By SUE NEWMAN
SPECIAL TO THE DRIFTWOOD
Get ready for round two of the Salt Spring Jazz and Blues Society’s Jazz Jam at The Legion!
On the heels of the success of the May 1st event, we have decided to keep this going! So, every other week, patrons and players alike will be treated to the Sunday Jazz Jam from 3 to 6 p.m. No need to participate, just sit back and enjoy the music! As Bill Henderson says, “If there’s no audience, there just ain’t no show”!
But, if you want to join in, this is a chance for instrumentalists and singers to get to play together with a house band, which replicates the feeling of playing an actual gig. Remember, though, it is a jam! We have a wonderful trio who will kick things off and play a few tunes for everyone’s listening pleasure, before guest performers join in. For those of you new to this, here’s how it works . . .
First off, as it’s a jazz jam, please choose songs from The Great American Songbook — generally described as songs that have stood the test of time from the 1920s-1950s, give or take a decade. You can look up song lists online to get a sense of these songs, but Fly Me to the Moon, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Black Orpheus, Take the “A” Train are some examples. Or tunes by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Antonio Carlos Jobim . . . or big band or crooner tunes, even songs from Broadway shows, but, well . . . you get the idea. There are hundreds of songs, it’s overwhelming, but don’t despair. You may be surprised how many you know. The only hard part may be to choose a couple! If you’re really stymied, the band has also prepared several tunes for your listening or jamming pleasure, besides what you might bring. Have a look at the list on the website. https:// www.ssjazzandblues.org/
Secondly, SINGERS and INSTRUMENTALISTS: Sign in when you get there, so we can pair you up with other players and be sure that everyone gets on the bandstand.
SINGERS, please bring three copies of your music choice. You can download a “lead sheet,” the melody lyrics with chords above the staff lines. Some websites can even change the key to better suit your voice! Decide how fast or slow, or tempo, for your song, and the band will “take it away”!
INSTRUMENTALISTS, prepare a song to play that is in the jazz genre, that can be called from the Classic Real Book, or other jazz and blues repertoire books. Be ready to play the melody and try a solo over the form of the song.
Also, please be ready to share the stage with other singers and players, especially if some of you call the same songs, and if our turnout is packed! We don’t want anyone to miss out.
Finally, remember, this jam is for listeners, too. It is for us all to play as a team of music lovers, so be sure your choices are easily conveyed to the House Band. Let’s all support each other while having fun listening and playing music together!
The Salt Spring Jazz and Blues Society, Magenta Music (that’s Monik Nordine’s music label) and the Royal Canadian Legion thank all of you who came out for our first jam. We hope you’ll be back and bring your friends along to the next one, set for Sunday, May 15th, from 3-6 p.m.
As for food, there are some snacks, but there is no kitchen service that day. But you can order in! Isn’t THAT fun?
There is no cover charge, but please give generously to the bucket for our great band, Frank Huether, piano, Randall Miron, drums and Bob Delion on bass! You might also want to become a member of the society, as we gear up for more musical adventures.
See you Sunday!