The sounds of traditional and retro jazz will fill the air at Semiahmoo Centre Saturday (July 18) as the White Rock-based Square Pegs Jazzy Band plays a two-hour concert outside the west entrance of Save-On-Foods from 2 p.m.
The musicians aren’t there simply to put a spring in the step of shoppers – although it will likely help. Their appearance is also to promote – and sell tickets – for the upcoming 2015 Jazz Band Ball, hosted by the White Rock Traditional Jazz Society at the Pacific Inn and Resort Centre September 26-27.
The Square Pegs – Peg Thomson (piano), Dave Ayton (vibraphone), Rob Arseneau (trumpet), Jim Armstrong (trombone and vocals), Casey Tolhurst (bass) and Bob Aitken (drums) – is among the featured bands at the two-day event.
So is WRTJS house band Red Beans and Rice (featuring Rice Honeywell Sr. on cornet).
But also featured will be a fine sampling of traditional jazz experts from the Northwest, as far south as Seattle, and as far east as New York.
“We’re very excited with our line-up,” notes Ayton, who also doubles as WRTJS publicist.
“(Noted reedman) Evan Arntzen, currently living in New York, will be flying in to play with Simon Stribling’s New Orleans Ale Stars and his own group, The Brothers Arntzen. He is bringing with him (vocalist) Tamar Korn, who is developing an international reputation.”
Three other notable U.S. musicians, Ray Skjelbred, Clint Baker and Jeff Hamilton, will sit in with Stribling (who will host the 7:30 p.m. Friday night kick-off party for the event, $10 at the door) and will also be featured during the course of the weekend, Ayton said.
“Ray is a superb pianist currently living in Seattle. He is described as a ‘national treasure’ who revisits the ‘stride’ style of the 1930s – his Yeti Chasers Jazz Band will also be featured.
“Clint Baker, a multi-instrumentalist from California, is a regular member of (featured group) Grand Dominion Jazz Band, as is Jeff Hamilton. also from California. They will be sharing trombone duties in the Ale Stars, as well as playing trumpet and drums with Grand Dominion, which is one of the most popular bands on the classic jazz festival circuit.”
Also featured in the line-up is the Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band from Seattle and youth group the Curbside Jazz Band, from Chilliwack.
“Both venues at the Pacific Inn have dance floors and a combination of theatre and cabaret-style seating,” Ayton said.
“The music will be continuous, with bands changing every hour,” he added. “Beverages and food are available on site and parking is free.”
Ayton said the cost of a two-day badge to the event is $70 – or $62.50 if purchased before Aug. 1. One-day badges (Saturday $40, Sunday $30) will go on sale on Sept. 1 if seating is still available.
For tickets or more information visit www.whiterocktradjazz.com or call 604-560-9215 or 604-531-8857.