Members of the Salmon Armenians will take to the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club in downtown Vernon Saturday evening.

Members of the Salmon Armenians will take to the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club in downtown Vernon Saturday evening.

Salmon Armenians roll into jazz club

Watch out for R&B, funk and soul from the '60s and '70s

High powered R&B favourites The Salmon Armenians return to the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

Okanagan Music Awards Best Blues Band for 2007 continues to rock the house.

“We will be playing our usual mix of R&B, funk, and soul from our favourite music era – the 60s and 70s,” said band leader Lody Kieken.  “We’ve always loved the classic Motown and Stax tunes as well as the sound of horn bands like Lighthouse, The Ides of March, and Blood, Sweat and Tears.

The band’s fascination with the horn will be front and centre this performance.

“Our musical style is eclectic although we do have a bias for a good horn line,” said Kiekan.  “We took a number of songs not normally associated with horn bands and asked Jim Johnston, our arranger, to create horn arrangements for us.”

The gig will also feature originals from their CD Snow Country Sessions, including reggae flavoured Rhythm of the World by drummer Larry Keats, and trombone player Rich Thorne’s In the Mirror, a timely ecological message that asks the question “am I helping or hindering the condition of the world today?”

Hammond organist Kieken, owner of Acorn Music in Salmon Arm, formed the band in 1997.  Personal spare time is devoted to his role of chairperson of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year.

Musical spare time is devoted to honing his skills.

“My personal practice these days consists of learning the nuances of New Orleans Piano playing and now that I’m pursing the skills required, I’m even more in awe of the practitioners of this craft,” said Kieken.

Since the early seventies, Doug Sonju has been the principal clarinettist with the Okanagan Symphony, also playing jazz and commercial rock before adding blues to his repertoire.

Rich Thorne started playing trombone in grade five, joined his first jazz combo in grade nine, and was the principal trombone in the prestigious University of Idaho Symphony.  Thorne has been playing with a new horn band in Vernon.

Vocalist Debbie Reid is best known for her work with The Phantoms, Salmon Arm’s most versatile party band.  She’s looking forward to retiring and spending more time singing and writing songs for the Armenians.

Del Hunter has been singing professionally since 1973.  She’s performed for the past seventeen years with husband Keith Hunter in the duo Steppin’ Out.

Drummer “Slammin’ Salmon” Keats is an original member of The Salmon Armenians.  Keats shares his music as a music therapist, promoting wellness for children and adults facing challenges.

Bassist Murray Holmes played professionally in Vancouver for eight years with groups like Duster and Ambush.  He also played for eleven years in the Thompson-Okanagan area with Blacksmith.

The newest Armenian is guitarist Jordan Dick who has played in a variety of musical styles, the latest being jazz.

Local teen sensation, pianist Brandon Schmor will open for the Armenians.  This is his third gig at the VJC.

This performance is sponsored by Canaccord Wealth Management – Vernon.

The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for non-members and $15 for members. They are available at the Bean to Cup Coffee House and the Bean Scene Coffee House.

The Vernon Jazz Club is located at 3000 31st St. (above Nolan’s Pharmasave). Go to