P.J. Perry loves playing in Smithers for what he calls “a very hip audience.”
“These days, people’s tastes have matured and there is a jazz audience up there [in the Bulkley Valley],” Perry, who calls Edmonton home, said. “I’m very much looking forward to coming up there again.”
Perry is one fourth of the P.J. Perry Quartet, a group made up of renowned jazz musicians who are performing at the Della Herman Theatre on Sept. 13.
The accolades for Perry’s work are many. He won a Juno for Best Jazz Recording and he has recently been performing his own show, “The Joy of Sax,” with orchestras from across the country.
He has shared the stage with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw and Tommy Hunter.
Rounding out the P.J. Perry Quartet are: Neil Swainson on bass, Chris Sigerson on piano and Nels Guloien on percussion.
“People can expect to see virtuoso saxophone playing, I can say this I think without too much blush, and a soulful rendition of the blues,” Perry said. “But I don’t want people to think we’re going to be taking this too seriously, we’re going to be having a lot of fun on stage, too.”
The Smithers show is a family affair. Percussionist Guloien is Perry’s youngest brother and his sister, Janet, calls the Bulkley Valley home.
While in Smithers, the quartet will also lead a workshop hosted by high school band leader Mike Doogan-Smith.
“Traditionally, it’s an art form that’s been handed down from one musician to the next,” Perry said. “I think it’s important to pass on the knowledge to the younger generation that the music is here to stay and that it is indeed valid and important. It’s a music that incorporates honesty, beauty and technique. I consider it my responsibility to pass it on to the younger generation.”
Perry has performed twice before in the Bulkley Valley.
Both shows were sold out.
The PJ Perry Quartet takes to the Della Herman stage on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased from Mountain Eagle Books and Interior Stationery. Adults are $20 and students are $15.