There was no doubt that, after COVID, people were ready to get back on the dance floor and the Canadian Big Band Celebration weekend in Saugeen Shores was the answer.
The weekend kicked off on Friday, September 16th, with an all jazz and blues night at a variety of local venues through Port Elgin and Southampton in Saugeen Shores.
But it was Saturday night that was billed the big ‘Get Ready to Dance’ night at the UNIFOR Family Education Centre with its large dance floor and stage for bands.
On Saturday afternoon, the Saugeen District Secondary School Royals Big Band under the direction of music teacher, Kerry Lynn Boys, astounded the crowd with their affinity for the Big Band era of yesteryear. These high-school students performed and sounded like generations before them when big bands were all the rage.
Thanks to Southampton Rotary Club, several music students were able to attend the Saturday afternoon performance by the SDSS Royals band.
Then later in the afternoon, the Canadian Big Band performed the standards of the 1940s and featured vocalists Dean Hollin and Sonja Gustafson.
While it was big band sounds in the afternoon, the evening with Lulu’s Band featuring Men in Black Brassline featured a more ‘rocking’ musical genre that had everyone up on the dance floor.
For those who preferred listening to the Blues and Jazz, the Port Elgin Legion venue featured the popular Roberta Hunt Trio with their New Orleans style jazz and blues.
The last musical act of night was the Jack de Kyzer Band, a two-time Juno award winner and seven times Maple Blues award winner.
Music lovers travelled from far and wide to again be able to enjoy in-person listening and dancing to the wide variety of music genres. From Sarnia, 24 music-loving ladies travelled to Port Elgin to have fun and dance away the weekend.
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The Canadian Big Band Celebration is over for another year but many who attended asked if it will be held again next year.