~ A Tour Of The Blues ~

St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans


~ Now in Nanaimo ~

Two shows only - December 16 & 17 (Fri/Sat)

shows start at 7:30
Best Western Dorchester Hotel - 70 Church Street, Nanaimo 
Tickets: $25 advance, $15 student, $30 at door
Buy on-line at www.porttheatre.com
The Ticket Centre. Call 250-754-8550
Fascinating Rhythm (51 Commercial St. Nanaimo)


Andrew Homzy’s NOLA NightHawks
Featuring three guest vocalists

Robyn Fortunat, Layla Hansen, Dominique Pashley


Celebrating the music of W.C. Handy - the "Father of the Blues” -
13 professional musicians perform 15 of W.C. Handy’s compositions

A musical journey from St. Louis Missouri to New Orleans, Louisiana.

Nanaimo’s Andrew Homzy, musician, arranger, jazz scholar and Grammy nominee, is so fond of W.C. Handy's compositions that he has created a revue of some of his best-known tunes: A Tour of the Blues: Celebrating the Music of W.C. Handy.


Known as the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy was one of the most influential American songwriters in the early 20th century. He penned such classics as St. Louis Blues, Memphis Blues, Yellow Dog Blues and Beale Street Blues.


Among the earliest blues musicians, W.C. Handy is credited with giving blues its contemporary form, taking it from a regional style - Delta blues - with a limited audience to one of the dominant forces in American music.


Homzy has infused a New Orleans jazz flavour into his arrangements of each Handy tune, scored for three vocalists and his 10-piece NOLA NightHawks band. Homzy’s NightHawks have performed regularly up and  down Vancouver Island since the group was formed three years ago.


The revue features vocalists Robyn Fortunat, Layla Hansen and Dominique Pashley.


The band includes some of Nanaimo’s best professional musicians: 


Trumpets: Greg Bush and David Herman 
Trombones: Darren Nilsson and Craig Burnett
Clarinet: Claudio Fantinato
Baritone Sax: Rod Alsop
Drums: Graham Villette 
Bass: Rob Uffen
Guitar: Jesse Marshall
Director/Piano: Andrew Homzy
Vocalists: Robyn Fortunat, Layla Hansen, Dominique Pashley
Key Grip and Video-Historiographer: Norman Abbey


Handy’s hues of blues have been sung and played by the worlds greatest musicians including:
Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Pearl Bailey, Eartha Kit, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Dinah Shore, Gil Evans, Dave Brubeck, The Canadian Brass, Stevie Wonder, Hugh Laurie ~~~


W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” has been recorded over 2,100 times - since it was published in 1914.


​Andrew Homzy, who moved to Nanaimo in 2009, was a key figure on the Montreal jazz scene for more than 40 years.His 16-piece Jazz Orchestra played regularly at the Montreal Jazz Festival and was featured on many Radio-Canada broadcasts.

Andrew Homzy’s 10-piece band, NOLA NightHawks, returns to Nanaimo’s historic Best Western Dorchester Hotel

Two shows only - December 16 & 17 (Fri/Sat)

Join NIJFA - Help make Jazz great in Nanaimo

1925 - Columbia recorded "St. Louis Blues"

Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong

Read the review from our four shows in Chemainus:

See the video from our previous show at Nanaimo's Dorchester Hotel:

Band leader Fate Marable remembered that when Louis Armstrong first joined him, one tune that went down well with the audiences was “The St. Louis Blues” (1914). Marable relayed how “the power of Armstrong’s trumpet sent the famous

W. C. Handy composition bouncing off the boat to the shores in both directions.” As Marable explained it, “It was an entirely different kind [of] music.” It differed from “ragtime which preceded it or the swing which followed.” 

Andrew Homzy