There’s a reunion happening at the Shady Rest Restaurant & Pub this weekend and everyone is invited. The Jazz Swingers, the venue’s original Saturday night band, is back for a night of live music Jan. 3.
“We’re all looking forward to our Shady reunion gig,” said vocalist Rosalee Sullivan.
According to Sullivan, the Jazz Swingers formed four years ago to start playing on Saturday nights at the Shady. She said it all started when the pub’s manager Tom Saunders, who also happens to be her first-born son, decided to have musical entertainment at the restaurant and asked her to put a band together for the regular gig.
So Sullivan, who has performed in the past with Bard to Broadway and ECHO Players, called on some local musicians with plenty of performance experience to join her. Sullivan said that the Jazz Swingers played Saturday nights until the roster of bands wanting to play the Shady increased and Saunders was able to start a rotation. “It’s been a couple of years since the Jazz Swingers played the Shady,” she said.
However, according to a news release, the full Jazz Swingers roster will be on hand this weekend. Colin Campbell, who has lived on the Island for several decades and has worked in a wide variety of groups from concert bands to jazz duos, will be on vocals, trumpet and flugelhorn. On saxophones willl be Claudio Fantinato, who has played with big bands, small jazz ensembles, musical theatre groups and more over the past 25 years. Gary Hodi will join on piano and vocals, and Doug Gretsinger, who has worked extensively in the Toronto area, will bring his bass. Finally, Wayne Finucan, who has played with jazz guitarist Lenny Breau, will play percussion. Also joining will be Bill Cave, a long-time Island entertainer who plays with The Desperation Band. Sullivan said Cave was originally part of the group, but will be joining them on-stage as a guest this time around.
As before, the Jazz Swingers will play a wide range of music that draws on a variety of musical genres, including swing, latin and bop blues. The group will play Jan. 3 from 7-11 p.m. at the Shady Rest in Qualicum Beach. For more information, call the pub at 250-752-9111.