For The Morning Star
The Uptown 10 features some of the Okanagan’s hottest musicians, and they are gathered en masse for an exciting night at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.
This 10-piece party band has just the right mix of rock and country coursing through its veins, jazz and blues pounding in its heart, and funk and soul pulsing through its toes to keep you entertained all night long.
“We love to travel and perform. The Uptown 10 create a musical memory at every performance,” reads the band’s Facebook post from April, 2016.
The singers, or the belters as they are adoringly referred to, are Sandi Deschner, Julie Masi, and Mike Fic, who also plays bass.
Deschner became a successful studio singer in Vancouver before moving to Los Angeles to further her career. She has returned to Kelowna to the delight of her fans.
Masi is no stranger to the Vernon Jazz Club, as she performs in several bands and is a former member of The Parachute Club out of Toronto. Masi currently lives in Kelowna and continues to thrill audiences with her sweet vocals.
Keyboardist Steve Soucy, known as “The Tickler,” is an experienced, professional career musician who has performed a wide range of musical genres. Soucy say she loves singing, entertaining, and coaching people to enjoy music.
On stringed instruments, referred to as the pluckers and strummers, are Mark Larmand and Fic.
Larmand began his career playing rock guitar, but soon turned to studying many top jazz and fusion artists. Fic hails from the West Coast, where he played his bass on cruise ships for 25 years.
On drums and percussion, branded the bangers, are Scott Gamble and Masi.
Gamble is a first-call drummer and percussionist living in Kelowna who has performed at the Vernon Jazz Club many times.
On horns, identified as the blowers, are Mike Schell, Dean Bates, Chris Manuel,and Gordie Frie.
Schell is a professional trumpet player, who has performed with many great musicians. Bates is the band’s alto and tenor sax and flute player, who hails originally from North Vancouver. Manuel (T-bone) is from Penticton and served seven years in the Canadian Forces Reserves as a musician, clinician, and adjudicator. Frie plays bari and tenor saxophone and is an award-winning music teacher and performer.
The Uptown 10 provides the excitement, entertainment value, musical excellence,and pure energy readily and consistently. Combined with an ability to identify and put their own stamp on the best current day hits to classic anthems from across every genre of music, The Uptown 10’s performance is among the best in the industry.
The Uptown 10 will be on stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday,Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Cash only bar on site. Tickets are $20online at www.vernonjazz.com and at Expressions of Time (2901-30th Ave.), with a $5 rebate at the gig for VJS members.