding a way to ‘do it right’, and now I’ve got it. A very unique solo live stream. Broadcasting live from my home studio, you’ll hear a great sounding show using all my professional studio mics and equipment. I’ll be performing all my own originals, plus one surprise tune I didn’t write. You’ll hear me accompanied by… mainly myself!
Whenever I write an original tune, I record myself playing all the instruments in order to make a demo for the band to listen to. I’ve taken those demos and removed the instruments I can play live. I’ve also got some ‘in progress’ mixes from some brand new never-heard-before recordings featuring some fantastic musicians. These will be officially released as singles later this year.. and in order to make this show not the release, it won’t be archived… so you’d better tune in and watch it live!
I’ve been working hard at making this live streaming show sound as as awesome as possible, doing lots of practice runs to a private YouTube account so I can listen back and make sure everything’s working. The production is technically complex, but the result is really great.
Tune in Friday June 12th at 6pm, and join me for some great music!
….And one more thing! It’s not like I haven’t released anything since the pandemic began. I’ve been hard at work keeping the community bands I work with going strong! They’ve been putting out some super fun videos. Everyone records their own parts at home, and I put it all together. You can check them out on my YouTube page for highest quality (click here – it will autoplay a video of band at the top, but scroll down and you’ll see some videos from Jive, Soul Source, and the Blue Bosses). Jive and Soul Source normally support the Rainbow Kitchen and Living Edge charities with their Hermann’s end-of-season shows, so you’ll see a message of support at the end of these videos.
I’m really looking forward to the performances next weekend at Hermann’s Jazz Club. I’ve been working hard at getting new tunes together for these shows, and I thought I’d share a little “behind the scenes” on what that looks like. When I write a new tune, I not only provide my bandmates with a chart to learn it from, I record a demo using my gear at home with me playing all the instruments. I try to make it sound as good as possible so that it’s enjoyable to listen to and doesn’t drive the guys nuts while they’re going over it. It takes a LOT of hours to write and record these – and then memorize them for the show.. but it’s a lot of fun when it all works out. Here’s a little behind the scenes on how those demos are made:
So there you have it! I hope you’ll come check out the show and make all that work worthwhile. We’ve got a few new tunes like this to premiere, I think these will be some of our best shows so far. Reservations can be made at www.HermannsJazz.com (click on the show on the night you want to attend, then ‘register for a ticket’). There’s more info, including a 1 minute video that shows you what the show is all about at www.nicklariviere.com/nextshow. Or you can check out an entire live concert filmed in broadcast quality at https://youtu.be/2hzZauG7jO8.
I’m looking forward to playing again at one of my favourite venues, Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria. I’ve been hard at work writing some new material for this show that I’m excited to share. It’s going to be a lot of fun as usual, so please come check us out! The band will feature Miguelito Valdes on trumpet, Barrie Sorensen on sax, Kelly Fawcett on guitar/vocals, Chris Van Sickle on keys/vocals, Louis Rudner on bass, and Liam MacDonald on drums.
•Reservations at Hermann’s are recommended (click the show on the calendar, then register for a ticket – they need to update their calendar but it should be listed soon): www.hermannsjazz.com
•For more about this show click here.
I’m also happy to announce that the band is heading in to the studio record 4 new singles, partially sponsored by a grant from FACTOR.
At our last round of Hermann’s shows we released our new album Alive & Loud. As of today, in advance of our upcoming shows, I’m releasing the entire live concert video from the performance that album was recorded at. I hope you enjoy! This concert was filmed in broadcast quality. I edited it myself. I think it turned out quite well.
Check out the video here:
A show with The Nick La Riviere Band is like taking a trip down to modern New Orleans, where the music is loud and proud, with brass adding funky lines to each groove, and every song is played with soul and power. The music is all about having a good time and moving your feet. It’s a night on the town that will leave you wired. Their originals blend influences like Trombone Shorty with classic funk and jazz. The band plays their own take on tunes by Eddie Harris, Sly & the Family Stone, and Curtis Mayfield. Featuring three vocalists, trumpet, sax, trombone, guitar, piano/synth, bass, drums – and sometimes conch shells or sousaphone, the 7 piece band delivers a big powerful sound.
Recording for XL The Band at The Chamber Studio in Nanaimo
I’m looking forward to an exciting 2020. I’m working on recording some of my own singles, and have some studio time booked in February. We’ll also be back at Hermann’s Jazz Club March 6 and 7. The Paperboys have plenty of dates coming up – we’ll be playing two shows at the Tractor in Seattle this Saturday, January 4th. The Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra is doing a Hermann’s show On January 16th. XL The Band will be releasing some tracks I’m very excited about, including one that I came up with a horn line involving quarter tones for… so look out for that!
My regular gigs are also continuing on – come see The Bomb Squad every Sunday at Darcy’s Pub Downtown from 11pm to 1am. Anthems plays 3 or so Thursdays a month at Bard & Banker. The Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra plays every second Sunday at Pagliacci’s from 8 to 10pm.
And this year my wife and I got a dog. We got Essie in January from Rosier Days Dog Rescue Society. She was found at a gas station in Acapulco. She’s come along really well, and is clearly enjoying life with us.
This image of Essie was recently painted by Diane Adolph:
Have a great year, and come check out some great live music!