High Beam Dreams in Gibsons will feature a high-octane performance by swing duo Blue Moon Marquee on Saturday, Nov. 12. Blue Moon Marquee’s founders — A. W. Cardinal (vocals, guitar) and Jasmine Colette (vocals, bass, drums) — have toured Europe and North America for nine years while releasing a half-dozen albums.
“Al and I were both originally from Alberta and we knew each other back in our younger days when we both played in the punk and metal bands,” said Colette in an interview with Coast Reporter. The two reunited in 2012 when Cardinal asked Colette to contribute to one of his recordings. “And it was immediately apparent that we needed to play music together and form a band,” said Colette.
Blue Moon Marquee is nominated in four categories of the Maple Blues Awards, Canada’s national blues awards program, including Songwriter of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. The two performers are also on the 2022 ballot for Grammy consideration as the Best Traditional Blues Album of the Year.
The group’s latest album, Scream, Holler & Howl, fuses blues, folk, Roma jazz, swing, and Indigenous themes.
“Al is Cree and Métis, and he has always connected with Native American legends and stories and folklore and teachings,” said Colette. “I don’t have Indigenous heritage in my blood, but I did grow up very entwined in the culture. My mother worked on reserves and I spent a lot of time going to powwows and round dances and tea ceremonies and sweats. My stepfather is Cree and Haida, so it’s always resonated very deeply with me.”
Collete cited the 2017 documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, as a formative influence. “Indigenous melodies and Indigenous rhythms are interwoven into the earliest jazz and blues recordings,” she said. “It’s very much a part of the fabric of the sound but has historically been dismissed.”
Cardinal and Colette will be joined by Jann Arden pianist Darcy Phillips; unfettered dancing by audience members is encouraged. Tickets ($32) are available online via highbeamdreams.com.
Calling all metalheads
The Sunshine Coast Film Society presents Sound of Metal on Saturday Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Raven’s Cry Theatre in Sechelt, and on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse.
British actor Riz Ahmed plays Reuben, a rock drummer and recovering addict, whose life is turned upside down when, on tour with lead singer and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cook), he realizes that his hearing is rapidly deteriorating. As he explores medical interventions to restore his hearing, he reluctantly joins a small deaf community overseen by Joe (Paul Raci, the real-life son of deaf parents), a former Vietnam vet.
To prepare for this role, Ahmed learned American Sign Language and spent six months learning how to play the drums.
Director Darius Marder’s startling, unique sound design takes the audience inside Reuben’s experience as his hearing deteriorates, earning Sound of Metal two Academy awards, one for Best Sound and another for Best Achievement in Film Editing.
Memberships and tickets can be purchased for the film (rated 18+) in cash at the door at both theatres and also in advance online at scfs.ca. Also, a special supplemental screening of Belfast will take place at the Raven’s Cry Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Laughter off the cuff
Three expert practitioners of improv comedy are returning to the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse for a performance on Saturday, Nov. 19. The Improvisers unites the talents of Roman Danylo, Michael Teigen and Chris Casillan in a follow-up to their sold-out appearance in September.
Danylo, who has appeared on CBC’s Just for Laughs and CTV’s Comedy Now, founded The Improvisers as a better-dressed sequel to his 10-year touring production The Comic Strippers.
Teigen toured with both companies and is a veteran of the Vancouver improv scene. “With improv, performers and the audience are sharing in an electric thing that’s happening right now, and it’s different from any other type of performance,” he said.
“Audiences know you’re doing it for the first time and they’re never going to see anything like that again. As a performer, you’ve got the thrill of doing it for the first time and you don’t know what’s going to happen either. That’s what I love about it.”
During their September visit, the threesome explored the community to gather observations, with (appropriately) comic consequences. Danylo got lost while jogging through Gibsons. Teigen strolled to Molly’s Reach, then found himself daunted by the steep incline on his return trip. “I started walking up that hill and Holy Dinah, that’s a hill. So I stuck my thumb out. I hitched a ride back to the theatre.”
Tickets ($39.50) for The Improvisers are available online by browsing to heritageplayhouse.com.
“I think what we’ve all been missing is shared laughter together,” added Teigen. “It’s so uplifting. To be in a room with friends and strangers and peers and relatives and us, sharing this experience and laughing together, is just so healing and so positive.”
Honouring valour and sacrifice
On November 11, the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives will launch a month-long installation of its annual Remembrance exhibit. Archival images and stories help tell the story of the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers, a onetime component of the Canadian Armed Forces reserve. Details and hours are available online at sunshinecoastmuseum.ca.