In tune with the Christmas spirit, the fresh and funky B3 Kings, featuring Cory Weeds and Denzal Sinclaire, are coming to town.
At the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, the B3 Kings showcase some of Canada’s top jazz talents, including vocal sensation Sinclaire, who also doubles as drummer, Weeds on tenor sax, Chris Gestrin who provides their signature sound on the Hammond B3 organ, and Bill Coon on guitar.
Formed in 2002 for a Christmas concert at Vancouver’s renowned Cellar Jazz Club, which Weeds owns, the band’s super funky take on the classic holiday repertoire now plays sold-out houses every year.
Following their now classic holiday CD, A Cellar Live Christmas, the B3 Kings just released their new Christmas CD, You Better Watch Out!
“Our music is rooted in the classic organ quartet tradition. We draw our influences from the bands of Jack McDuff, Don Patterson, Jimmy Smith, and Larry Young,” said Weeds.
Known for his intense funkiness and easy sense of swing, B3 Kings bandleader Weeds has been a mainstay on Vancouver’s jazz scene for many years now.
“Jazz hasn’t impacted my life; jazz is my life,” said Weeds, who when not running The Cellar, has a variety of projects on the go, including his own quartet and co-leading The Night Crawlers.
“I can’t imagine what my life would be like without this music as a huge part of it.”
Weeds is also renowned for his collaboration with Hammond B3 organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith, with whom he produced the CD The Dr. Is In.
Lush vocalist Sinclaire is a multiple Juno Award nominee, recipient of the 2004 National Jazz award for Best Album, four time consecutive recipient of Jazz Report Magazine’s award for Male Jazz Vocalist, and winner of France’s 2007 Choc Jazzman Award.
In 2005, Sinclaire was inducted into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame.
As a performer, Sinclaire creates a profound emotional interaction with the audience. His super smooth, sophisticated delivery caresses every song and he counts Diana Krall, Bette Midler, Branford Marsalis, and Michael Bublé among his fans.
Sinclaire also has a soft spot for Vernon.
“Vernon has a special place in my heart. It’s where I was given my very first drum cymbal, which I still use.”
Gestrin is a versatile keyboardist, composer, producer, and engineer. He has worked with a wide range of artists, including Randy Bachman, Loudon Wainwright III, and Long John Baldry.
Previously nominated for Musician of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, Gestrin’s original music has been featured on numerous television shows such as The Dead Zone, Dark Angel, and The Outer Limits.
In his 25 years of performing, Juno nominated guitarist, composer, and arranger Coon has performed with a roster of jazz musicians, including legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath and vocalists Karin Plato and Dee Daniels.
Coon is a member of the Jill Townsend Big Band, Two Much Guitar with Oliver Gannon, and Triology with Miles Black and Jodi Proznick. His big band and orchestra arrangements are performed throughout the world.
The B3 Kings take the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($15 for jazz society members) at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup.