The first jazz jam of 2023 occurred at The Effie on March 6. The jam was preceded with a performance by Campbell Ryga and the Kris Ruston Trio.
Alto sax player and composer, Ryga, is a veteran of the world jazz scene. The three-time Juno Award winner played a selection of standards and some of his own compositions. He and the Ruston Trio traded solos throughout the set. They started off with TNT and also played such standards as “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “All the Things You Are,” “Secret Love,” Ryga’s own “Old Folks,” “Bluesette” and a few other great tunes.
The talented reed player announced the tunes and provided brief info about them. The Kris Ruston Trio, with Ruston on guitar, Alex Ward on bass and Jared Wilman on drums provided wonderful backing and were given a chance to show their talents on many solos. The full house really appreciated this performance. Later, Ryga commented that he was very happy that he was able to hear the local talent in the jam. He and his family have recently moved to Kamloops. This was is first concert in Kamloops, other than unexpectedly guesting for his buddy Tom Lavin at the Powder Blues show
After a break Ruston and mates returned to organize the jam. A variety of players took turns. Some of the jammers were Joe on trumpet, Aidan Evans on violin, Jasleen Morneau on vocals, Cody Inskip and Kamal Morelli on tenor saxophone, Ray Nyuli and Jared Doherty on guitar, Nick Dyson on flugelhorn, Neil Brun electric bass and others.
It was great to see that a number of students, some who are aspiring musicians, came out to see the performance. There have been more frequent jazz performances in the region. Shows are happening in Vernon, Salmon Arm and now Kamloops. Organizers expect this jam to be a recurring jam on the first Monday of every month at The Effie in Kamloops.