Jazz musicians Blue Moon Marquee will make an appearance with special guest Duke Robillard in Parksville on July 14 (7:30 p.m.).
Knox United Church (345 Pym St.) will be the band’s first stop on a quick Island tour in support of the upcoming album, Scream, Holler & Howl, out this September.
Jasmine Colette, aka Badlands Jazz, said the band is thrilled to play with Robillard, who has been in the music industry for 50 years and collaborated with artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Herb Ellis.
“It’s an immense honour for two little Alberta-born dirtbag kids who like to play jazz and blues music to play with such a giant,” Colette said. “It’s really humbling and just an absolute honour.”
The album is inspired by artists with an Indigenous lineage, including Charlie Patton, Link Ray, T-Bone Walker and Mildred Bailey and connects Indigenous heritage with the jazz, swing and blues tradition. Blue Moon Marquee is known for its blending of musical styles, including blues, folk, jazz, Native American themes and swing.
Colette, who sings and plays the upright bass and drums, and vocalist/guitarist Al Cardinal, both played in punk and metal bands years ago and realized many of their musical heroes grew up listening to rock and roll bands, whose members listened to the blues.
“And who were the blues guys into? We tried to dig back as far as you can, to guys like Charlie Patton, who I really consider one of the first punks,” Colette said. They learned many old blues players and melodies had Indigenous roots.
“There’s this real melting pot of Native and Black and Creole cultures that created the sound of blues and jazz,” she said.
Colette and Cardinal formed Blue Moon Marquee approximately eight years ago. Colette said they find inspiration for songs through the places they go and the characters they meet along the way.
“Even if it’s just a flash of you driving by, you see just 15 seconds of a little interaction of people on the street,” she said. “Little windows into life existing all over the world.”
Colette’s favourite song to peform is ‘Big Black Mamba’, which is a song about a Lakota prophecy, inspired by Elder Black Elk, who spoke about a black snake that will come and poison the water. She said she enjoys the tune’s calypso blues feeling.
“And Al’s singing on it — he blows people’s hair back with his voice,” Colette said with a laugh.
Although the new album will not officially release until the fall, there will be copies available at the July 14 show.
Cardinal is from Rocky Mountain House originally and Colette grew up in the Alberta Badlands, but they are now based out of the Cowichan Valley.
Blue Moon Marquee’s last album, Bare Knuckles & Brawn (2019), went to No. 1 in both jazz and blues genres on the Earshot National charts.
Grammy-nominee Robillard co-produced Scream, Holler & Howl. He is a former guitarist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds and has not performed on the Island for at least 10 years.
The performance will also feature Darcy Phillips on keyboards and Jerry Cook on saxophone.
After the Island shows, Blue Moon Marquee will head to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available online.