The Best Laid Plans premiere at Darcy’s Pub! (dates updated)

For many, many years before the pandemic, I played every Sunday night at Darcy’s Pub with the Bomb Squad. It was one of my favourite gigs – often I’d be racing back from an out of town gig to make it there after hours of driving, but it was always worth it. So fun playing there! The pandemic has shaken things up, and the Bomb Squad isn’t able to continue its residency.  Instead, I’m proud to announce the premiere of my own project – Best Laid Plans. This band will perform high energy covers, featuring myself on trombone/vocals, Miguel Valdes on trumpet, Attila Fias on keys, Louis Rudner on bass, and Alex Campbell on drums…. and, special guest Brett Smith-Daniels on guitar and vocals.  It’s a killer combo of players, it’s going to be a lot of fun playing with these guys.

We’ve already been rocking Irish Times as a 4 piece (come see us there next on April 15), so we’re really looking forward to playing at Darcy’s.  We’re not booked at Darcy’s steadily – yet – so please come support us as we put our best foot forward in our initial performances on April 3 and 17. 

Hope you’re all keeping well!

DATES UPDATE: Unfortunately two of our band members have come down with covid (only mild symptoms currently), so we’ve had to cancel the performance March 27 and will premiere at Darcy’s happy and healthy on April 3 (and 17).

Check out the fun we’ve had playing at Irish Times as a 4-piece:

Dancing and Touring are back!

It’s an exciting time!  With Omicron numbers starting to go down and the lessening of restrictions all over the world, there’s a lot of great musical opportunities happening!  This week I’m off to Mexico to play at the Banderas Bay Music Festival with The Paperboys.  I’ll stay down there for a week for the first vacation in 2 years… and then after flying home, I’ll be back in Canada for less than 12 hours before catching a flight to Luxembourg where the Paperboys are playing the Zeltic Festival in Dudelange.  And then the following weekend we’re playing Seattle and Portland.  It’s just like the old days!

I’ve also been having a lot of fun with my own project Best Laid Plans. This band has been operating as either a larger group playing more originals, and as a smaller group playing covers.. that way we can be versatile and play gigs in everything from theatres to bars.

This last weekend we had a ton of fun playing at Irish Times in Victoria for the first weekend dancing was allowed in 2 years! Check out the video below.  And we’re looking forward to playing at Darcy’s Pub (downtown) on March 27 and April 3.

Nick La Riviere and the Best Laid Plans at Hermann’s Nov 6 (and the Port Theatre Oct 17)

I haven’t had the opportunity to play with my full 7 piece band at Hermann’s since the pandemic started.  In fact, the last time we played there as a full band was in March 2020.  The day after the gig I left for a gig in Mexico with The Paperboys, and… well we all know what happened next!  I’m very pleased to be back with my full band – and with a new name.  Yes it’s true, “The Nick La Riviere Band” is a hard name for people to hear as I’m telling them about it in a loud venue.  And according to a certain pizza chain, my last name is “Larizrere”, so I guess it’s hard to understand over the phone too. So finally, we’re a band with a name.  You may notice the new photo too… Super fresh! Taken on Wednesday evening by photographer Darcy Beck while Heather sprayed us with a garden hose for the rain effect.

About the band:
This band is all about the energy.  Blazing solos, top-notch musicianship, and variety..  Featuring Nick La Riviere on trombone and vocals, Miguel Valdes on trumpet, Barrie Sorensen on sax, Kelly Fawcett on guitar, Chris Van Sickle on keys and vocals, Louis Rudner on bass, and Alex Campbell on drums. Performing originals, New Orleans party music, and anything fun, this feel-good performance will take you right back to 2019!

Hermann’s is still at a limited capacity for covid safety, so get your tickets soon at

Hope to see you there! I promise it’s going to be a great night!

And for those of you in the Nanaimo area, I hope you’ll come check us out in a nice big theatre! We’re playing the Port Theatre on Sunday October 17.  Tickets at  It’s going to be a very neat show with the opening band streaming in from a venue in NYC.

The Nick La Riviere Band plays the Port Theatre in Nanaimo October 17

Hi everyone! I hope October is treating you well. I’m excited to let you know that my band will be performing a very cool show at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on October 17.  The show will be both live at the theatre, and live-streamed.  The opening band is the Tatum Greenblatt Quintet, which will be beamed in from a venue called Daddy Rabbit in New York.. and then I’ll be putting on my show with the full 7 piece band, featuring Miguel Valdes on trumpet, Barrie Sorensen on sax, Kelly Fawcett on guitar/vocals, Chris Van Sickle on keys/vocals, Louis Rudner on bass, and Alex Campbell on drums.  It’s going to be a great show, so I hope you’ll join us in person or online.

Click for:
In Theatre Tickets
Livestream Tickets

…and Hermann’s Jazz Club November 6

For those of you in Victoria, we’re also very happy to be back at Hermann’s Jazz Club on November 6th.  This will be the first full 7 piece band show at Hermann’s with this group since the start of the pandemic.  Ticket sales are limited to 75 for social distancing, and will be available soon at

Proud Mary with blazing solos

It’s fun to solo in 16ths at this tempo! Here’s Proud Mary from our recent show at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Thanks everyone for coming out. The show was sold out, and we had a great time playing. It’s a real treat to play in front of a live audience again. We’re playing as a 4 piece band doing mainly covers like this at Bard & Banker every 2nd Sunday (next one August 22nd) from 8:30 to 11:30, and on Saturday August 28.. so there’s another opportunity to come hang with us!

New original music video for the pandemic 1 year anniversary

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the pandemic, and I’ve come up with a little something to mark the occasion.  I would consider the audio to be ‘demo’ quality, since it’s me playing all the instruments, but I figure that this approach makes sense for the pandemic theme.  I do also have an EP coming soon that was recorded a studio quality, with some awesome musicians joining me.  I’m really proud of the way it turned out, so stay tuned for that!

Easy ways to share: YouTube (best quality), Facebook (better for sharing on Facebook because it autoplays, but it’s lower quality)

Buy me a coffee?

Live Shows in 2020? Yes!

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.

Click here for all the details on the Hugh Fraser tribute show!

It’s great to be back playing! Us musicians are all looking forward to when we can get our usual gig schedules including touring back.