What’s better than live music? Live music available every Saturday, in the form of East Coast jazz, courtesy of the Capital Jazz Trio.

The trio experiments with a variety of jazz influences, performing primarily from the edgier, aggressive “East Coast” school of jazz, but also adds in some smoother, milder “West Coast” influences, for flavour.

“A good jazz band is one that can anticipate each other’s moves, and what they’re playing and going to play,” says Jon Heaton, string bass player.

Heaton, Daniel Janke and Ken Searcy make up the Capital Jazz Trio – formerly the Daniel Janke Trio – each bringing a varied and diverse musical background to the group.

“I would say each of us brings something unique, with respect to jazz music,” says Heaton. Ken Searcy is into electric jazz, contemporary jazz and “some eighties stuff,” he adds.

Heaton is a traditionalist, counting bluegrass as a strong primary influence, while Daniel Janke goes back to Miles Davis for his inspiration. Together, their strength as a trio depends on their commitment to jazz music and how they communicate through music.

“Jazz is an interpretive form of music. We record our music together, so that when we listen to it, we learn from it. It’s like looking through a mirror,” says Searcy.

The trio brings an independent, life-long learning approach to music in their performances for Whitehorse audiences.

“We share influences, contemporary jazz we’ve been listening to, and work on making the music evolve,” says Searcy.

The learning process isn’t always pretty, but it is crucial to growing as a working band. Because the trio members are constantly experimenting with sound, they must be attuned to each other’s playing styles, interpretations of songs and techniques.

“We know each other so well, that if one of us breaks in a middle of a song to do some free-form, the rest of us are right there with him,” says Heaton. He counts the Saturdays playing at the Capital as one of the keys to their success, as consistent gig time is invaluable.

Because jazz is thought of as music for an older demographic, the trio is pleased to see younger audiences getting involved. Heaton relates a story about this: “We were playing this song one night, and we couldn’t remember the name. This young guy from Vancouver shouts out that it was called Moanin’ and so I checked later, you know what, he was right.”

It’s audience involvement like this that keeps the Capital Jazz Trio going. They have a core audience, but relish the support of the community attending their shows. “We’re seeing good things with our audiences, and I think with the continued support of the Capital and the public, great things are happening,” says Searcy.

With a piano, drum set and string bass, the Capital Jazz Trio is ready to usher in the weekend with its sets. The Capital Jazz Trio performs at the Capital Hotel and Pub every Saturday starting at 8:30 p.m.