On a damp and dreary Thursday evening the subtle sounds of smooth jazz could be heard trickling out into the streets over the patter of raindrops on the roof of the First United Church in Salmon Arm as the three-piece jazz group, Ptriodactyl, put on a show for the crowd within.
Ptriodactyl is made up of Jake McIntyre-Paul of Salmon Arm on bass, as well as Jessica Heaven and Gavia Lertzman-Lepofsky of Vancouver on vocals and violin, respectively.
Their music features soulful vocal melodies that are carried along by quiet, understated instrumentals. Though their sound could be described as minimalist it is obvious that each piece is meant to contribute to the whole.
Violinist Gavia Lertzman-Lepofsky says, “I would say our music is very democratic, it’s about us having a conversation together and creating one giant thing rather than one person doing the lead and everyone else accompanying that. It also allows us to be greater than the sum of our parts, like this is something new that is more than we could do on our own”
The group formed after a chance meeting at a jazz camp, where they found their musical sensibilities jived and decided to make a project out of it.
“We’re just over seven months old now, we met at a jazz music summer camp in Sorrento this past summer. We were jamming together and we really liked our sound,” says vocalist Jessica Heaven. “It came to be known that we weren’t from the same cities, but that didn’t deter us, so we committed to doing a long-distance band relationship.”
The trio says that, surprisingly, making music together despite being separated by more than 400 kilometres has not been as challenging as they had imagined. McIntyre-Paul says that the waiting is the hardest part.
“Probably the toughest thing honestly is you can’t jump on opportunities as openly,” he says. “Like if you’re in the same city when a gig comes up you’re just like ‘hey, lets go do this,’ whereas we have to plan ahead a little bit more. I’d say there is some limitations in that way.”
The concert at the Nexus was the second stop on their first-ever B.C. tour, after a show in Kelowna the previous night.
They hit the road again the next morning to play in Golden, followed by Enderby and Grindrod. While nothing is official as of yet, the group hopes to see themselves in the studio in the near future and get to work producing their first studio recordings.