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Critic's picks: Nanaimo jazz festival, Canadian College of Performing Arts

MUSIC What: Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Where: The Port Theatre, 125 Front St. (Nanaimo) When: Oct. 25, 7 p.m. (future performances Nov. 1 and 10) Tickets: $30 ($15 for livestream) from tickets.porttheatre.
TC_395087_web_Laila-Biali.jpeg
Laila Biali performs at the Nanaimo jazz festival. credit: Julia Hembree

MUSIC

What: Nanaimo International Jazz Festival
Where: The Port Theatre, 125 Front St. (Nanaimo)
When: Oct. 25, 7 p.m. (future performances Nov. 1 and 10)
Tickets: $30 ($15 for livestream) from tickets.porttheatre.com or 250-754-8550

Why: Nanaimo’s annual international jazz festival happens on two fronts this year, with both in-person concerts (at The Port Theatre) and livestreams on the intinerary. The festival, now in its second week, continues Monday with headliner Laila Biali, a Juno Award winner from Toronto who will be joined at this performance by Andrew Homzy’s NOLA Nighthawks. The festival continues with online/in-person concerts Nov. 1 and Nov. 10. Visit nanaimojazzfest.ca for the full line-up.

MUSIC

What: Himalayan Bear, Ashley Shadow and David P. Smith
Where: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St.
When: Friday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m. (doors at 8)
Tickets: $25 from victoriaeventcentre.ca

Why: This line-up is a psych-country/indie-folk fan’s dream, with a troika of acts who each command the stage in unique ways. Himalayan Bear — the most established of the bunch — is led by Vancouver singer-songwriter Ryan Beattie, whose Victoria roots run deep on his band’s powerful new album, Factual Past. The night’s co-headliner, Beattie’s partner, Ashley Shadow, also has an excellent new record to promote, which should make for a memorable night at the Victoria Event Centre. Victoria gem David P. Smith, a Tom Waits-ian fireball, opens the evening.

THEATRE

What: Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land
Where: Canadian College of Performing Arts Performance Hall, 1701 Elgin Rd. (livestreamed performances are also available)
When: Oct. 21 through Oct. 24
Tickets: $29 from tickets.ccpacanada.com

Why: A new season of productions from students in the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Studio Ensemble gets underway tonight with Stan Lai’s Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, directed by Vancouver’s Derek Chan. The 1986 original, which is regarded as one the top contemporary productions in Chinese theatre history, mixes slapstick, farce and drama into a story about double-booked troupes with only days to rehearse before opening night. The production is the perfect life-imitating-art experience for CCPA students, who are tasked with overseeing every aspect of this truly original piece on its way to the stage.