Christopher Page officiates one last jazz vesper this month before retiring from a 35-year career at St. Philip Anglican Church.
The Oak Bay church is among the longest-running vespers in the region featuring top Greater Victoria musicians, including Joey Smith, Darcy Philips, Stephanie Greaves, Tony Genge, Edie Daponte, Maureen Washington, Ryan Tandy, Diane Pancell, Karel Roessingh, Ross MacDonald, Pablo Cardenas and Valdy.
Jazz vespers is about sharing jazz that swings in a playful manner in a Christian environment, according to event producer Bob Watt. It’s not about gathering souls, but rather, about building community.
The musical format is jazz with acoustic instruments – piano, guitar, bass drums and voice.
St. Philip Anglican Church’s first jazz vespers concert was held around Christmas 2009 and since has been a regular feature from September through June. Page, the rector of St. Philip, has officiated at 85 of them.
His swan song comes with the May 15 vespers, What the World Needs Now, featuring DePonte on vocals with Joey Smith (guitar), Ryan Tandy (bass), Tony Genge (piano), Bob Watts (drums) and musical guests. It gets underway at 7 p.m. at 2928 Eastdowne Rd. Admission is by donation.