Ware melds old with the new

If you love a tune delivered with heart and soul, don’t miss jazzy songstress Flora Ware at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

Vocalist Flora Ware

Vocalist Flora Ware

If you love a tune delivered with heart and soul, don’t miss jazzy songstress Flora Ware at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

Part jazz diva, part soul singer, part cabaret chanteuse, Ware performs a unique blend of jazz standards and originals, adding a modern spin to old favourites.

Ware’s originals feature newly written tunes as well as songs from her 2008 CD Insight, which earned her a B.C. Interior Music Award nomination for Best Jazz Artist and a Grindie Award from RadioINDY.com.

“I describe my shows as jazzy, with original soul/pop.  My music is cross-genre –– it appeals to fans of vocal jazz as well as a broad adult contemporary audience,” said Ware.

With a voice described by CBC’s Paul Grant as “mature and sensuous,” Ware’s rich, emotionally charged vocals are influenced by her favourite recent artists.

“After years of singing jazz, blues, basically all other peoples’ music, I started writing my own music which was in more of a pop style. I’m influenced by my favourite contemporary artists: Norah Jones, Corrine Bailey Rae, Alicia Keys.”

Ware also counts artists like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and The Beatles among her many other influences. However, it was Sarah Vaughan that captivated the teenage Ware, drawing her into the world of jazz.

“I was gifted a Best of Sarah Vaughan CD from my dad when I was 16 and I was hooked,” she said. “I was studying classical voice at the time, and had lots of musical theatre experience, but Sarah was my starting point for my love of jazz.”

Ware grew up in Armstrong, and after living for several years in Nelson, recently relocated to Vancouver. She’s looking forward to releasing some new music in the future.

“I’m waiting to hear back on some grant applications I made for recording funding,” explained Ware. “If that support comes through, I’m intending to release a new, all-original EP this summer. I’m really excited to get some of my new music out there.”

Ware’s sidemen are Loni Moger on guitar, Bernie Addington on bass, and drummer Richard Graham.

A talented and versatile musician, Moger earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music where he studied guitar, voice, and arranging. 

Relocating to Kelowna in 2008, he quickly became sought after as a sideman, performing with musicians like Ellen Churchill, Barb Samuel, Henry Piovesan, and Sandy Cameron. 

Moger enjoys interpreting the works of others and performing his own material as well.

Addington returns to the VJC after his recent December performance. 

A familiar face in the valley music scene, freelance jazz musician and recording artist Addington has played with everyone from Michael Bublé to Harry Connick Jr. to Rita Chiarelli. 

Addington is one of the driving forces behind Kelowna’s successful and celebrated Jazz Café series with Anna Jacyszyn.

Hailing from Kamloops, Graham leads jazz trios and quartets from his drum kit. 

Influenced by Chet Baker, Nat King Cole, and Louis Armstrong, Graham performs repertoire mostly by Gershwin, Cole Porter, Billy Strayhorn, and Duke Ellington.

Ware takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club, 3000-31st St. Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 and tickets are $20 ($15 for jazz society members) available in advance at the Bean Scene and Bean to Cup coffee houses.