Jazz at Purdy’s with Geordie Haley and Dee Hernandez

Category: music 145

Fredericton’s MRTI Agency revisits one of Fredericton’s former jazz hotspots with a new performance series. 

Matt Carter
Geordie Haley in performance.

There was a time when live jazz performances were a regular occurrence on the ground floor of Fredericton’s largest hotel. The lounge, once known as DJ Purdy’s, offered a regular stage frequented by some of the city’s most respected jazz performers at the time like drummer and piano player Tony George and sax player Hans Martini, along with any number of various combos boosting a who’s who of players who once formed the foundation of Fredericton’s fledgling jazz scene. 

But music scenes expand and contract, and remain in constant evolution. As one genre’s popularity may retreat to the back of the line, replaced by something new (or more often something old, new again), what’s hot today could just as easily be yesterday’s news. But jazz has remained a constant. Even during the times when the city’s entire local audience for live jazz performances could seemingly fit inside a school bus, the music never stopped.   

Maybe it has something to do with the summer jazz nights at Southside Shake, the recent addition of Jazz on Wolastoq to our annual festival calendar, or the fact the city’s largest music festival dropped the J-A-Double-Z from its original name. Whatever the reason, local interest in jazz seems to be bubbling up again. You can’t go wrong with a little improv and a little swing, right?

From its perch on the Woodstock Road overlooking the mighty Wolastoq River, the Delta Fredericton’s Bobak Room will welcome back guitarist Geordie Haley, one of the storied room’s many past performers, for a performance on February 15. Together with a handpicked group of musicians including Jason Flores (double bass), Karl Gans (drums) and Mike Doherty (keys), Haley will usher in a new era of jazz at the hotel kicking of MRTI’s new series, Jazz at Purdy’s. 

“Back in the day, I found myself lucky to have a gig that lasted three nights a week at DJ Purdy’s,” said Haley, a former perennial on the Fredericton music scene now based in Halifax. “That’s practically unheard of these days. We were able to work on our jazz playing in a friendly place with the beautiful Saint John River floating by.”

Following Haley’s show, Cuban jazz powerhouse Dee Hernandez will keep the series going with a performance on April 4.

Hernandez was recently given the title of ‘the voice of Canadian-Cuban jazz’ by Maritime Edit magazine, and has been described as a ‘force of artistic innovation and musical freedom’ and her talents have been featured prominently on national specialty jazz programs and formats. 

The new layout of the Bobak Room will be adorned with cabaret style seating, tastefully lit for the perfect ambience, making it ideal for a few nights of jazz. 

Upcoming Performances:

Geordie Haley and Friends | February 15 | Delta Fredericton | 7 p.m. |  Buy Tickets 
Dee Hernandez | April 4 | Delta Fredericton | 7 p.m. | Buy Tickets 

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