Tix https://heatherferguson.ca/superior-jazz/

The Monik Nordine Trio has been featured from Stockholm to Vancouver and consists of Nick Peck on Hammond organ and Miles Fuller on drums.  Monik is a saxophonist and vocalist who recently returned from an expedition to Trinidad where she joined the band Pantar.  She has toured with Hugh Fraser’s band  VEJI and recently completed a residency in Stockholm, Sweden with funding from the Canada Council for The Arts and the BC Arts Council to work with Ann Sofi Söderqvist.  Nick Peck is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist and composer, primarily known as a jazz pianist and organist who has performed across Canada and Europe.    Since 2013, he has resided in British Columbia, Canada where he is frequently found playing with many talented colleagues up and down the Canadian west coast. His style is marked by his ability to shift from hard-swinging jazz to pastoral serenity to elements of the 20th/21st century piano tradition at the drop of a hat, both hands equally creative on the keyboard, in a manner that is both constantly engaging and accessible.Miles Fuller is a drummer from Victoria, BC.  An adept performer, he regularly appears as both side-man and leader in venues across Canada. Miles’ playing is greatly informed by the jazz and improvised music tradition and has been praised for its emotive nature.

Together they are the Monik Nordine Trio!  

Listen here: The Monik Nordine Trio: Live in Stockholm | The Monik Nordine Trio | Monik Nordine (bandcamp.com)

On April 29 at Fulford Hall Magenta Music presents the sounds of the Caribbean with Bernard Fernandes and his steel drums, our own Saltspring version of a Caribbean Carnival called Steelpan Extravaganza.  Bernard is bringing a set of steel drums for this event, and in tandem with Swing Shift Big Band there will be a concert featuring him, his workshop participants, and a few sax solos from Monik Nordine.

Monik and Bernard met up in Port of Spain this February to hear the pans at the Panorama competition after a two year hiatus because of Covid, and what a party! Bernard will be bringing twelve tenor pans to Salt Spring for people to try out at Fulford Hall – the newest pan band on the coast.  Joining Swing Shift Big band as a soloist for some of their repertoire is sure to be an ear tingling experience with some added spice from Monik Nordine on the alto saxophone.

Originator of the bands ‘SweetPan Entertainment’ and ‘Carib X Press’, Bernard performs as a solo artist on steel drums, piano, vocals, & guitar. He has arranged for and/or led La Tropical, Karib Brass, Cinnamon, Fernandes & Co, Sweet Pan & Panarimba. With Fernandes & Co, an instrumental & vocal group featuring Caribbean, Latin & North American music, Bernard released a CD of all original music in 1994. For three years, prior to the closing of the Music Gallery he was Music Entertainer at Science World, BC. Finishing his music degree in 1992, he makes his living teaching, making & composing music.

Bernard will be bringing twelve tenor pans for folks to try out in the workshop at Fulford Hall on April 29.  The Steel Pan Food Truck will be joining us at Fulford Hall with some Caribbean delicacies and colourful clothing and dancing is highly encouraged.   

Workshops will run in the hall from 3pm to 6pm and the concert will take place from 7pm to 10pm

The cost for the workshop is from $20 to $60 depending on the amount of time and includes admission to the concert.  Concert tickets are $20

Tickets and sign-up are at Mondo and Company in Ganges

Sponsored by: Apple Photo, Mondo and Company, The Steelpan Foodtruck, Bandemonium Music Society and The Salt Spring Jazz and Blues Society

Finally decided to write the book “This Is Why I Love to Practice the Saxophone”, which is an anecdotal account of my musical life and teaching, intended to inspire and elicit a few smiles.

Its coming out first on Patreon, and those who wish to be involved in the process and the community here is a link

Monik’s Creations

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 (bandcamp.com)

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 http://www.frankiesjazzclub.ca/upcoming-events/

Hear the group at Hermann’s Jazz Club in August here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN7fw0UIUyc

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).  
https://www.hastingsmillbrewing.com/events/Find 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 – mail@andreashellkvist.com – 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: https://www.facebook.com/events/609096720213886/?active_tab=discussion

To join the live stream on YouTube follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCZl41gCZj4

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 https://www.glennmillercafe.se/

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 https://andreashellkvist.com/projects/headquarters/

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: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/blacmusiresej.30.1.0019