The atmosphere at the Vernon Jazz Club will be electrified when Moni Funk takes the stage this Saturday night.
This seven-piece, high energy band, will have the audience grooving to familiar tunes like Stayin’ Alive (The Bee Gees), Lady Marmalade (Patti LaBelle), Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours (Stevie Wonder), and Billie Jean (Michael Jackson).
Moni Funk is Monica Tracey (lead vocals), Robert Escott (guitar), Carrie Edwards (vocals), Curtis Keires (saxophone), David Sproule (keyboard), Dan Summers (bass), and Tim Searles (drums).
“Moni Funk will take you back to the ‘70s when funk and disco ruled,” said Tracey. “The motto of the group is to have fun and entertain!”
The band, formed in 2009, has been busy since playing around the Okanagan. Their sound is greatly influenced by soul singers, hit bands of the ‘70s, and great Motown Funk from the ‘60s.
“Our main objective is to play dance music that people love and remember from back in the day. Most of our fans call our music ‘feel good music’ which is what it does for people who hear and see our show,” said Tracey.
Her love for music and being centre stage began at the early age of six when her mother, who was a music teacher, showed her how to play the piano.
“As a teen, I began singing with my high school jazz band in front of many audiences and got the fever of performing,” said Tracey. “My favourite thing (about performing) is when the audience is dancing and singing with us and having a great time. It’s really the love of entertaining that is my forte around music.”
The majority of the band members are not only performers but music educators as well.
Tracey originally came to Kelowna from Vancouver to teach piano and voice and has since opened her own music studio called Music World Studios. She can be seen leading Moni Funk as well as performing with the duo Electric Freeway and as a soloist.
Escott settled in Kelowna after years of playing on the road with successful original and cover bands from Calgary and Toronto. He is often the sound tech for the band as well as the musical director.
Edwards is not only a powerful vocalist but also writes music including Moni Funk’s first original, Dancin’ All Night.
Keires feels at home playing the alto and tenor sax in any style from jazz and classical to funk and pop. He has performed with the Kelowna City Band and Dreamland Band, and continues to work as a freelance musician.
Sproule has been enjoying a career in music ever since he received his BA in Music from UBC. After teaching and performing in Prince George for many years he has settled in Kelowna.
Summers has been an active part of the Kelowna music scene for years. He is the owner and manager of The Music Room, a music school in West Kelowna.
Searles has graced stages in Ontario and throughout B.C. He has played with Callum Hughes and Barefoot Caravan and also writes music, particularly funk tunes.
You can check the band out at: monifunk.ca.
Moni Funk takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) this Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup, and at www.vernonjazz.ca