In January and February I will be in Trinidad to study the music of the pan yards. With the help of my friend Salah Wilson and his book, as well as friends in Trinidad such as Base-E-Fexx Sound Associates I hope to bring some of the sounds back to Canada and do a concert on April 29 on Salt Spring Island with Bernard Fernandes.

We will be joined by local musicians and community collaborators for this very special event. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates!

Monik and Salah in Montreal

In fall of 2021 Monik went to Sweden to study with composer Ann-Sofi Söderqvist and now the Victoria Jazz Orchestra is gearing up for a concert on November 19 at Hermann’s Upstairs to perform Music from Sweden.  The first half of the concert will feature Söderqvist’s work and the second half will feature Monik’s work, along with some Canadian favourites by Hugh Fraser and Ian McDougall.

Joining the Orchestra for this show is vocalist Jennifer Scott, a far-reaching talent who has collaborated with the likes of Tommy Banks, Kenny Wheeler, and Clark Terry.  Jennifer “brings a striking emotional intelligence to everything she sings, no matter the context. As much a song stylist as an improviser, she puts her stamp on material through her supple sense of swing and deft, slippery phrasing” (Seattle Times).  In 2018 she joined the Victoria Jazz Orchestra at the Nanaimo Jazz Fest for a performance with the Mingus Dynasty Band and excerpts can be heard here

Rainy Night House | The Victoria Jazz Orchestra (

Tickets are available here Music from Sweden

Also joining the Victoria Jazz Orchestra on November 19 are section leaders

Derrick Milton on lead trumpet

Doug Awai on lead alto

Jeff Agopsowicz on lead trombone

On Sunday, September 25 The Monik Nordine Trio with Nick Peck on Hammond organ and Miles Fuller on drums is on the road this fall with some delicious soul jazz in the spirit of the Sonny Stitt and Don Patterson collaborations of the 1970’s. The Monik Nordine Trio has been featured from Stockholm to Vancouver over the past year and is looking forward to this performance of funky soul jazz.  In addition to leading her trio Monik directs The Victoria Jazz Orchestra and has also performed with Hugh Fraser and VEJI, The Hard Rubber Orchestra, Ian McDougall, Rob McConnell, Guido Basso, Michael Buble, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and more.

Tickets are available here

Hear the group at Hermann’s Jazz Club in August here

August 27 in Victoria, BC the Monik Nordine Trio with Nick Peck on Hammond organ and Miles Fuller on drums is on the road this fall with some delicious soul jazz in the spirit of the Sonny Stitt and Don Patterson collaborations of the 1960’s.  Monik has performed with Hugh Fraser and VEJI, New York pianist Dave Kikosky, David Foster, Michael Bublé and more. 

Joining them from London, UK for this special event is saxophonist Len Aruliah 

Tickets are $22.50 and available here

Saturday, August 27, 2022 doors open at 5:30pm, concert starts at 7:00pm

Monik Nordine Trio at Pat’s Pub, April 16, 2022

Joined by Tony Genge on Hammond organ and David Emery on drums, the Monik Nordine Trio is back in Canada and happy to perform at Pat’s Pub on April 16, 2pm to 6pm (403 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver). us on Facebook

The Monik Nordine Trio is now streaming on Tidal The Covid19 Blues»

Tribute to Alice Coltrane by female supergroup Bitches’ Brew on August 27 at Hermann’s Jazz club, save the date! Bitches’ Brew»

Monik’s library of recorded music is now available on streaming sites! If you want to follow me on any of these sites you can check the following links:

Thank you to all of our friends who joined us for the livestream from The Hellkvist Headquarters. Here is an mp3 for your listening enjoyment

The Covid19 Blues

As Monik’s time in Stockholm comes to a close, keep an eye out for upcoming gigs in Victoria and Greater Vancouver Island

Andreas Hellkvist – Expressive, virtouoso and playful – words commonly used to describe the artistry of Swedish Hammond organ player Andreas Hellkvist. Rooted in the soul jazz tradition he has developed a unique style of his own. With his two hands on the manuals and stops and a rarely seen left foot groove on the pedals he utlilizes the full potential of the Hammond B3

Daniel Olsson – from Sala, this hard driving and inventive drummer is also with Emil and the Ecstatics and can be heard on the album Finally! with Andreas Hellkvist. He completed his studies at the University of Gothenburg

A special livestream concert from Uppsala Sweden with The Monik Nordine Trio featuring Andreas Hellkvist on organ, Monik Nordine on saxophone and voice and Daniel Olsson on drums. A limited number of in-person spots are available for those wishing to attend and hear the group live. Contact Andreas Hellkvist – – for details and information. The concert will be streamed from the Hellkvist Headquarters, Libro ringväg 8, Uppsala, Sweden.

To join the live stream on Facebook follow this link:

To join the live stream on YouTube follow this link:

Night Crawler (Sonny Stitt) Live from the Glen Miller Cafe, Stockholm, 2021

Andreas Hellkvist – Expressive, virtouoso and playful – words commonly used to describe the artistry of Swedish Hammond organ player Andreas Hellkvist. Rooted in the soul jazz tradition he has developed a unique style of his own. With his two hands on the manuals and stops and a rarely seen left foot groove on the pedals he utlilizes the full potential of the Hammond B3

Daniel Olsson – from Sala, this hard driving and inventive drummer is also with Emil and the Ecstatics and can be heard on the album Finally! with Andreas Hellkvist. He completed his studies at the University of Gothenburg

Performing on Friday, October 29 at The Glen Miller Cafe in Stockholm, The Monik Nordine Trio with Andreas Hellkvist on organ and Daniel Olsson on drums. For information about the gig visit

From the West Coast of Canada, alto saxophonist Monik teams up with Andreas Hellkvist on Hammond Organ and Daniel Olsson on drums for an evening of bluesy and funky classics in the spirit of Larry Goldings, Sonny Stitt and Don Patterson

Hope to see you there!

Monik is in Stockholm during the fall of 2021 with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council to study composition and orchestration with Ann-Sofi Söderquist.

The Monik Nordine Trio will be performing a live-stream concert from the Hellkvist Headquarters in Uppsala, Sweden in November with the same lineup of musicians, so stay tuned! If you are not in the Stockholm area you can still catch the band live

The Southern Syncopated Orcheatra
(Brighton Dome, August 1921)

I left London on October 7, 2021 to visit the Corsewall Lighthouse hotel in Southwest Scotland to commemorate the centennial of the sinking of the SS Rowan and the tragedy it befell the Southern Syncopated Orchestra in 1921 on October 8.

The Southern Syncopated Orchestra was the first group of black musicians to play at Brighton Dome where they arrived in August 1921. They stayed in Brighton for a full month and the SSO was the first jazz orchestra to visit the UK and Ireland, touring from 1919 to 1921. In 1921 the group was invited for a command performance at Buckingham Palace by the Prince of Wales, future King Edward VIII. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph the SSO entertained about 100 guests in a specially drained out lake in the gardens.

The orchestra was international and comprised of British West Indian, West African and American musicians who transformed the London club scene and popularised black music, but tragedy has meant that this part of London’s black musical history has remained hidden for decades. American composer Will Marion Cook formed the SSO with 27 instrumentalists and 19 vocalists who came from New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Guyana, Barbados, Antigua and Ghana among other places. The legendary clarinetist turned soprano saxophone virtuoso Sidney Bechet came to England with the SSO and helped put them and jazz music on the UK musical map as he is seen as one of the twin pillars of modern jazz along with Louis Armstrong.

The first serious jazz review in Europe was written by the conductor of the L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet. In this review he mentioned the virtuoso performance of Bechet on clarinet. The music was composed and orchestrated by Will Marion Cook (1869-1944), who had studied under Czech composer Antonin Dvorák at New York’s National Conservatory of Music and Ansermet remarked that the arrangements were, “Extremely difficult, they are equally admirable for their richness of invention, force of accent, and daring in novelty and the unexpected.” Ansermet even likened their musical artistry to that of a Bach Concerto.

My trip to Corsewall Lighthouse by train took 7.5 hours and was booked in the spring of 2021. I had called the Lighthouse to ask if they would like to include a concert or a talk about the Southern Syncopated Orchestra and the tragic sinking of the SS Rowan in their itinerary. As the hotel is a tiny maritime relic from 1814, there is space only for the essentials and, as such, a concert or talk wasn’t possible but I was able to record a video on the property directly to the south of the hotel.

Leaving London with a saxophone and a backpack I ventured forth to the Scottish wilderness. When I reached Stranraer I then embarked on a bumpy 25-minute drive through Kirkholm to the edge of the United Kingdom. The driver stopped so we could admire the Belted Galloway cows along the road. I couldn’t eat one, but like Peter, John and Wendy would trust them implicitly. They gazed at me in my taxi cab as I called out a hello in Canadian.

Evening conversation at the Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel is set against the crashing of waves on the shore and wind howling along the coast. As I watched the passenger ships sail past the lighthouse on October 8, 2021 I wondered if the passengers on board the SS Rowan heard the fog horn as they sailed past on October 8, 1921. The SSO had just finished its Scottish tour at the Lyric Theatre in Glasgow and was on its way to Dublin to perform on October 9 at La Scala Theater.

As they were heading down the west coast of Scotland they hit a fog bank. Captain Donald Brown of the SS Rowan slowed the ship to around half her normal steaming speed and continued southwards. At about 12:10am the American steamer West Camak appeared out of the fog and, despite efforts by both captains, collided with the stern of the Rowan. Although damage was not severe, Captain Brown ordered all the passengers on deck and the ship’s lifesaving equipment made ready: a precaution which ultimately saved many lives. Soon after the collision with the West Camak the SS Clan Malcolm, en route from Glasgow to Birkenhead, appeared and crashed into the Rowan on her starboard side almost cutting her in two. The Rowan sank almost immediately, as passengers and crew were sent sprawling across the decks, and many were thrown overboard into the sea. The West Camak, the Clan Malcolm and the destroyer HMS Wrestler, which had answered the West Camak’s distress call, were left to rescue around one hundred passengers and crew.

The names of the musicians who perished that night have never been recorded in the history books, and aside from that tragedy, the music was lost and when the group had completed the engagement in Ireland later that year the group disbanded and was never recorded. One of the musicians lost at sea was vocalist Frank Bates. Born in Barbados, he had come to Britain with ambitions of becoming a doctor and pursue his training at King’s College in London. When it was discovered that he was colour blind those studies came to an end, but finding that he had musical talent he was able to get small parts in local theatres and eventually with the SSO.

Many of the band members including drummer Pete Robinson and Frank Bates had settled in South London and married white English women. By 1921 the legacy of the Southern Syncopated Orchestra included at least 16 mixed race children. I have no doubt that the musical culture of London was impacted tremendously by the Southern Syncopated Orchestra and when the names of the orchestra members are finally noted the impact can be traced and studied. Until then, I bid Scotland a fond adieu.

Corsewall Point on October 8, 2021

Orchestra members who died:
Frank Allan Fitzgerald Bates Vocalist. Born St. Michael, Barbados, July 14, 1889, according to his apparent birth certificate, or November 19, 1892, according to his U.K. Seamen’s Identity Certificate. Served as able seaman in the British Merchant Marine. Gave his profession as actor in July 1919. Member of SSO in Glasgow, September/October 1921. Died in Rowan di­saster, October 9, 1921. Married Fanny Vivian, London, December 31, 1918; living descendants in Great Britian.

Vallie Brown Trumpeter but role in SSO not confirmed. Born Philadelphia, February 1, 1864. By his own account, member of 10th U.S. Cavalry at Galves­ton, Texas, at about age 18, but he has not been traced in any documentation of this unit. Though he subsequently said he left the United States in 1906, he applied for a passport in Berlin on August 24, 1904, to include his wife Alice and daughter Nellie, born Baltimore, September 1900. He gave his profession as “virtuoso.” He is believed to have been in Germany from 1893 at latest and toured throughout Europe in the following years. He was in Copenhagen in January 1897, Prague in 1898, Scandinavia, Austria (at the Kaisergarten, Vienna), Hungary, Poland in 1902, Austria and Switzerland, 1905. He was in Amsterdam in September 1907, Copenhagen in June 1910, Bucharest in December 1911, Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) in December 1916, Stockholm in September 1918, Christiania (now Oslo) in March 1919. In Petrograd he gave his profession as “bandmaster.” During these years, he was also in South America in 1903 and from August 1909 to January 1910. Member of SSO in Glasgow, October 1921. Died in Rowan disaster October 9, 1921.

John Herbert Greer Trombonist. Born Portadown, Co. Armagh, Ireland, March 30, 1886. White British. Member of SSO in Glasgow, September/ October 1921. Died in Rowan disaster, October 9, 1921.

Gustave Albert Arthur Jaeger Violinist. Born London, March 31, 1877. His father, Gustave Jaeger, a professor of music, is noted in the 1881 cen­sus as French, but in 1891 as German, which may mean that he was from Alsace-Lorraine. His mother was English. Member of SSO in Glasgow, September/October 1921. Died in Rowan disaster October 9, 1921. In De­cember 1921 the Daily Mail paid £1,000 to his widow who was left with eight young children.

Frank Lacton Vocalist, pianist, organist. Born London circa 1889, accord­ing to his death record. No birth record has been located. Sierra Leonian. Organist at St. George’s Cathedral, Freetown, Sierra Leone. Organist at Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, Nigeria, before 1914. In London by De­cember 1919 when he attended the inaugural dinner of the African Progress Union. Member of SSO at Brighton and Glasgow, August to October 1921. Died in Rowan disaster, October 9, 1921. His body was washed ashore at Lagg on the Isle of Arran, October 18, 1921.

Edwin Samuel Lattess Role unknown. Born St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, September 28, 1885. White British. His grandfather, George Lattess, was an Italian seaman. Member of SSO at Glasgow, September/ October 1921. Died in Rowan disaster, October 9, 1921. His death record gives a London address.

Charles Henry MacDonald Banjoist. Born London, February 11, 1877. His father, Charles Macdonald, was an acrobat, banjoist, and street conjuror, born in South Africa and described as Zulu in the English 1911 census. His mother Emma (née Ryall) was English, the daughter of a parchment maker. By 1895 the family was living in Brighton. Charles is recorded as a music hall artist in the 1901 census. Member of SSO in Glasgow, September/October 1921. Died in Rowan disaster, October 9, 1921. Living relatives in Great Britian.

Pete Robinson (real name: Harrison Robinson). Drummer. Born Philadel­phia, Pennsylvania, March 4 or 24, 1888 (the first date from his 1915 passport, the second from his 1919 passport). In 1915, he said he had left the United States in 1911, in 1919 he said in 1902. He was in Berlin when he was is­sued with an emergency passport on September 23, 1912. He was living in Brixton, London, when he applied for a new passport on June 11, 1915, prior to which he married Florence Martin (English). Their children, Norris Henry and Vivian Doris, were born on July 26, 1915, and October 19, 1917, respectively, with their father’s name entered as Henry Robinson in 1915 and Harry Robinson in 1917. Led The Original Philadelphia Coon Band in London, circa 1920. Member of SSO at Brighton and Glasgow, August/ September 1921. Died October 9, 1921, in Rowan disaster. Living descendants in Great Britian. See Kester 2003.

Walter Bertrand Williams Vocalist. Born Columbia, South Carolina, Janu­ary 3, 1888 (according to his draft registration) or 1890 (according to his March 4, 1921 passport application). When he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917, he was a porter employed by Frank Schwartz at 145 West 28th Street, New York City. Corporal in the 367th Infantry Band (Buffaloes) performing in the enlisted men’s quartet and as a soloist. At the time of the 1920 census he was working as a gentleman’s valet. Became a post of­fice clerk and reported in January 1920 singing at a meeting of the postal workers’ Elijah P. Lovejoy Club. Soloist at Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, West 136th Street, New York City, 1921, He was granted a year’s leave of absence from the post office when he was recruited for the SSO by Hattie King Reavis, and applied for a passport on March 4, 1921. Member of SSO at Brighton and Glasgow, August/September 1921. Died in Rowan disaster, October 9, 1921.

Information from:

Center for Black Music Research – Columbia College Chicago
Southern Syncopated Orchestra: The Roster
Author(s): Howard Rye
Source: Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring 2010), pp. 19-70
Published by: Center for Black Music Research – Columbia College Chicago and University of Illinois Press
Stable URL:

Photo by Vincent Lim

Monik Nordine Quartet
Livestream from Hermann’s Jazz Club
Sunday, January 31 starting at 7:30pm
To watch the stream follow this link:


“Stella By Starlight” as performed by The Monik Nordine Quartet with Phill Albert on bass, Bill Coon on guitar, Buff Allen on drums and Monik Nordine on alto saxophone. January 9, 2021 at Pat’s Pub in Vancouver, BC

The Monik Nordine Quartet will be performing twice in January! We have a gig at Pat’s Pub in Vancouver on January 9 from 2pm to 6pm and will be joined by Bill Coon on guitar, Darren Radke on bass and Buff Allen on drums. Also be prepared for a few special guests and it will be a fun time with social distancing in place but the music must go on!!!!

January 9 at Pat’s Pub in Vancouver, BC

The Monik Nordine Quartet will also be performing at Hermann’s Jazz Club on January 31 at 7:30pm. This date will be with Rob Cheramy on guitar, Phill Albert on bass and Miles Fuller on drums. Not to be missed!

January 31 at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria, BC

Join Julian Mulhall with the Monik Nordine Trio for an hour of poetry and music @Chez Monik.  Maja Nordine will be providing provocative poetic interludes between numbers from her remote location in Toronto while the trio will be performing on location in Saanich.

Tickets are $15 each and are available through SideDoorAccess    Tickets

Julian graduated from the Victoria Conservatory of Music in 2017 and spent the last few years studying at the University of Toronto where he is one semester away from completing a Bachelor of Music degree.  He has been composing music and performing since he was in highschool here in Victoria and it will be a special treat to hear him on December 19.  He will be joining the Monik Nordine Trio with Phill Albert on bass and they will perform some of their favourite tunes for you

Maja is living in Toronto studying at York University in Indigenous Studies.  She graduated from Gulf Island Secondary School in 2016 and hasn’t stopped writing since she was knee high to a grasshopper.  She is insightful and thoughtful with a vivid imagination and we are looking forward to hearing what she has to say!

Live events at Chez Monik

We are so happy to be able to keep performing during the pandemic and hope that you are able to connect with us.  In order to enjoy your listening and viewing experience here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have download speed of 25mps minimum
  • Make sure you have an ethernet connection
  • sign up for a free Zoom account
  • an i5 processor or higher is helpful
  • use high quality headphones for listening 

There will be more shows in the new year and we will keep you updated!  

livestream November 21, 9pm


with Phill Albert, Miles Fuller and Rob Cheramy

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through


Here is a taste of their sound –

Joined by Rob Cheramy on guitar, Phill Albert on bass and Miles Fuller on drums, The Monik Nordine Quartet is a jazz group from Victoria, BC led by saxophonist Monik Nordine.  Nordine has received several prestigious arts awards including a Juno Award nomination for her work on the album Cruel Yet Fair (1997) with John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra and has toured with Hugh Fraser’s band VEJI

“…virtuosic lyricism…” — Driftwood 

The Monik Nordine Quartet is heavily invested in Canadiana from Sonny Greenwich to Oscar Peterson and band originals, and each member is a composer in their own right.  Nordine and Cheramy have worked together for many years and Phill Albert recorded with her on the album Departures (2010).  Miles Fuller is new to the scene and a fresh voice on jazz drums and will have a long career starting in Victoria, BC  

(Miles Fuller, drums)
Musical curiosity is behind Vancouver Island-born drummer Miles Fuller’s dedication to his craft. An active musician since 2011, he has had the privilege of spending his life surrounded by artists and musicians, all of whom have had a large impact on both his musical approach and philosophy. The music he heard as a child was diverse, ranging from his parents’ collection of jazz greats, to his grandparents’ influence of flamenco and Celtic folk music of Spain, to the sounds of local, West Coast artists.

(Chris Watt, audio visual tech)
Chris is one of Victoria’s all-round musicians, performing on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones with local ensembles.  With a background as a military musician on clarinet and saxophone, Chris is also a skilled technician, and works at Long and McQuade Music repairing woodwind and brass instruments. He also has a background in recording tech and has created a streaming venue from his home in Saanich, BC.  He can often be heard playing the baritone saxophone with the Victoria Jazz Orchestra.