The Vernon Jazz Club will be led on a musical voyage with the intoxicating sounds of ShusManouche Saturday.
ShusManouche is a gypsy-jazz band comprised of Richard Owings on violin, Neil Fraser on guitar, Willy Gaw on rhythm guitar, and Bill Lockie on stand-up bass.
The band will be playing tunes written by the great manouche artist Django Reinhardt, including Swing 48, Webster and Micro. Other featured songs will be Caravan (Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol), Take Five (Paul Desmond), and a Neil Fraser original, Hamish.
Manouche is a french term broadly used for gypsies and gypsy jazz and is known around the world as jazz manouche.
Jazz manouche is jazz that you can dance to. It is intoxicating, passionate, and full of beautiful melodies and rhythmic patterns. It traditionally uses two guitars, a violin, and a bass with the rhythm guitarist replacing the drummer by using a specific type of strumming known as “la pompe.”
This type of jazz began in the 1930s with Reinhardt and his Quintette du Hot Club de France. Reinhart, who was of manouche- Romani descent, was an incredible gypsy guitar player whose left leg was paralysed along with his fourth and fifth finger when his caravan caught on fire. Although eventually he did regain some feeling in his fingers, he played his solos with only two fingers.
ShusManouche is a Shuswap-based ensemble inspired by the jazz manouche tradition. You may recognize three of the musicians from the Salmon Arm gypsy jazz band Gadjology.
Owings plays a variety of styles on his acoustic five-string violin. With ShusManouche, and formerly Gadjology, Owings plays in a swinging style inspired by jazz greats Stephane Grapelli and Stuff Smith. He also plays world music with the band One Camel Short and Celtic and folk fiddle with the band Birchbark. Owings teaches private violin and fiddle lessons in Salmon Arm.
Fraser is also a music educator and teaches at the Vernon Community Music School. He is currently working on a solo album featuring his original compositions.
Gaw is the rhythmic pulse behind ShusManouche. He is currently playing with Jacob Verburg and was also a member of Gadjology.
Lockie has been playing stand-up bass in the North Okanagan and Shuswap area for the past 20 years. In addition to playing with ShusManouche, he also plays with various musicians including Brian Pratt Johnson, Jordan Dick and Jen Dyck. He has recently recorded with folk artist Betty Johnson.
ShusManouche takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup and at www.vernonjazz.ca.
You can also get your tickets now for the New Year’s Eve show at the Vernon Jazz Club. The Salmon Armenians, an award-winning roots n’ blues party band, will be there to help ring in 2014. Tickets are limited and can be purchased for $50 at www.vernonjazz.ca