Four drummers, seven different instruments, five vocalists, and more percussion than you can shake a stick at, the Grant Family and Friends will be paying tribute to “Pops” Saturday, April 30 at the Vernon Jazz Club.
This will be the family’s first show since the passing of family patriarch Doug Grant Sr. at the age of 84 in September, 2014.
A regular performer at the jazz club since it opened its doors, Grant Sr., a respected drummer, often joined his four musical children – Doug Jr., Carolyn, Ian and Bob – on stage. In April, 2014, the family gave their last concert with “Pops,” who brought with him a set of 1948 Slingerland Radio King drums that he had bought with his very first pay cheque.
Those drums got tons of use as Grant Sr.’s three sons and daughter learned to play on that same set, leading them to fulfilling musical careers.
Family members say they are looking forward to doing “Pops” proud at their upcoming show, which would not be complete without their infamous drum battle. This is where sibling competition reaches new creative heights.
“At some point during the show the three Grant boys take over the stage in a no holds barred drum battle. There is no pre-determined ideas or rehearsal. It’s different every time it happens, but it’s always amazing and a lot of fun,” said Doug Jr.
“We’re just as surprised by whatever unfolds as the audience is. The basic theme is having three drummers on three different drum sets trying to outdo each other… It might get loud.”
And there is more excitement that will be had throughout the evening, including audience participation, comedy skits, and extra drum features, said Doug Jr.
For this special evening, the Grants will be joined by friends and first-class musicians Steve Soucy (keyboards, vocals), Brian McMahon (bass), Rob Moore (guitar, vocals) and Craig Thomson (sax).
The show will feature a mix of styles that represent some of the many different kinds of bands that “Pops” played with over his long career. There will be jazz, blues, country, country-rock, as well as some rock ‘n roll.
They will perform songs from Duke Ellington’s Don’t Get Around Much Anymore to Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill and Martina McBride’s Two More Bottles of Wine.
Soucy has had a long, successful musical career playing with, recording, producing, and writing for literally thousands of singers and bands. He is the five-year consecutive winner of the B.C. Country Music Keyboardist of the Year award and can be heard performing regularly with Le Mo Nay, a romantic duo featuring the incredible voice of Julie Masi (Parachute Club) as well as Uptown 10, a 10-piece dance band from Kelowna.
McMahon is a familiar face to the Vernon jazz community. He was a longtime music teacher at Kalamalka Secondary School and plays on a regular basis with The Legendary Lake Monsters.
Moore has played with The Sunshine Blues Band and has spent three years performing on cruise ships with Jamm, Inc.
Thomson is a teacher and clinician who has been supporting the jazz community in Kelowna for years. He is the organizer of the B.C. Interior Jazz Festival and leads the band program at Mount Boucherie Secondary School in West Kelowna.
The Grant Family and Friends hit the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at Expressions of Time and at www.vernonjazz.ca with a $5 rebate at the door for members. Cash only bar.
The Grant Family and Friends are also performing an intimate show at Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek Friday, April 29. For reservations, call Lorenzo’s at 250-838-6700.