The Vernon Jazz Club will be the place to be this New Year’s Eve as Sherman Doucette and The Tankful of Blues Band are joined by special guest Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.
Doucette is a Canadian-born harmonica player, vocalist, and songwriter who grew up surrounded by music. Literally everyone in his family played something. His father was a fiddle and banjo player, his brother’s instrument was the guitar, and his grandfather played the harmonica. His mother, sisters, and aunts all sang and danced.
The story goes that Doucette left home at 15 with a harmonica and a $20 bill in his pocket bound for the West Coast. This is where he began playing in local blues and rock bands and also where he started experimenting with the Chicago blues style that he had heard on an album featuring Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, and James Cotton.
In 1977, he miraculously survived a massive explosion in a lumber mill leaving him to recover in the hospital with burns to more than 50 per cent of his body. This is when he truly earned the nickname “Tank” and decided to embrace his real calling, focusing all of his time and energy on his music.
It wasn’t long after that when Doucette began performing with some of the best bands in Vancouver. He has shared the stage with such legendary players as John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Sunnyland Slim, Pinetop Perkins, and Jim Byrnes.
Like a tank, Doucette’s vocals and performances are full of power.
Penny Campbell from The Canadian Music Magazine says, “Doucette’s vocals are soulful, gritty, and powerful.”
“He lifts you out of your seat, and you start moving your feet until your whole body’s shaking and you’ve lost control,” said Kevin Gilles from The Voice.
Over the years, Doucette has accumulated quite a harmonica collection. He has more than 700 antique harmonicas with many of them dating back to 1910.
Doucette will be joined by Juno-award winning pianist and vocalist Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, who played the Vernon Jazz Club in 2013.
Wayne, who was raised in New Orleans, was a child prodigy who travelled the world throughout his youth. When his family moved to San Francisco he was encouraged by his preacher father to play gospel music while an uncle secretly introduced him to the exciting sounds of boogie-woogie.
Melding blues, boogie-woogie, and jazz together, Wayne has been able to continue the legacy of incredible blues legends such as Charles Brown, Roosevelt Sykes, and Fats Domino.
He has been awarded numerous titles including Keyboard Player of the Year by the Calgary Blues Music Association, and Most Outstanding Musician by the Living Blues Magazine Critic’s Poll. He has won the 2012 Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award, a Juno award for 2006 Blues Album of the Year, and has been a multiple winner of the Maple Blues Award, given by the Toronto Blues Society.
This spring Wayne will be touring in France.
This set of incredible musicians will be joined by Tankful of Blues, which includes Grant Jones on bass and John Modder on drums.
Appetizers throughout the evening will be provided by Myles Ferryman of The Entertaining Flavour and a complimentary glass of Bella Sparkling Chardonnay will be served at midnight to ring in the New Year.
Bella’s sparkling Chardonnay is a double-fermented bubbly that is made without the use of nutrients or enzyme additions.
Sherman Doucette and The Tankful of Blues Band, with special guest Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, take the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) New Year’s Eve at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8:15. Tickets are $50 at www.vernonjazz.ca.