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CASA party provides a sample of Lethbridge Jazz Festival talent

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 The Lethbridge Jazz Festival was a success this year, thanks to sold out shows throughout the week.
 One of the highlights of the week was the party in the Plaza outside of the new CASA building, June 15.Luke and Tess Pretty playing. Photo by Richard Amery
 It showcased most of the performers playing their own shows throughout the week, and a lot more.

 I arrived around noon in time forDon Robb and Vern Dorge playing with Hippodrome. Photo by Richard Amery Slide Zone, a local group showing off the trombone section of  the Lethbridge Big Band. Kyle Harmon was backing the trombone orchestra on drums.

 I  haven’t seen Hippodrome for a while, but in the midst  of being at three other events happening the same afternoon, but got back in time to see them finish their set with a hot version of Proud Mary. Juran Greene and Erica Hunt sang lead. But as a special treat, Vern Dorge, who was playing his own show with Rosana Eckert and also made an appearance with the Lethbridge Big Band,  joined them with extra saxophone.

 A pleasant surprise was teenaged brother and sister wunderkinds Luke and Tess Pretty who had their own shows at the Mocha Cabana.

 The young and talented duo played mind-blowing avant garde jazz on organ/ keyboards/ keytars and took turns on the electronic drum kit.
 The act I was waiting for though, was  Carstairs Alberta’s the Polyjesters, who were also playing the Slice that night. I hadn’t seen them  for while.

 As usual they played a tight, energetic set full of humour, toe tapping bass, kachunking ukulele and tasteful guitar and fabulous vocal harmonies.
Even more impressive,  stand up bassist Jason Valleau added  “trumpet” solos using only his lips, which had  much of the enraptured audience  and the sound man looking around for the brass.They also a had a few Jason Valleau of the Polyjesters. Photo by Richard Ameryaudience members shouting out requests for “Thomas Builder,” one of their  popular songs from their 2004 CD “Ka-chunk.”

 The band,  also including  Valleau‘s brother Sheldon on baritone ukulele and vocals, guitarist Aaron Young, fiddler Drew Jurecka and drummer Jon May, were impressed the audience knew their songs and promised to play it that night,
 They did play “Too Much Inc.” a highlight of the  same CD about excess. “To Boot” was also a highlight.
They ended their set with a cool version of  blues classic “St. James Infirmary, on which everybody took a solo.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:41 )  
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