Bob Murphy stops into Tom Lee Music in Langford this Sunday (Oct. 6).

Jazz man offers solo show, lesson

Pianist Bob Murphy offers free solo show and master class Sunday (Oct. 6) at Tom Lee music in Langford.

For Vancouver-based jazz pianist Bob Murphy, playing a solo show isn’t the usual gig.

“Most of the time I’m playing with other people, so a solo concert, which I do once in awhile, they’re a little more terrifying for me,” Murphy said. “Usually when I actually get into it, I really, really like playing solo.”

Langford’s Tom Lee Music is hosting Murphy on Sunday, Oct. 6 for a one-hour performance followed by a masterclass, to teach some of the finer points of tickling the ivories.

Murphy said he will be playing jazz standards, along with an original or two, in a largely improvised, free-flowing format.

The masterclass is a public lesson, where Murphy will work with a few students for the benefit of the larger group, said Simon Phillips, regional manager. The music store has hosted similar events, but primarily focused on classical music, so it’s exciting for Phillips to bring in a notable jazz performer.

“This is a really special one,” said Phillips.

The focus of the lesson will be improvisation, Murphy said. He’ll be answering questions and letting the lesson flow from there, a format which itself will be rather improvised.

“I’m finding out that by teaching, I think I’m learning more than I teach,” Murphy said. “It’s really fulfilling to watch people learn and grow musically.”

Murphy lives in Vancouver and spends most of his time teaching these days, but he made a name for himself on the Vancouver jazz scene as a hot piano player. He started out playing jazz clubs in Vancouver as a teenager in the late 1950s and has been a staple of the scene since, both playing solo and with his quartet.

“The music business was really busy back then,” Murphy said. “I’m leading a pretty quiet life these days, which I really enjoy.”

The free event starts at 2 p.m. with the performance, with the class starting at 3 p.m. Seating is limited but can be reserved by calling 250-383-5222 ext. 225 or emailing


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