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New West jazz musician heats up Port Moody with Brazilian sounds

On Jan. 27, Keenlyside will play some Samba, Bossa Nova and Choro tunes in Port Moody as part of the Inlet Theatre Music Series.

For the past five decades, Tom Keenlyside has worked with some of the world’s best musicians.

The New Westminster resident has recorded with such acts as Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Aerosmith and performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme and Tom Jones.

But his love for Brazilian music is what continues to fire up the Juno award-winning musician.

And, on Jan. 27, Keenlyside will play some Samba, Bossa Nova and Choro tunes in Port Moody as part of the Inlet Theatre Music Series that’s organized by Bill Sample and Darlene Cooper.

The saxophonist, flautist and vocalist will have five fellow veteran musicians on stage with him:

  • Miles Hill on bass
  • Sharon Minemoto on piano
  • Bill Coon on guitar
  • Bernie Arai on drums
  • Liam McDonald on percussion

“We’re really excited and we’re going to put on a great show,” Keenlyside told the Tri-City News yesterday, Jan. 18.

“There’s going to be a lot of energy, rhythm and a lot of beautiful melodies.”

A BC Entertainment Hall of Fame inductee, Keenlyside said he’s always admired Brazilian music; however, a trip to the South American country in 2007 proved to be a turning point when he played in Sao Paulo and Rio “with all the best musicians in town” to master the sound and style.

In 2015, he dropped the album Musica Brasileira, which will be referenced at the Port Moody show.

Keenlyside, who last fall recorded tracks with Richie Sambora, the lead guitarist for Bon Jovi, and is due to release a jazz album this spring, said he’s also busy these days with a similar concert series as Sample and Cooper's; his monthly musical program runs at the Anvil Centre in New West.

“When you’ve been in the business as long as we have, you have a lot of contacts,” he said, noting one of his childhood friends from Vancouver was Bruce Fairbairn, the legendary record producer who died in 1999; the pair formed the jazz–rock band Sunshyne in the early 1970s.

Since then, Keenlyside has played in nearly every club in Vancouver “and even closed a few.”

He remarked he often can’t believe the talent that he’s surrounded by. “It’s just been amazing. It's been a dream come true.”

For tickets to see the Tom Keenlyside Sextet at the Inlet Theatre (inside Port Moody City Hall, 100 Newport Dr., Port Moody), visit or Port Moody Music to see the season line-up.