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KSO review: Dinner with Charlie Parker and Strings

Kamloops Symphony Orchestra's Charlie Parker and Strings is available online until Saturday, May 8. Tickets are available from the Kamloops Live Box Office.
Cory Weeds
Cory Weeds in action on stage.

A renowned saxophone player accompanied by three best-in-the-business friends combined with an exquisite dinner is the latest Kamloops Symphony Orchestra creation.

Bringing in the Cory Weeds Quartet came about through a connection and a cancellation.

Cellist Doug Gorkoff made the connection and Weeds jumped at the chance to perform a concert he had earlier had to cancel.

It was to commemorate 100 years since the birth of Charlie Parker, a pioneer of bebop style jazz with its distinctive rhythm and harmony.

Parker started using a string orchestra in recording sessions begun 1949. The album became his legacy.

In the KSO version, there is an oboe, harp and French horn. The oboe is a good match for the saxophone, as is Marea Chernoff’s style of play.

Conductor Dina Gilbert was another good match, earning Weeds’ praise for her great energy.

KSO made the decision early in the season to use local technicians.

Joy Factory did an excellent job with the filming. Lighting challenges were mastered by GK Sound, the concert’s sponsor, while audio was tackled by Perry’s Sound.

As for the meal, those who took up the offer of a charcuterie plate prepared by chef David Tombs, plus choice of wine, will know how perfectly that contributed to a night to remember.

Sliced meats, pate, several condiments (truffle aioli!) and four glorious cheeses were all nicely boxed and labelled.

On top of it all was a freshly baked French loaf.

This could work as a standard offering so that on concert night, there’s no meal to make and hardly any clean up, it would be worth it at twice the price.

Charlie Parker and Strings is available online until Saturday, May 8. Tickets are available from Kamloops Live Box Office.

Note: The KSO website, at, now has a comprehensive guide for TV viewing.