Calgary jazz band Verismo plays Fall Jazz Series

‘Verismo’ jazz band coming to Kimberley November 28

Verismo visits Centre 64 on November 28.

Verismo visits Centre 64 on November 28.

Submitted by Mike Redfern

Perhaps the most celebrated jazz band yet to appear in Kimberley Arts Council’s jazz series at Centre 64 over the past three years is coming to Kimberley November 28. Verismo, the Calgary jazz quintet co-founded in 2001 by University of Calgary music professor Jeremy Brown and fellow saxophonist Pat Bellivaeau, will perform at Centre 64 in a cabaret-style concert in the dance studio starting at 8 p.m. that Friday evening. This is a band that wowed the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2007 where they were acclaimed with reviews like the following:

“The word on the Calgary jazz scene is Verismo, the elite quintet founded by saxophonists Pat Belliveau and Jeremy Brown and filled out by bassist John Hyde, pianist Derek Stoll, and drummer John De Wall. The modern jazz and hard bop on their self-styled debut (album) was hailed across Canada for its originality, cohesiveness, virtuosity, and the brilliance of pieces like ‘The Trojan Horse’ and ‘Winter’.

A fresh chinook blows out of the west.”

Verismo recorded for CBC’s Jazz Beat in 2005 and has appeared at the Calgary International Jazz Festival among many other venues.

As head of the U of C music department from 2003 to 2008, Dr. Jeremy Brown led the creation of the Monday Night Jazz Concert Series in Calgary among several other musical accomplishments. As a saxophone soloist he has made many recordings of classical music, including for the CBC, and has appeared as the featured soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He has toured across Canada, the USA, Europe, and Japan as a conductor, saxophonist, lecturer, clinician, and adjudicator and has received many glowing personal reviews.

The word ‘verismo’ is a post-Romantic term meaning ‘realism’, from the Italian word ‘vero’ meaning ‘true’. It describes operatic music such as that by Henry Purcell and writing such as Emile Zola’s that deals with the realities of everyday life, particularly of the lower classes of the early 20th century. It seems an appropriate name for a jazz band, jazz having risen from the levees of Louisiana as the popular dance music of African American working people of the same period. Originally called ‘ragtime’ it soon became known as New Orleans jazz or Dixieland jazz. The evolution of jazz since those early years has seen it go through many manifestations including swing, bebop, cool jazz, free jazz, latin, funk, and modern jazz and a host of other off-shoots, making it a difficult genre to define. This season Centre 64 has featured the smooth jazz of the Neville Bowman trio with Kinga Heming and the jazz funk of the Melody Diachun Quartet. Verismo promises yet another interpretation of the jazz genre with two tenor saxaphones, grand piano, upright bass, and drums.

Tickets are available from Centre 64 (250-427-4919) or online at As seating is limited and the last concert sold out, you’d be well advised to get your tickets early, $22 for Kimberley Arts Council members, $24 for non-members in advance, $26 at the door if still available.