Critic's Picks: John Coltrane tribute, B.C. Culture Days, jazz at Hermann's


What: The Ryan Oliver Quartet’s 5th Annual Birthday Tribute to John Coltrane
Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St.
When: Friday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. (doors at 5:30)
Tickets: $20 from

Why: Vancouver Island favourite Ryan Oliver is paying tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane on Friday with help from his quartet, bassist Ken Lister, pianist Nick Peck, and drummer Hans Verhoeven. Oliver, a gifted saxophonist in his own right, will use years of teaching experience and performing bona fides with Toronto’s Shuffle Demons to tackle the vast catalogue of the jazz giant, whose music continues to inspire 50-plus years after his death.

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What: B.C. Culture Days
Where: Various
When: Friday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 26
Admission: Free

Why: Canada’s largest public participation campaign for arts, culture and heritage gets underway Friday with the first in a month-long series of events on Vancouver Island. The in-person and online showcase offers a diverse menu of mediums through Oct. 24, from art exhibitions in Colwood, Courtenay, Esquimalt, Nanaimo and Parksville to dance displays in Victoria, museum offerings in Sooke and literary events in Qualicum. Simply too much family-friendly fare to mention here. For more information about B.C. Culture Days, visit


What: Melón Jiménez and Lara Wong
Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. (doors at 5:30)
Tickets: $22 from

Why: The flamenco duo of Lara Wong (flute bansuri) and Melón Jiménez (guitar) comes to Victoria from Madrid, where this groundbreaking couple resides. Their world music is infused with jazz and myriad other influences spanning several countries, including — interestingly enough — India (Wong’s flute is a bamboo instrument used in Hindustani classical music, while Jiménez has toured with Anoushka Shankar, daughter of sitar great Ravi Shankar). They came together musically in 2018, but have made immediate waves in Europe, setting the stage for a very eventful inaugural run across Canada.

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