Fourteen stellar musicians, 100 years of song, one incredible evening of music. That’s what jazz fans can expect when The Grant Family hits the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club this Saturday.
Leader Doug Grant has a date with history.
“I realized that many of the songs considered jazz standards that seem very familiar were actually very popular back in the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. Songs like Sweet George Brown, St. Louis Blues, My Blue Heaven, and It Had To Be You were all popular during the ‘20s,” said Grant.
“I thought a theme for the Grant Family concert would be to reprise some of the music from the past played in a jazz style. Our concert will try to recapture some of the various styles and top tunes of the past 100 years.”
Grant’s own jazz history began with Louis Jordan.
“It was Jordan’s 1942 recording of Caledonia that got me interested in jazz, and Woody Herman’s 1945 big band recording of the same tune led me to buy my first drum,” said Grant.
A “drumming” family, the Grants will have three drum kits on stage and a variety of percussion instruments. The evening will feature a “drum battle,” similar to the drum battles made famous by Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
“Our children grew up exposed to jazz records and learned to play drums to them,” said Grant. “Our basement was always the rehearsal room and we welcomed the noise, because we knew where our kids were after school!”
The gig will feature three generations of Grant family drummers with Grant’s children Doug, Bob, Ian, and Carolyn, and grandson Taylor Grant joining in.
A renowned fixture on the jazz scene, Grant has more than 60 years performing experience. He has played in various jazz, rock, country, and blues bands including Hijack, Nexus, Backroads, Blind Lemon, and The Sunshine Blues Band.
For this special occasion, Grant is bringing his treasured 1948 Slingerland Radio King drums out of retirement.
Doug Jr. was with the popular Canadian rock band Doug and the Slugs and is now touring with the Bon Jovi tribute band Blaze of Glory.
Ian plays drums with several Calgary groups and also plays with The Remones, a Ramones tribute band.
Adding trumpet and vocals, Bob just returned from performing with the Jason Buie Blues Band, opening for John Mayall and appearing at the Vancouver Island Blues Band.
Well known at the VJC, Carolyn, former leader of The Silhouettes, will also be adding her skilful vocals to the evening.
Joining the Grants is a slew of some of the valley’s best musicians: Sandy Cameron on clarinet and sax, Bob Rogers on trombone, Bernie Addington on bass, Don Ross on keyboards, and Rob Moore on guitar.
Finally, mother Tunie Grant, well prepared after listening to 56 years of drumming, will lead a percussion group composed of audience members, so come prepared to be part of the show.
Doors to Saturday’s show at the Vernon Jazz Club open at 7:15 p.m., with music starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $15 for members (cash only) at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup.