Edie Daponte, right, and Joey Smith will play the Knox United Church in Parksville on Nov. 11, 2021, for a special Remembrance Day performance. (Submitted photo)

Edie Daponte, right, and Joey Smith will play the Knox United Church in Parksville on Nov. 11, 2021, for a special Remembrance Day performance. (Submitted photo)

Remembrance Day: Singer Edie Daponte offers Parksville a ‘selection of songs to remember’

Knox United Nov. 11 show features songs of Vera Lynn, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich

Vancouver Island Music Award winner and jazz singer Edie Daponte brings to Parksville her show, ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ as a special Remembrance Day performance at the Knox United Church.

The show intends to transport the audience to the Second World War era by reliving the songs of Vera Lynn, Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich – voices that offered comfort to forces and civilians alike.

“It’s a selection of songs to remember and reflect on Remembrance Day. It’s to honour veterans, both of the past and present,” said Daponte. She hopes the show will allow people to consider the sacrifice of those who have served their country.

This year’s performance of ‘We’ll Meet Again is not the first show, however, as Daponte and longtime cohort, Joey Smith, were invited to return after playing last year.

“Its a beautiful sanctuary in the Knox United Church,” said Daponte. “So it’s really a great opportunity to bring the community together and have some reflection safely.”

New to this year’s performance is drummer Damian Graham, who was added when Daponte and Smith realized that having percussion would enhance the show since some songs “have a bit of a march to them.”

“And, of course, we just like being together as a trio,” said Daponte.

Parksville jazz singer Gina Allen will also be joining the trio on stage for a few songs.

READ MORE: Remembrance Day Field of Crosses to be on display in Qualicum Beach

For Daponte, the month of November is a solemn time meant for reflection and honour.

“I dedicate the show, silently, in my own way, to my father-in-law, who I adored,” she said.

Her father-in-law, Lionel Joseph Hutlet, served in the Canadian Armed Forces and crossed the Rhine in the Second World War. He was also a lover of Vera Lynn’s music.

“He’s passed away now, but he would attend every single show that he could… He was just a real champion and just a really respectful, strong character. And this is a beautiful way to remember him,” said Daponte.

The song selection was done very carefully in a manner that lends itself to story-telling.

Daponte said Vera Lynn was the “Forces Sweetheart” and that her music is often what people recall from the Second World War era.

The trio will be playing Lynn’s recognizable classics, described as her top three or four songs.

“And of course, Marlene Dietrich – she was a German singer who was the symbol of ‘Free Germany’ – so we bring the French, the German and the English music together,” said Daponte.

Dietrich’s song, ‘Lili Marlene’ was originally in German and later translated into English and French.

Daponte said soldiers often would then sing and whistle the same song while at war.

“Music again, crossing war and cultures and bringing us all together,” she said.

The song, ‘We’ll Meet Again’ by Lynn holds obvious significance to the show, especially since one of its recordings has soldiers of the British Armed Forces singing along to the chorus.

Daponte considers it an emotional and stirring song, one that promises peace and the hope of being together.

Beyond live shows, Daponte will be working on her fifth album in 2022, a fusion of jazz, blues and folk music.

The show will be performed at the Knox United Church (345 Pym St. in Parksville) from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 11, and proceeds from CD sales will be donated to the Poppy Fund.

Tickets are $30 each, and available online at www.eventbrite.ca, or through Close to You Boutique or Fireside Books in Parksville.

Facemasks or coverings must be worn and proof of vaccination will be required before entry.


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Live musicParksvilleRemembrance Day