Guitar music soothes audience

Jeremy Cook 1

The audience attending  Music in the Park was undeterred by rain on the evening of Thursday August 16, moving to the rain venue at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre eager to hear locals Jeremy Cook and Brian Highley perform two sets on guitar.

Jeremy created a relaxing atmosphere for the first half of the program, displaying considerable talent both as a classical guitarist and as an arranger and composer of instrumental pieces. Jeremy Cook 2Acknowledging his meditative style of playing, he joked “I won’t mind if you nod off. Really.”  Jeremy varied between familiar classics such as Greensleeves, considered “an old song” in Shakespeare’s day, and some of his own soft jazz and blues compositions. He also brought new interpretation to some sacred music, particularly hymn tunes such as the Welsh Hyfrydol.

Brian Highley 2Brian Highley plugged in at intermission and delivered an emotional performance of  covers ranging from  60s folk to light rock such as Into the Mystic by Van Morrison, Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer, Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, and I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen.  Particularly affecting was his rendition of Steve Earle’s Goodbye, perhaps outdoing Earle himself with a heart-wrenching interpretation of the lyrics.

The audience comfortably filled the space in “Big Blue”, a mix of ages from toddlers to seniors. Musically there was something for everyone from traditional to modern, religious to secular, old faves to new tunes. Despite the wet weather outside, there were plenty of smiles inside. These two gents created a wonderfully calming and relaxed mood that stayed with listeners for their journey home.

Brian Highley 1The last concert of the season is Jazz Out West on Thursday August 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Oliver Visitor Centre (historic CPR Station). Rain venue Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street. Bring a lawnchair or blanket, a picnic and a donation (suggested: $3 per person). Bottled water and desserts available for purchase by donation. ,

The Oliver Community Arts Council gratefully acknowledges the support of their corporate sponsor for this summer programme: Valley First Credit Union. Please continue to support their Feed the Valley initiative with your donations of food items for the Oliver Food Bank.