Throughout 2019, music fans enjoyed a series of monthly concerts featuring local musicians all with one purpose: raising funds for a scholarship for future School of Music jazz students.
Organized by local jazz writer Joe Blake, the “Blues for Eric” concert series honoured the memory of Eric LeBlanc, UVic’s iconic CFUV disc jockey whose Let The Good Times Roll radio and online blues show ran for 33 years prior to his passing in 2015. His collection of thousands of blues, gospel, R&B and jazz recordings was donated to CFUV and his library of over 300 music-related books was donated to UVic’s Library.
Blake then established the $25,000 Eric LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship endowment fund and financed it with a series of 10 concerts, culminating in a sold-out public performance by Music professor Patrick Boyle the UVic Jazz Ensemble—including students (from left) Devin Owpaluk, Ethan Slogotski & Brendan Wong (photo: Leon Fei).
“Eric’s love of the blues began during his boyhood in Montreal: he and his brother would travel to New York City to buy obscure recordings to play at their Montreal dance club and later on his first radio show at McGill,” says Blake, seen here with Boyle at the final concert (photo: Leon Fei).
“He would have loved Boyle and his students’ smart, soulful jazz performances. And the students who will benefit from the scholarship played at the last Blues for Eric celebration. Now that’s cool!”