Saturday, 8 July 2017


I don't know if I can even begin to describe my excitement when I decided to check the line-up for the Victoria Jazz Fest a few days before departing for the annual retreat to visit Demeter and escape the hazy summer heat of Hades.

I expected to find the usual array of undoubtedly talented musicians of which I'd never heard. That's fine -- I'm open to being educated. Instead I found a listing for the Postmodern Jukebox, one of my favourite means for coming up with a blog-post when I have no time.

Hands shaking, I checked their website, because they usually have two or three travelling troupes on tour somewhere in the world. There was a promotional video showing them heading off in a tractor trailer "to Canada" -- presumably they think there's nothing but farms up here -- and I thought I could spot Sarah Niemietz and Casey Abrams among the throng.

I frantically booked tickets. I couldn't believe that PMJ was coming to Canada - I think they'd been to Montreal on one of their so-called "North American" tours - and that they would be performing at a venue that was actually accessible to me. Younger daughter, who has been exposed to PMJ through my Facebook shares, was pretty excited too.

At the appointed time, the Resident Fan Boy, younger daughter and I made our way through a beautiful post-solstice evening, walking the few blocks from Demeter's condo to the Royal Theatre. That was an additional treat for me; I haven't been to a performance at the Royal in about twenty years. Between our absence and extensive renovations to the theatre (first opened in 1913), there simply hasn't been the opportunity.

We were up in the gods, three rows from the top of the upper balcony, but I'd brought bird binoculars, and gazed rapturously at the distant performers

I haven't posted many of Sarah Niemietz's performances on this blog, which is odd, because I love her style and watch her PMJ videos repeatedly. She can take a song I like and take it to a different level.

The live performance had the extra thrill of hearing Casey Abrams sing backup for her on this one.

Niemietz, who, I've just discovered, is the same age as elder daughter, can also take a song I could live without and turn it into something fine.

Last summer I was able to identify this Justin Bieber ditty for my 12-year-old niece - because I'd heard the Postmodern Jukebox version.

I've posted more than one Casey Abrams PMJ video.  He's a force of nature. This song, originally recorded by Haddaway, features Maiyah Sykes on backing vocals (she's the lady in the Louboutins).  She blew away the crowd in Victoria with her solos.

After the show, we escaped down the back staircase and burst out into the night, still in twilight.  Victoria is several longitudes north of Ottawa, enough for sunsets past nine thirty in late June.  We were jet-lagged, but unexhausted.

No comments: