Bringing rock back to the Royal City

New Westminster musician Sean Garrett is hoping to get the city rockin
New Westminster musician Sean Garrett is hoping to get the city rockin' as he prepares to host Wednesday Night Jams at The Columbia beginning Oct. 3.

Like any self-respecting rocker, Sean Garrett isn’t about to divulge his age.

But he’s been around long enough to remember when California Dreamin’ and Zodiac were happening New Westminster rock clubs that cultivated local bands. For a stretch he organized jam nights at Nix Pub at the old Burnaby Hotel on Kingsway.

Now he’s hoping to revive the city’s moribund rock music scene by hosting his own Wednesday Night Jam beginning Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m., at The Columbia.

Garrett, a bassist and vocalist who has three solo albums to his name, will be trading riffs with guitarist/producer Rick Boulter and drummer Frank Baker, who’s played the skins for bands like Trooper, Prism and Nick Gilder. And they’re only too happy to have other local rockers join them on stage. Who knows what might happen?

“It’s so important to interact with other players,” says Garrett, who was born and grew up in New West. “Everyone knows each other but they don’t get a chance to play together.”

Jam nights, says Garrett, can be a percolator for new music, even new bands. They’re a chance for veterans to flex their chops and new musicians to network, maybe learn a few tricks, form new partnerships. It’s a creative, relaxed atmosphere that’s more about camaraderie than getting noticed.

“It’s a good learning experience,” says Garrett. “Any chance you get to do your craft, it’s a great thing.”

It’s also a lot of fun. Especially when the disparate players find their groove and they all mesh.

“It’s a spine-tingling moment when you feel like you’re doing it right,” says Garrett.

That’s also true for the audience, who can watch for free. After all, that’s who musicians play for.

“You want people there listening,” says Garrett, who’s hopeful the lack of NHL hockey will help bring people out. “It’s exciting to be bringing rock music back to New West.”

To learn more about Wednesday Night Jam, follow the Upcoming Events link at www.seangarrett.net.


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