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Critic's picks: Noah Becker Quartet; Sebastian Gaskin; Nat King Cole Songbook

Our Arts reporter's top picks for the week ahead: Noah Becker Quartet returns to Hermann's, Sebastian Gaskin appears for Voices in Circle finale, and Denzel Sinclaire channels Nat King Cole.


Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St.

When: Thursday, March 9, 7 p.m. (doors at 5:30)

Tickets: $20 from

Why: Noah Becker is no stranger to Hermann’s Jazz Club, having effectively grown up inside the View Street venue. But performances by the acclaimed alto saxophonist, who bounces between his native Victoria and adopted homebase of New York City, remain must-see events 20-plus years into his career. He’ll be joined by Brent Jarvis (piano, drums) and Phil Albert (bass) for this concert, which will features both originals an standards, all of which will be handled with gusto by Becker and his bandmates.


Where: Farquhar Auditorium, University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Rd.

When: Saturday, March 11, 7 p.m.

Tickets: $30 from

Why: The final concert of the Farquhar Auditorium’s Voices in Circle series is a unique one, with Sebastian Gaskin bringing his blend of R&B and hip-hop to the University of Victoria campus. The Winnipeg-based singer-songwriter has a wide-ranging resume, including opening slots for everyone from Buffy Sainte-Marie to T-Pain, and the solo acoustic performance set for Saturday is another unexpected turn. The talent is evident (the member of Tataskweyak Cree Nation won R&B artist of the year at the 2021 Western Canadian Music Awards), so expect to be wowed. Gaskin also performs Thursday at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay.


Where: The Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.

When: Saturday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 12, 2:30 p.m.

Tickets: $29-$98 from

Why: Toronto-born, Vancouver-based singer Denzal Sinclaire has found an artistic reference point with the music of Nat King Cole, which provides the Juno Award nominee a canvas on which to paint his musical pastiche. He appeared in Unforgettable, a musical based on Cole’s music and life, but his regular appearances with symphony orchestras under the Nat King Cole Songbook banner provide the best vehicle for his talents. Mona Lisa and Nature Boy are sure to bring the house down, but the sweeping orchestral arrangements are not to be underestimated. Sinclaire is the only vocalist on stage, so he’ll rely on the assistance of the Victoria Symphony to put the pair of concerts this weekend over the top.