By Steve Hubrecht
Invermere-raised jazz drummer Morgan Childs will be heading back to the valley for a show with his band when the Morgan Childs Quartet will play at Christ Church Trinity on Friday, February 21st.
Morgan moved to Invermere when he was nine years old (his father Bruce Childs is still a Dry Gulch resident) and spent his formative years in the valley before his musical career took him to Vancouver and then Toronto.
His father said Morgan also plays Celtic harp, bass, ukelele, harmonica, guitar and piano and that music came naturally to his son.
(Morgan) sort of came out of the womb playing drums, said Bruce, adding that when Morgan was just three years old, he was given a set of Simpson Sears paper drums as a Christmas gift and hasnt looked back since.
He was focused on music from an early age, said Bruce. There was no question for him.
Both of Morgans parents were musicians, and Bruce would sometimes bring Morgan along to gigs. The band began letting Morgan sit in when he was five or six years old because he would start to cry if he wasnt participating.
We always had music in the house, whether it was us (parents) performing and practicing together or just records playing, said Bruce.
And since Bruce was working a degree in jazz studies from Western Washington University and Malaspina College, there was a lot of jazz played in the house when Morgan was a kid.
I was pretty steeped in jazz at that time, said Bruce, who credits not just parental influence but also Carol Wilkies piano lessons with helping develop Morgans interest in music.
Morgan quit playing piano for a while, but Carol Wilkie really got him back into it. Hes really glad about that because it helped with his composition later on, said Bruce, adding hes looking forward to Morgans show.
Its a pretty incredible feeling. The calibre of
musicians he brings with him is pretty riveting, said Bruce. And its always great to see a good full house for his homecomings.
Morgans last show in Invermere packed Christ Church Trinity and hes hoping for the same this time, when he brings a different group of musicians back with him.
It always feels great to come back to Invermere, said Morgan. Sometimes I miss the mountains and the outdoor lifestyle you can have in Invermere.
It was while playing gigs around the valley as a teenager that Morgan first realized how much he would love being a professional musician a passion that continues to drive him today.
I like playing all kinds of music jazz, folk, rock, he said. What I really like about jazz is you step outside peoples expectation a little more often, but you can still speak to elemental parts of music, such as groove, just with a little bit more freedom to do extra things.
A recent road trip to New Orleans the birthplace of jazz has given Morgans music new direction, he said.
I really got a sense of the rhythm and culture of the place where it was born and thats made its way into my music, said Morgan.
Tickets for the show are $20 ($10 for students) and available at The Book Bar, Pynelogs, Fairmont Village Gift Shop, Furry Companions/Radium Video or by calling 250-342-4423.