Lunch with Jeff Turner at Cafe Il Nido

The Friday Lunch is a focus on the restaurant’s Lunch menu along with the Interview of a notable Business or Cultural leader who is joining me as my guest at restaurants in and around Vancouver. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes.

For my fifth Friday Lunch in this series, I was joined by Booking Agent/Artist Manager Jeff Turner over lunch at Café Il Nido downtown Vancouver.

Jeff Turner

Jeff Turner has been booking live music and entertainment for a wide variety of events for many years. His artists have appeared at hundreds of festivals, concert series, nightclubs and theatres throughout BC, across Canada and the US and throughout Asia and Europe. Originally Turner Music and Events (Nov 1999-June 2012), The Turner Entertainment Group represents the finest musicians, DJs, comedians and specialty comedy acts, celebrity and headline acts, theatre acts, keynote speakers/MCs, spoken word artists/storytellers, actors, models and variety acts.

Have you always had an interest in entertainment ?

I have, I started while I was on vacation in Hawaii with my family when I was 10 years old while walking down the beach I heard a band playing. Years later after getting a business degree and an accounting major and some finance jobs, things changed. In 1986, I volunteered for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and I loved the experience, the next summer I worked for them and then years later I formed my own company.

How did you end up becoming a Booking Agent/Artist Manager?

While I was with Coastal Jazz, I was working with jazz musicians. That is what I started doing with my own company, as I grew expanded and was working with musicians of all styles and booking for festivals, concert series, locally, then across BC, Canada and in the Western USA.

What challenges entertainers today in Vancouver?

  • Venues to perform in
  • Audiences to perform to
  • Lack of revenue from cd sales

What is your favourite food?

Italian as well as Spanish, African, and Malaysian

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver ?

  • Café il Nido
  • Simbas
  • Banana Leaf
  • Legendary Noodle
  • La Brasserie

House made focaccia


Butternut Squash Soup



Jeff and Richard shared the House made Focaccia with green olive tapenade and extra virgin olive oil. Jeff had the Caprese – Fior di latte cheese, cherry tomatoes and avocado, and Richard had the Butternut Squash Soup for appetizers. Jeff had the Agnolotti – traditional stuffed lobster ravioli served in light tarragon cherry tomato sauce and Richard had the Bolognese – Pappardelle egg noodles tossed with slow cooked lean ground beef and veal in a house made herb tomato sauce for our mains.

What do you do in your off time?

  • See movies
  • See theatre
  • Exercise
  • Play tennis
  • Yoga
  • Gym
  • Running
  • Reading

Where is your favourite vacation spot?

Havana, Cuba

Who are your mentors?

  • Steve Jobs
  • Mark Zukerberg
  • Harvey Weinstein

I understand you are promoting the Havana International Jazz Festival Tour, when does it take place?

It happens on December 16-24 and people can look forward to discovering Havana, Trinidad areas and the festival itself.

How would an Artist find their way into a booking agency like yours?

Talking to other musicians on the scene, and finding the agents and pitching them to take them on.

What has inspired you lately?

An Actress/Producer that I met recently, her name is Lisa Ovies. We are starting to work on projects together to develop some tv/film projects in the near future

What is Liquid?

It is a totally improvised two act play with ideas thrown out by the audience, takes place at Havana on Commercial Drive. It is a collaboration of I No Films and Turner Entertainment is promoting. The group of actors calls themselves Windy City Women.

What is the most recent show that you have seen on your roster?

Jaclyn Guillou at The Cellar Jazz Club.

What is the most recent show you have seen not on your roster?

Peak Performance Project at the Commodore

I understand you are producing a series of shows at Cory Weed’s Jazz Cellar, can you tell me about that.

One Thursday a month, range of entertainment from comedians, pop singers, soul, r & b singers and occasionally jazz.

Attire: Business Casual

Lunch Service: Monday to Friday 11:30am – 2:30pm

Café Il Nido

780 Thurlow Street, Vancouver


For Reservations call 604-685-6436

Twitter: @cafeilnido

Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Friday Lunch in and around Vancouver.

By: Richard Wolak

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