This Saturday night, the Vernon Jazz Club will be taken back to a time when tight three-part vocal groups, such as The Andrews Sisters and The Boswell Sisters, owned the scene.
The Company B Jazz Band is Juhli Conlinn (vocals/mellozoo), Shannon Scott (vocals), Bonnie Northgraves (vocals/trumpet), Jens Christiansen (saxophone/clarinet), Jennifer Hodge (upright bass/percussion), and Dave Taylor (guitar).
This six-piece ensemble features a female vocal trio that has been together since 2007. The women met while in the jazz studies program at Capilano University, where they happened upon recordings of first The Andrews Sisters and then The Boswell Sisters. They now recreate the sound and spirit of this magical era while adding their own musical personalities to the mix.
To date, the group has released three full-length albums: Company B Jazz Band (2009), Rock & Roll (2011), and A Company B Christmas (2013). They have toured all over their native B.C. as well as the U.S. and China.
The group is heard frequently on both CBC Radio 1 and 2 and have been featured on Hot Air, Canada Live, and Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café.
In 2014, the band took a trip to New Orleans to perform in The Boswell Sisters Revue, a concert organized by the granddaughter of Vet Boswell. The concert featured a selection of hand-picked, three-part harmony jazz groups from around the world.
Most recently, Company B Jazz Band completed an 11-date tour in China for the 2015 Jiangsu Jazz & World Music Festival.
After attending the Langley Fine Arts School, Conlinn received a scholarship to study vocal jazz at the School for Music Vocations in Creston, Iowa with the legendary arranger Phil Mattson.
She, like the rest of her band, holds her bachelor of jazz studies from Capilano University and has been involved with multiple projects including singing backup with Rykka, CR Avery, and Jaclyn Guillou on What a Difference a Day Makes: A Tribute to Dinah Washington, a TV special produced by the CBC.
Scott is a vocalist and composer who graduated from Capilano University with a bachelor of jazz studies with a major in jazz voice and a minor in piano. She was nominated for both the 2008 and 2010 Galaxie Rising Star awards, sang in New York’s Carnegie Hall for Jazz Extravaganza, performed at the International Association of Jazz Educators, and sang with the acclaimed vocal jazz group Nitecap under the direction of Réjean Marois.
Northgraves is a triple-threat pianist, trumpet player, and vocalist. She was awarded scholarships four years in a row to attend jazz camps in Sacramento and Mammoth Lakes, Calif., as well as an entrance scholarship for her studies on jazz trumpet at Capilano University.
She currently teaches music privately and performs not only in jazz groups but also theatre productions.
Christiansen holds a bachelor of music as well in jazz studies from Capilano University. He has played with groups such as The Hard Rubber Orchestra, Famous Players, the Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra, and Soul Assembly.
Hodge has performed all over Canada, the U.S, France, and the Caribbean. She has worked as a bandleader with the Jen Hodge All Stars, Company B Jazz Band, and as a sideman for Diane Lines’ JUMP!, Universal Gospel Choir, and Bria Skonberg.
Hodge has appeared on more than a dozen albums and has directed and played with groups for CBC Radio and CTV productions.
Taylor is a performer, arranger, recording artist, and teacher. He has studied with some of Canada’s finest jazz guitar players such as Steve Fisk, Ihor Kukurudza, and Mike Rudd. He has played in the U.S, Europe, and extensively throughout Canada.
The Company B Jazz Band hits the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday, Jan. 23. 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.