The Sea Cavalcade might have been shelved for the time being and the summer fireworks display might be history, but there’s one summer community event on the southern end of the Sunshine Coast still going strong: the Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival, which launches its 24th annual musical celebration Friday, June 21 to Sunday the 23rd.
“It’s a great lineup this year, I have to say,” festival director Linda Williams told Coast Reporter. Williams is a pretty good judge, as she’s been involved with the event since its inception in 1995. “There’s not really a ‘headliner’ among this year’s acts because they’re all headliners in their own right when they’re playing elsewhere,” she noted.
The seven-venue festival kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the quartet Kestra playing St. Bartholomew’s Church hall. Then the big Saturday afternoon show from noon to 5 p.m. will feature five acts in the largest venue of them all, with the world-class harbour view – the Street Festival Main Stage on Gower Point Road by Holland Park. First up will be Katherine Penfold and her stellar new band, who will debut a few numbers from her upcoming new album, Sweetest Thing, along with some favourites she’s played to appreciative local audiences for years.
Penfold will be followed by local maestros Dan Brubeck on drums and pianist Miles Black, who have brought in Vancouver’s legendary Rick Kilburn on bass. Then it’s gospel/soul/jazz vocalist Dawn Pemberton, accompanied by the Sharon Minemoto Trio for a tribute to the late and storied jazz singer Etta Jones. The sextet Zapato Negro will follow with its blend of progressive jazz and Afro-Caribbean beats, doing a set of originals, standards and uniquely jazzed-up Latin tunes.
Meanwhile, festival-goers will see one of the most highly touted groups that veteran high-school music master Tom Kellough has taught, the SD46 Jazz Band. They’ll entertain throughout the afternoon, between acts, from the nearby Bus Stop Stage.
Saturday night, Deanna Knight and the Hot Club of Mars, who lit up St. Bart’s last month, bring their fine gypsy-swing thing to High Beam Dreams at 7:30 p.m. Or catch Dawn Pemberton who will follow up her afternoon jazz set with a funk and soul show at Gibsons Legion at 8 p.m.
All tickets, including the five-act Saturday afternoon show, are $20 in advance, $25 at the gate or door from Laedeli, Melomania, Strait Music, or online at www.share-there.com.
But wait, there’s more. Sunday, the jazz is free, although you’ll have to spend a little on food and drinks for the special shows at Leo’s Tapas Grill (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring Devon Hanley and Walter Martella) and 101 Brewhouse (Graham Ord, Boyd Norman, Budge Shachte and John Rule) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The music is also free all Sunday afternoon at Winegarden Park from 1:30 to 4:30, with Big Creek Band, Sh-Boom, and Burying Ground, each doing a one-hour set.
“You want to have something for everybody,” said Williams. It looks like she’s done it again.