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Art Beat: Album launch leads Gibsons Landing Jazz Fest (and Beyond)

Among the highlights of the Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival (and Beyond) will be an album release by the vastly multifaceted quintet Mimosa.
The Mimosa quintet’s new album features its signature blend of jazz, Brazilian sambas, French chanson and cabaret music.

Among the highlights of the Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival (and Beyond) will be an album release by the vastly multifaceted quintet Mimosa. Mimosa’s fourth album, Bien ensemble, is in the spotlight at a concert to open the festival officially, planned for the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre on June 14. 

The band is made up of Rebecca Shoichet, vocals, Anna Lumière (piano and accordion), Karen Graves (sax, flute and vocals), Conrad Good (bass) and Bernie Arai (drums). The group celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. 

“We had a bunch of songs that we had been playing for a few years since our last album in 2009,” said Lumière, who composed the lion’s share of new tunes on the new release. “I call them orphan songs. They were just sitting there, and I thought we should do a live recording because that would be cheaper.” 

Instead, producer (and virtuoso saxophonist) Cory Weeds of the Cellar Live label, proposed a full-fledged studio album. It was recorded at Vancouver’s Afterlife Studios, with some keyboard overdubs recorded in Lumière’s Roberts Creek studio. The croaking chorus of bullfrogs at the start of the irrepressibly buoyant cut, Bonheur was also recorded on the Coast. 

“I thought it was very rhythmic and I thought it was kind of in time with this samba,” said Lumière. “The samba is about happiness. So, you know, the frogs make me happy.” 

Happiness is woven through the album’s tracks (available now on streaming services), even amidst the eminently danceable embrace of languor in Quand on s’ennui. Half the new cuts are sung in French; bilingualism and cross-cultural conversation are part of the group’s mandate.  

“I feel like my wish is really for me most to be truly bilingual and to encourage the two cultures to cohabitate, so to speak,” added Lumière. “I love French; French is my language.” 

With its emphasis on ebullience, the album’s stylistic shifts take place seamlessly. The cabaret charm of Málà (featuring an impish flute solo doubled with scat-style vocalizations) incongruously but easily slides into the bluesy anthem Education. Tunes are suffused with an air of fulfillment, expressed through determinedly intricate rhythms, impeccable instrumentation, and Shoichet’s sanguine vocals. Even its philosophical final track Trouble (“When the going’s good, don’t let your shadows hide the sun”) takes life’s unexpected turns in infectiously gleeful stride. 

Tickets for Mimosa’s concert (June 14, 8 p.m.) are available online via 

Coast String Fiddlers shine 

On June 8, the skillful sounds of the Coast String Fiddlers filled the air at an event in North Vancouver: Ceilidh at the Shipyards. This third-annual gathering brought together a community of fiddle players and enthusiasts, celebrating the rich tradition of fiddle music in a lively and engaging atmosphere.  

The North Shore Celtic Ensemble extended an invitation to the event which enriched the experience for all members of Coast String Fiddlers, according to Arts Beat correspondent Atsushi Sato. 

Performers invited the audience to participate in the fun by dancing. 

This performance by the Coast String Fiddlers was particularly special as it was the final performance for Erin Payne, who is graduating this year and will move away to attend university.  

“I played with CSF for the past 13 years,” Payne said. “As a senior member in the group this year, I have enjoyed the opportunity to mentor and collaborate with musicians of many levels. Being a part of CSF is an amazing opportunity to improve on an instrument, meet amazing people and feel the joy of playing music in a group.” 

The Coast String Fiddlers is actively looking for new members for the next season and can be found on their Facebook page

Turbo charged festival 

A four-day celebration of live music and comedy is coming to Roberts Creek and Gibsons later this month. 

Turbofest 2024 will feature talent from across Canada with big names in underground music and comedy — including popular local talent. 

Events take place at the Roberts Creek Legion, the 101 Brewery, and the One Foot Crow Distillery. 

A full lineup appears online at, with detailed insight to follow in next week’s Coast Reporter.