Elaine and Greg La Riviere

Posted on Posted in Letters of support

In the City of Victoria we are very fortunate to have many wonderful musicians who make their living through a variety of musical endeavours, not the least of which is live shows. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer venues available to musicians where they can play their music to an appreciative audience. Many venues that existed in the past have disappeared and what is left is two ends of the spectrum – pricey venues that many musicians cannot afford to rent – or restaurant/hotel gigs where the music competes with chatter and clatter. In Victoria we have benefited greatly, over many years, from the vision and generosity of one man – Hermann Nieweler – who truly appreciated our musicians and kept Hermann’s Jazz Club running for this reason only. Hermann’s Jazz Club is NOT a ‘Club’ in the sense of exclusivity as there is no membership required and all are welcome. It is definitely a ‘Club’ in the sense that anyone who comes there for an evening will feel welcomed and enjoy a sense of belonging. What has Hermann’s given to Victoria? It has given our musicians a concert venue within their reach. This is a venue where they can get to know their musical peers, can grow musically by sharing musical ideas, can mentor our young people and of course, provide first class entertainment for their audiences. Hermann’s not only welcomes all ages, but also a wide variety of musical styles. Just a look at their Calendar at any time of year will confirm their inclusiveness. This means that every night will bring in a unique audience. Hermann’s has been very supportive of our young musicians by providing nights where High School bands/vocalists can have the experience of performing outside of their school, in a real Jazz venue. There are also “Jam” nights weekly where young musicians (and the not so young) can sit in with a professional rhythm section. This is where our musicians of the future come from and these experiences are invaluable for them. On the other end of the spectrum, there are many folk who are now at the age where going out at night presents difficulties but they still love to hear live music. Hermann’s provides the perfect venue for these people, with afternoon concerts which bring them back enthusiastically each week. We have enjoyed the benefits of Hermann’s Jazz Club for many years and watched and listened with pride as our son has developed musically into a wonderful trombonist who plays internationally, but still calls Victoria and Hermann’s Jazz Club home. He is just a sample of the many musicians who have blossomed with the help of such a welcoming venue. While it seems that many cities do not value their musicians as they should; we would like to know that Victoria is not one of them. Please give your support to this important cultural venue. Elaine and Greg La Riviere