Canadian Big Band Celebration weekend – Friday kick-off

Canadian Big Band Celebration 2022 kicked off the weekend on Friday with a musical night of blues, jazz, dinner music and a big band sound.

In smaller venues, it was all about ‘dinner’ background music.  At Ristorante Rosina in Port Elgin, pianist John McClelland entertained with musical standards while, in Southampton, James Addis was at the keyboard at the Walker House and Robin Rich of Durham performed her brand of standards at the Elk & Finch Bistro.

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In Port Elgin, the crowds were out when the bands began at 7:00 p.m.  At the Queen’s Bar & Grill, the Noodle Factory Jazz Project always leaves its stamp on the musical genre of Jazz on the Celebration weekend.  The Port Elgin Legion was all about the Blues with the Joint Chiefs of Soul and, thanks to the weatherman, everyone sat back and listened to the Dunning and Pantlin Blues Machine performing on the patio at the Wismer House.

At 9:00 p.m. the Port Elgin Legion was the place to be for dancing with the Southampton Jazz Club, and dance they did.

While the Legion was filled with those who wanted to dance, others were again out on the patio at the Wismer House, where the name of Blackburn has become part of summer music with the legendary Bobby Dean Blackburn.  On Friday however, it was ‘Blackburn’ that brought their unique R&D sound to the Celebration weekend.  The Juno nominated band, that has won several awards, has created its own unique sound with a mix of Blues, R&B, Funk and Soul.

The band is made up of three Blackburn brothers, Duane, Brooke and Cory with Andrew Stewart on Bass.

The Friday night kick-off to the Canadian Big Band Celebration weekend was only a start as the weekend music continues Saturday.

The music begins at 2:00 p.m. at the UNIFOR Centre (formerly CAW Centre) in Port Elgin with the sounds of big band dance music that continues through the afternoon.  Then, at 8:00 p.m. is the BIG dance event with the ever-popular Lulu’s Band and Men in Black Brassline.

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For those into jazz and blues howeve, the music continues on Saturday night at the Port Elgin Legion venue with one of the best dance floors in the area and the perfect way to end a weekend Celebration of music.

At 7:00 p.m the Roberta Hunt Trio plays its unique style of New Orleans style jazz and blues and then, at 9:00 p.m. it’s the two-time Juno award winner and seven-time Maple Blues award winner, the Jack de Kyzer Band.