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Family keeps drumming up shows together
The Vernon Jazz Club will groove to the rhythm as The Grant Family and special guests return to the stage to present Drumboogie.
This nine-piece band, featuring five drummers, will be playing songs like Great Balls of Fire (Otis Blackwell and Jerry Lee Lewis), Blue Bossa (Kenny Dorham), and of course Drumboogie (Gene Krupa and Roy Eldridge).
The band is comprised of five drumming Grant members including father Doug and his children Doug Jr., Carolyn, Ian, and Bob.
Carolyn and Bob will be featured vocalists and Bob will also be delighting the audience with his trumpet playing.
The Grant family will be joined by special guests: Gene Hardy (saxophone, violin, musical saw, and theremin), Rob Moore (guitar and vocals), Brian McMahon (bass), and Steve Soucy (keyboard and vocals).
The evening is bound to be full of excitement, said band leader Doug Grant Sr.
“Our music will have heavy emphasis on drums and percussion, with three drum kits on stage plus various percussion instruments,” he said. “Gene Hardy will play a number on his musical saw. And we will have the audience participate in some percussion, plus we will feature the famous drum battle between Doug Jr., Ian, and Bob Grant.”
Doug Sr. bought his first set of drums in 1948. He has been busy playing them ever since.
“On stage will be the set of 1948 Slingerland Radio King drums that I bought with my first pay cheque in 1948. My three sons and daughter all learned to play on these drums, and they have been on tours throughout North America and Europe,” he said.
Doug Sr. is no stranger to Vernon Jazz Club patrons. He has played in more than 20 performances at the club since it opened its doors. When not playing with his family, he can be heard playing with Aged to Perfection, which will be playing at the club May 3.
Doug Jr. has drummed for Doug and the Slugs and is currently featured with Blaze of Glory, North America’s premier Bon Jovi tribute band.
Carolyn was leader of the vocal group The Silhouettes and will be playing drums and singing favourite standards Saturday.
Ian’s other projects include playing with The Remones and The Black Dots, two bands based out of Calgary.
Bob was the former drummer with The Sue Foley Blues Band and has worked on cruise ships with the band Jamm, Inc.
Hardy, who hails from Toronto, has served as musical director for Michael Bublé and has played on hundreds of records and CDs. He is the leader of The Pip Squeek Orchestra and has played with The Rheostatics, Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, and Sparkjiver.
Two of the four instruments Hardy will be playing may need some explaining. The first, the musical saw, is played by drawing a bow over a hand saw. The other, a theremin, is an instrument which the player does not actually touch to create sound. The musician moves his/her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas. One of the antennas determines the pitch while the other controls the volume.
This will be a special treat to see in action.
Moore has played with The Sunshine Blues Band and recently spent three years performing on cruise ships with Jamm, Inc.
McMahon is another familiar face to the Vernon Jazz Club. He is well known for his work with The Michael Garding Big Band, was recently at the Pentastic Jazz Festival with Aged to Perfection, and plays with The Legendary Lake Monsters.
This will be Soucy’s third time on the Vernon Jazz Club stage this season. He joined Poppa Dawg and Julie Masi earlier this year. Soucy has written and recorded more than 1,000 songs in a variety of musical genres. He is the five-time winner of the B.C. Country Music keyboardist of the year award.
The Grant Family takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) this Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup and at www.vernonjazz.ca.