Saxophonist Oliver Miguel plays Monday Night Jazz Series

By Liv Ingram

The University of Calgary’s Monday Night Jazz Series continues this month with a performance by Chilean-born, Calgary-based saxophonist Oliver Miguel.

Growing up in a musical household, Miguel was introduced to music at an early age and was 12 when he picked up his first saxophone. Now an accomplished saxophonist, Miguel has toured North America and Europe extensively playing music festivals and even private parties for clients such as former Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Prince Philip. Previously, Miguel performed at the Monday Night Jazz Series in 2011, alongside his personal mentor, acclaimed Cuban pianist Hilario Durán.

“I was very excited and very humbled that they would ask me again. This time I’m approaching it a little differently,” Miguel says. “I’m not bringing in an international artist but am going to do it on my own with incredibly talented local artists.”

Miguel will be accompanied by pianist Mark Limacher, bassist Brendan Lyn McElroy and Latin American percussionists Raul Gomez Tabera and Luis Elpana Tovar. While Miguel has collaborated with these musicians individually, this concert will mark the first time they are performing together as a group. Miguel says they will be performing many new songs that he has not yet performed in public.

“Some of it is not written by me originally, some of it is traditional Latin American songs, from the ‘Latin American songbook,’ if you will. They are songs that I grew up hearing in my household and I still hear now — my family listens to a lot of music,” Miguel says.

Although Miguel describes his style as “world music,” thanks to his extensive travels and musical influences, this sound marks a new direction for Miguel’s music, one he says will be reflected in his next album. While a release date for this album has not been announced, audiences can expect to see a lot of Miguel in 2014 as he embarks on a cross-country tour with fellow Calgary musician Ellen Doty in the summer.

While Miguel says he enjoys performing on tour, he is always excited to play in Calgary.

“I do find Calgary to be my home and playing in Calgary is a little different because I usually get the privilege of having my family or my parents in the audience,” Miguel says. “I want to do my best because it’s my home.”

Miguel performs at the University Theatre Monday, March 31 at 8:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $25, student and senior tickets are $18. U of C students get in free through the Claim Your Seat Program.

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