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Starting on January 9, VIU music instructor Hans Verhoeven will be collaborating with Adam Ockey to present live jazz every Thursday at the VIUSU Pub. The event will run from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Verhoeven, along with Music Program alumni Alex Coleman and James Darling, will be performing “elegant, swinging and soulful piano trio music in the tradition of Oscar Peterson, Red Garland, Ahmad Jamal, and Nat King Cole,” describes Verhoeven. In their second sets, they’ll be showcasing students invited from the Music Program, giving them the opportunity to perform with a professional rhythm section in front of a live audience.

“The VIUSU Pub is a great room, with a great and welcoming atmosphere. It’s our hope that faculty, staff, and students will stroll down and take a moment to relax at the end of the day (and almost at the end of the week) to connect with one another, grab a coffee, a drink, or a snack, and enjoy some beautiful and restorative music before heading home,” said Verhoeven. “We hope to present an environment where people can connect across departments and disciplines in a less formal setting, while supporting, mentoring, and motivating VIU Music students.”

They have a commitment from the VIUSU Pub to allow weekly performances until February 7. If these events are supported and well-attended by the VIU and Nanaimo community, Verhoeven says there is a good chance that this could become a regular installation, thus turning the VIUSU Pub into an important live-music venue on Vancouver Island, and potentially attract touring artists from around the country.

“These shows will have no cover charge, and we in the trio are working for a significantly reduced rate. The prices at the pub are lower than comparable venues, and this is all done in an attempt to make this opportunity as accessible to our students as possible,” Verhoeven said.

Don’t miss this opportunity to support talented local musicians; it also sounds like a great excuse to get away from the stresses of university life, if only for a few hours.

For more information, you can contact Verhoeven at hans.verhoeven@viu.ca, or follow the VIUSU Pub on Facebook.

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