Selkirk College Presents Electrifying Night of Jazz

Shambhala Music & Performance Hall the Place to Be on July 9


The West Kootenay summer will sizzle musically when Michael Occhipinti & The Sicilian Jazz Project featuring Pilar arrive to Nelson’s Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on the Selkirk College Tenth Street Campus on July 9.

Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Project has been dazzling audiences worldwide with an intriguing mix of rare Old World Sicilian folk material and a New World mix of adventurous electric guitar, chamber music, modern jazz, global rhythms and modern grooves. Using music sung by Sicilian fishermen, sulphur miners and folk musicians as a starting point, the group takes the audience on a journey that reveals the drama and passion of Sicily’s past, showcasing the global sound and great musicianship of modern day Canada. 

Selkirk College Presents Occhipodi

Selkirk College Presents eight-time JUNO Award nominee Michael Occhipinti’s and his Sicilian Jazz Project who will perform at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on Selkirk College’s Tenth Street Campus on July 9. Tickets are available in advance at Otter Books in downtown Nelson.

“We’re very excited to have this group make Nelson a stop on their Canadian tour,” says Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Performance Program Instructor Melody Diachun. “These are some of the best jazz musicians in the country and having the opportunity to see them in an intimate venue in Nelson will be a true experience for music lovers.”

Talent Oozes in the Sicilian Project

The group has been playing at some of the biggest jazz festivals in the country including the Edmonton Jazz Festival, Calgary Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival and Saskatoon Jazz Festival. They will dip into Nelson before heading to Eastern Canada.

Occhipinti’s work has been called “a masterpiece of cultural fusion” and his album The Sicilian Jazz Project received a 2009 JUNO Award nomination. The recording also resulted in the prestigious Ragusani nel Mondo Award being presented to Occhipinti and his producer brother Roberto Occhipinti in Ragusa, Sicily in 2009.

Italian singer Pilar is an absolutely stunning vocalist, able to move between art song, Sicilian folk and world pop (she sings in five languages). She is a highly creative improviser with her most recent album Sartoria Fuoro Catalogo receiving great acclaim. Pilar made her debut with the Sicilian Project at the 2014 Ottawa Chamberfest and is touring across North America for the first time this summer.

The Sicilian Project connects with audiences across genres and the group has brought its captivating and infectious live show to a range of music festivals in Canada, Italy, the United States and Mexico. The band—that includes Doug Stephenson (bass) and Tony Ferraro (drums)—is a collection of great jazz, world and chamber musicians that electrify the stage by mixing a unique repertoire and great storytelling.

Tickets for the Selkirk College Presents show are $15 and available at Otter Books (398 Baker Street) or at the door (cash only). Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. The Shambhala Music & Performance Hall is located at 702 Tenth Street in Nelson.


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