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Flower of New Orleans sings for hurricane relief

Mimosa is a fragrant flower that grows in the southern U.S. states and in the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans.

Mimosa is a fragrant flower that grows in the southern U.S. states and in the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans. Like many other people over the past two weeks, Gibsons singer Verna Chan has been glued to television and Internet connection for the latest news on the horrific damage by hurricane Katrina. Chan could see that the people of New Orleans will need help not just now, but for years afterwards, and she wondered how she could assist.

Lately, she has been acting as a part-time concert promoter, a gig she fits in with her other performances in Vancouver singing with Dark Angel and the Bad Boys and her appearances here on the Coast. She thought about a concert she was helping to promote at The Club Oct. 1.

The band is called Mimosa; a few of the musicians are her friends. Although they are a Vancouver band, they recognized the flower they are named after grows in profusion in New Orleans. Chan and the band members decided to help by turning the proceeds of their planned concert over to hurricane relief.

Chan points out that it doesn't work to send goods to the Gulf states. Cash donations have the most benefit, she says, so the entire proceeds, less minor expenses, will go to the Red Cross.

WindSong Gallery in Sechelt chipped in immediately to offer some great items, all donations from the gallery's artists, for a silent auction to be held during the concert.

"I'm trying to round up artwork of around $35," says Veronica of WindSong, "to make it accessible for all to donate."

So far, she lists a wire sculpture of a tree from Byron Anderson, a mermaid figurine from Annette Newcombe, meditation items from Spiral Organics, pottery from Jack Olive, wooden items from Duane Noyes, wind chimes from Marlynn Church, a Tarot reading from Carol Marie and her own creation, a photomontage of an old growth tree. By Oct. 1, organizers hope to have more donations.

Mimosa consists of Rebecca Shoichet, vocals, Anna Lumire (formerly with the Colorifics) on keyboards and accordion, Karen Graves, who made a recent solo appearance at The Club, on flute and saxophone, and John Raham on drums. Drawing from material that spans the 1960s to the present, with snatches of French lounge, New York swing, Brazilian bossas and original material, the quartet blends an extraordinary champagne cocktail. Mimosa, who have recently appeared at the Montreal Jazz Festival, take a sentimental journey through time and sound, and can easily tempt the audience to dance. Their CDs, Voyage and Bucolique, will also be available at the concert.

The Mimosa Benefit for Katrina will take place Saturday, Oct. 1 at The Club in Gibsons. If you have items to donate to the silent auction, please call Chan at 604-886-3114. Cash donations will also be accepted. The Club, 287 Gower Point Road, opens its doors at 8:30; show starts at 9 p.m. A tapas menu and desserts will be available. Tickets for $15 are available at Gaia's Fair Trade Gifts, Roberts Creek Health Food Store and WindSong Gallery. Call Michael for reservations at 604-886-2787 or email [email protected].