Entertainment

Jazzing up the holiday season

Kelowna jazz vocalist Anna Jacyszyn is joined by the Jazz Café Band at the Vernon Jazz Club for a performance of great standards and season favourites, Saturday, Dec. 15. - Photo submitted
Kelowna jazz vocalist Anna Jacyszyn is joined by the Jazz Café Band at the Vernon Jazz Club for a performance of great standards and season favourites, Saturday, Dec. 15.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Catch the season’s spirit with fabulous jazz vocalist Anna Jacyszyn and the Jazz Café Band at the Vernon Jazz Club this Saturday.

Jacyszyn and the band have a festive evening planned for the fans.

“We will be performing some James Bond classics and some fun Christmas songs that Julie London and Dean Martin fans will recognize. The rest of the evening will consist of original songs and arrangements taken from the likes of Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, and Arlen & Mercer,” said Jacyszyn.

Winner of the 2010 Okanagan Arts Award for music, Jacyszyn pours life into the lyrics and stories she tells, describing herself as “someone who cares about the stories of the songs I sing.”

Jacyszyn and the band ground their music in the jazz standards of the Great American Songbook with a twist, adding unique spins like pairing a swing with a bossa nova.

“From bebop, to modern, to ‘60s soul jazz, this band loves taking a classic and giving it the freedom of exploration,” said Jacyszyn.

Jacyszyn began her career singing backup for dance music artists like Yazz, Marshall Jefferson, and Cher, but her true love is jazz.

“Jazz is my life career.  I have been blessed through this genre of music to travel around the world, from Monte Carlo to Singapore, Europe to Oman and the Emirates, and now back in Canada where I continue to promote world class jazz in Kelowna,” said Jacyszyn.

Jacyszyn founded the popular Jazz Café, voted Best of the Best in Okanagan Life Magazine. Recent highlights include a featured live performance last year on CBC’s Hot Air.

Jacyszyn is also well known for her contribution to music and charity works in the Okanagan, receiving a Spirit of Kelowna Award and a citation from the Okanagan Institute.

The Jazz Café Band is a “who’s who” of the Okanagan’s best jazz musicians including Craig Thomson on sax, Loni Moger on guitar, Bernie Addington on bass, and Scott Gamble on drums.

Music educator Thompson teaches jazz and concert band at Mount Boucherie Secondary School.  He recently released the CD Bright Beginnings and is heading up the Live After 5 jazz jams at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna.

A talented and versatile musician, Moger earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music where he studied guitar, voice, and arranging. Recent highlights include performing an all James Bond movie theme gig at the Jazz Café.

Freelance jazz musician and recording artist Addington has played with everyone from Michael Bublé to Harry Connick Jr. to Rita Chiarelli.  He has been touring Western Canada with the Rat Pack, a Las Vegas tribute to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

A popular VJC regular, Gamble appeared recently with Sandy Cameron and the Sax Trio plus Three. Gamble was named the B.C. Interior Music Award’s 2006 Musician of the Year.

Special guest Chad McLeary, a talented vocalist and guitarist, will open the evening.  McLeary’s performance is sponsored by Wanda and Gary Fisher.

Anna Jacyszyn and the Jazz Café Band take the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St. upstairs) Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene or Bean to Cup coffee house or order them online at www.vernonjazzclub.ca.

 

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