On Oct. 7 The Gog will play host to a jazz quintet from Saskatoon led by saxophonist Marc Holt and accompanied by Bryn Becker on keyboard, Dylan Smith on drums, Michael Stankowski on guitar and Nevin Buehler on bass.
The Gog, Kelly Waters' home and former synagogue, has become a venue for musicians in the Saskatchewan music scene. Holt first found out about The Gog from word of mouth after he asked friends in town for venue recommendations and Waters said it took all of 30 seconds to agree to book the group after watching their jazz cover of Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel.
While Holt says the group occasionally plays traditional jazz standards, he says that's usually just for corporate events. Instead, Holt says, their interest is in contemporary jazz.
"Part of what we're trying to do is to stick to jazz roots, but make it more appealing to the average person.
"We do still play a lot of jazz standards, some in a less traditional way. We do a cover an old Duke Ellington song, but it's done with a backbeat almost like a hip hop song."
Holt says there is sometimes still a public misconception of what contemporary jazz is, but, have no fear, it's not just free-wheeling improvisation.
"When people think of contemporary they think of free jazz," Holt says. "To us contemporary jazz has more of a rock beat to it, but it still swings."
Tickets for Marc Holt Quintet at The Gog are $20 and all proceeds go directly to the artists. Waters keeps a donation jar to cover food and drink costs. Doors open at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7. You can RSVP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 306-481-3656.