British Columbia Music Festival

The Pender Harbour Jazz Festival

Sunday, September 18, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

Along with good days and bad days on the water, there are places you choose and places that choose you: Pender Harbour is a little bit of both.  We first came here three years ago for the Jazz Festival and, little by little, have fallen in love with this small, but vibrant community.  And even though we were both loathe to leave the comfort of  Desolation Sound, even if only for a few days, it'sgood to be back.  

It rained Friday night so Saturday's music was moved from the outdoor venues located at the different resorts along the water to theCommunity Hall.  Normally that would be a great disappointment, but not this year.  Although we'd planned to go listen to several of the bands, it's getting too cold on the boat in the mornings and David wanted to reinstall the newly repaired heating fan first.  It should have only take a couple of hours but turned into a four hour ordeal complete with phone calls to Lance, the installer, down in Victoria.  But a job well done is one worth doing and, even though we missed the bulk of the festival, we have heat again! 

Later that night (much, much later at 9:00 pm) we met Gary and Tani at the Community Centre for the Fathead concert, a blues band out of Toronto.  The centre was packed with people ready to enjoy anight out and they filled the dance floor from start to finish –Gary even managed to drag me and my two left feet out for a song.  It had been a long day for everyone, so we said our good-byes close to midnight (before the end of the concert) and dinghied home in the rain.

The rain cleared out today and we went to the Garden Bay Pub in the afternoon for the open jam session with Gaetan Bergevin, a blues musician out of nearby Gibsons, and were treated to a couple of songs with Doc Fingers (the name says it all) and Bradley McKillivray, an incredible singer (Ruth McKillivray) who excels in giving emotional performances in the same vain as Bonnie Raitt or Janis Joplin backed up by her Fender playing husband (Sheldon Bradley).  The set ended after a few hours and it was back to the boat to walk the dog and pile on extra layers for an evening up the hill at the Grasshopper Pub.

By the time we arrived, the pub was packed but we managed to find a spot on the deck overlooking the water and Cambria at anchor. We had dinner before Santa Lucia, a Cuban Jazz band out of Vancouver, started to play but didn't stay long -- it's just not our type of music and, unlike the band that came directly from Cuba last year, they weren't that good.  Whether several others agreed with us or not, the crowd thinned out after the first set and we were among the early departures.  Tempted to go back to Garden Bay Pub to listen to Doc Fingers, we were both just too tired from a very busy three days and went home to a warm boat. 

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