Chris Whiteley and Diana Braithwaite play Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge for a matinee show on March 8. (Courtesy of Diana Braithwaite)

Blues and jazz icons to play in Parksville

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley at Ground Zero

The sounds of Canadian jazz and blues will grace the stage at Parksville’s Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge as dynamic duo composed of vocalist Diana Braithwaite and multi-instrumentalist Chris Whiteley make an appearance at the venue on their British Columbian tour.

The two have six Juno nominations between them and both have received multiple Maple Blues Awards. Their last album, Gold Cadillac, was lauded as best album of the year on Jazz FM’s top-10 list released January 2020. The two have recorded eight albums together so far.

In addition to their jazz and blues numbers, the two will be adding a special gospel element to their show at Ground Zero.

“Audiences in Parksville at the Sunday Matinee concert, will also be treated to an extra special musical set of gospel songs from the performers – gospel from the heart and soul! The set will feature uplifting classics and southern gospel songs from the roots of black oral tradition,” said Braithwaite.

Braithwaite hails from Ontario, and is a descendent of the Wellington County pioneers in Canada. Her ancestors escaped slavery in the United States via the Underground Railroad, living for four generations in the first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Ontario.

READ MORE: Island MusicFest going to Bahamas to close show

The two have put together a theatrical, musical show called “Sugar and Gold – Stories of the Underground Railroad” which premiered in February 2018 at four theatres across Ontario.

Whiteley was originally born in Kansas, and has performed on over 200 recordings with all kinds of musicians including Leon Redbone and Blind John Davis, making an appearance with Redbone on Saturday Night Live. He also toured with Stuart Maclean’s Vinyl Cafe show on CBC for 20 years.

In January 2020, Whiteley won best horn player of the year in 2019 by the Maple Blues Awards.

The show takes place at Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge on Sunday, March 8. It’s a matinee performance, with doors at 2:30 p.m. and the show at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35 apiece. For more information, head to www.gzalounge.com/upcoming-concerts.html. Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge is located at 464 Island Hwy E #8 in Parksville.

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