Gaetan Pilon will be hosting the Whisky & Jazz event at Le Chenail Cultural Centre on January 26, 2018, two days after the renovations at la Maison de l’Île will be completed. Attendees are going to be able to enjoy three drinks of whisky, hors d’oeuvres that match the whiskys, all the while listening to soft jazz.

“When I was young I knew I wanted to be a musician. In university I was approached to become a music teacher and that’s where I made my career. I retired in 2001 and in 2002 I started buying books about whisky and hosting tastings because I guess the teacher side of me never left and will probably never leave. By adding jazz at the event, I mixed my three passions: teaching, music and whisky,” said Pilon.

The idea came to Pilon after participating in multiple wine tastings hosted by a good friend of his. After a few of these events, he asked himself, “why not try whisky tastings?” So he bought books on the subject and started learning the differences and nuances between whiskys and of course testing a whole lot of them along the way.

“My events started at home with groups of eight and soon enough, I had 20 to 40 participants in my house! When I saw there was such interest in whisky tasting I decided to start hosting my events in public spaces and that’s when I added the live music element. We use to call the event scotch and jazz, which was wrong because a scotch is a whisky from Scotland. Whisky is the umbrella term for scotch, bourbon and rye,” explained Pilon.

The January 26 event will be the second edition at Le Chenail Cultural Centre, but it’s been three years since the last one at that venue.

“I love Le Chenail for its intimate aspect, it’s a very lounge-like atmosphere which goes perfectly with soft jazz music. We held it 3 or 4 years ago here at Le Chenail and then we held the event at other places and it felt kind of out of place since the other venues did not have the intimacy of the Chenail. This time, I will have Renée Charlebois who has a deep jazzy voice, my son, Mitchell Pilon on the saxophone and myself on the brand new baby grand piano,” said Pilon.

At the event, people who bought tickets but do not wish to drink the two whisky drinks included with the ticket are going to be able to trade their two whisky tickets for three beverages of their choice. Gaetan Pilon issued a warning though about the event, “If anyone puts cola or ginger ale in their whiskys, they will be promptly escorted out of the premises,” joked Pilon.

Tickets are available at Le Chenail Cultural Centre or by contacting Gaetan Pilon via email at [email protected].