The Scene

Popular children
Popular children's entertainer Charlotte Diamond, and her Hug Bug Band, will help launch the Christmas season at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre on Friday (Nov. 23) at 6 p.m. with a concert of personal and holiday favourites.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Band battle

Well-known Peninsula indie pop singer and songwriter Tommy Alto and his band Whisper! Whisper! (including White Rock’s Brian Shannon, drums; Surrey’s Paul Engel, vocals and bass; and Moose Jaw’s Ben Klassen, vocals and guitar) will perform this Wednesday (Nov. 21) at 8 p.m. at Vancouver’s Library Square Public House as part of Vancouver’s Band Fight battle of the bands contest.

The local group is among 12 bands from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland in this year’s contest, which continues until Nov. 28, with Wednesday night performances at the Library Square venue.

Also competing Nov. 21 will be Surrey-based Cry of Silence.

Judges of the contest are a music industry panel from co-sponsors Amp Records, The Georgia Straight and 99.3 The Fox.

Those who want to improve the local competitors’ chances should note that response from the public will also be important in determining the winner, and judges will watch for the bands able to draw the most supporters.

The winner will receive one song professionally produced by Amp Records, plus radio exposure and a feature article, while the top four finalists will also receive individual consultations on marketing their acts from the record company’s producers.

For more, visit www.amprecordsco.com

Harmonious Honeywells

The Honeywell clan has been synonymous with music on the Semiahmoo Peninsula – and even further afield – for decades and that phenomenon doesn’t show any signs of declining.

The music of Rice Honeywell Sr. is a regular feature Wednesday nights (including this Wednesday, Nov. 21) at Five Corners Bistro, where Rice Honeywell Jr. and his wife Cathy are hosts, granddaughter Shannie Honeywell is a waitress and grandson Nate Honeywell helps out in the kitchen. The senior Honeywell, on keyboard, is joined at the bistro by Bob Storms, sax and clarinet player (formerly with the 10th Avenue and Bathtub Gin jazz bands) for several sets of smooth jazz and classic ballads for couples who enjoy music from the swing and big band eras.

Rice Jr. has also been known to join the duo on harmonica for boogie and blues numbers at the venue. Reservations are recommended (604-538-5455).

Each Friday nights (except Nov. 30), Rice Sr. switches to cornet as leader of Red Beans and Rice (also house band of the White Rock Traditional Jazz Society) for Dixieland-style evenings at Porter’s Bistro in Langley Township’s historic Murrayville district (reservations recommended, 604-530-5297).

Charlotte Diamond

Beloved children’s entertainer Charlotte Diamond will return to Semiahmoo Shopping Centre this Friday at 6 p.m. to officially welcome in the Christmas season (and the arrival of Santa) with performances of seasonal favourites and songs from her latest CD, 24 Carrot Diamond – The Best of Charlotte Diamond.

Fans of all ages are invited to bring bells, maracas and shakers to join in on songs like Feliz Navidad, Zulu Carol, I Am A Pizza and All The Nations Like Banana.

Accompanying the singer will be the Hug Bug Band, featuring Diamond’s son Matt on electric guitar and Bob Wishinski on keyboards.

Bergmann pianos

The dynamic South Surrey-based piano duo of Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann will be featured performers at the Barbara Pentland Mini Festival, Saturday, Nov. 24 at Langley Community Music School’s Rose Gellert Hall, 4899 207 St., Langley.

Their program A Portrait of Barbara Pentland will take place at 7:30 p.m. following a talk by Ian Hampton recalling the Canadian composer and onetime UBC professor, who died in 2000.

Pentland’s work, inspired by the Webern school, placed her at the forefront of the Canadian avante-garde, and the Bergmanns’ salute will include her Two Piano Sonata, Three Piano Duets After Pictures by Paul Klee, and Puppet Show.

An as-yet untitled new piece for two pianos composed by Marcel Bergmann, commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre, will also be featured, drawing inspiration from Pentland’s work and the use of text and soundscape as part of the musical process.

Also featured by the husband and wife duo will be Starvinsky’s Concerto per due pianofortu soli, Hindemith’s Sonata for Piano (Four Hands) and Copland’s El Salon Mexico.

At 2 p.m. the same day, a Canadian Music Week student concert will also pay tribute to Pentland.

Admission is free, or by donation.

For more, call 604-534-2848.

Blue Frog Studios

A return visit to White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios by Canadian vocal chart-topper Alfie Zappacosta – originally scheduled for Nov. 23-24 – has been rescheduled to Jan. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the studio, 1328 Johnston Rd.

The show will be a follow up to the Live from Blue Frog DVD Zappacosta (We Should Be Lovers, When I Fall In Love Again) recorded at the studios in June 2011.

But there’s plenty more music on tap at the venue, starting with a concert by Vancouver hit singer-songwriter Melanie Dekker (Sunday, Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m.).

Her roots pop style, showcased in her 2011 album Here & Now, has been described as “warm, punchy and uplifting”.

Dekker, who has opened for such major artists as Diana Krall, Faith Hill and Chaka Khan, and is also known for a string of popular YouTube videos, will be joined for the concert by world-class guitarist David Sinclair.

Admission is $22.

There’ll also be seasonal fun with rocking blues favourites The Mud Bay Blues Band’s Christmas Bash, Saturday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m., presented by Arbonne International.

The veteran band – which has an uncanny ability to get a crowd up on their feet and dancing – has shared stages with such legends as James Cotton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Long Baldrey, and promises a few surprise special guests for the show.

Admission is $25.

For more information, call 604-542-3055, or visit www.bluefrogstudios.ca


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