Winter Carnival Blues Festival takes place on Feb. 15, 2020, at the Vernon Rec Centre. (Contributed) .

Visual and performing arts collide at Vernon’s Blues Night

Local artists to provide diverse art exhibit alongside world-class blues acts at Winter Carnival

Winter Carnival Blues Festival (Blues Night) has always been a well-attended event, but each year, the event’s coordinators, Garry Grosso and Cat Wells, try to add something new to keep things interesting.

This year, they have invited visual artists to add to the live music. A wide range of styles, from eight Okanagan artists includes; watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings (both realism and abstract), spray painting and collage.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2020, at the Vernon Recreation Centre auditorium with Kath and the Tomkats kicking off the evening at 7:30 p.m.

Kath Raeber fronts the band with her sultry vocals backed by a talented lineup of seasoned musicians. Raeber was also the founder of both Rare Earth Festival and Our Kids Have Talent, where she gave the incredibly gifted pianist/vocalist Brandon Schmoor his boost in the music business.

Schmoor leads the evenings second act The Keys. This four-piece band was based around Schmoor’s amazing talents and has quickly become a local favourite.

Catch the infectious sound of Five Knuckle Shuffle (5KS). This seven-piece band, based out of Vernon, is a strong combination of worldclass musicians.

Founded in 2017 with dance, groove and good times in mind, 5KS is strongly rooted in the Blues and Motown. Their collective influences, experience and love of live performance, creates a spirited energy that fills the dance floor and keeps the audience wailing for more. 5KS is fronted by the thunder and gravel voice of Cat Wells (former lead vocalist of PHAT Betty), who has opened for Jeff Healey, ZZ Top and many others and has twice been presented with the Okanagan Music award for Favourite Vocalist.

The band boasts over 200 years of collective experience. Derryl Ranger (Blues Gurus), shares the vocals and creates 5KS’s signature sound on lead guitar. Founder Garry ‘Blind Dog Guido’ Grosso holds down the pulse on Rhythm guitar. As band leader, Garry took his former band Soup Bone to the top of the blues charts. Hans Edblad (drums) and Gord Kaine (Bass) round up the rhythm section with their impeccable beats and groove. Al ‘The Reverend’ Goodfellow pours on the soul on B3 organ and piano while Gordie Frie adds the cherry to the top with alto, tenor and baritone sax.

5KS is currently in the studio finishing up their Live off the Floor CD and are looking forward to performing at several music festivals this coming season.

Tickets to this licensed event are $28.50 (+GST) at the Vernon Winter Carnival office, East Side Liquor Co., and Back to Earth in Lavington. Tickets may also be purchased online at vernonwintercarnival.com.

Reserved seating is available for groups of 10 or more.

READ MORE: SilverStar Mountain brings back outdoor, all-inclusive wine tasting

READ MORE: Alumni trumpet band strikes emotional chord for Vernon girls


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Kath and the Tomkats will kick off the Winter Carnival’s Blues Festival Feb. 15, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. (Contributed)

Vernon’s own Brandon Schmoor will lead the Winter Carnival’s Blues Festival’s second act with The Keys on Feb. 15, 2020. (Contributed) Vernon’s own Brandon Schmoor will lead the Winter Carnival’s Blues Festival’s second act with The Keys on Feb. 15, 2020. (Contributed)

Cat Wells will be leading the Five Knuckle Shuffle at the Vernon Winter Carnival’s Blues Festival on Feb. 15, 2020. (Contributed)

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