Bananafish returns to Cumberland

Bananafish is an eight-piece powerhouse groove sensation!

Bananafish is an eight-piece powerhouse groove sensation!

Members of the Bananafish Dance Orchestra met while studying jazz at Vancouver Island University. They combined their music education with a love of dance music — jazz to hip-hop, reggae to soul, Latin rock to ska — and grew into an on-stage powerhouse, well-armed with talented soloists, percussion jams, freestyle specialists, and even trumpet-on-trumpet battles.

With a three-piece horn section and a five-piece rhythm section, the music starts playing and the dancing never stops. With sets at festivals in B.C. including Vancouver Island MusicFest and Skafest in Victoria, the band has a tasty, refreshing and very energetic stage presence.

Bananafish and the Ponderosas will perform Jan. 25 at the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland.

The Ponderosas take soul, funk, reggae and R&B and blend it into a unique sound. Described as “world-pop-party-fusion,” these dynamic performers have been setting dance floors at clubs and festivals on fire with their contagious grooves and sweet, soulful melodies.

Singer-songwriters Janette King and Kristie McCracken founded the Ponderosas in 2009, after meeting at a treeplanting summer job (hence the arboreal reference in the band name).

Over the next four years, the band grew from its acoustic-soul roots to the current eight-piece lineup, and has become a fixture in the Vancouver scene, playing alongside artists including the Boom Booms, Daniel Wesley, Dawn Pemberton, and Natural Flavas.

Ponderosas’ members have played salsa, jazz and Caribbean festivals throughout B.C. and are completing their first full-length album, which they will tour to support this summer.

Influences include R&B artists Erykah Badu and Amy Winehouse, reggae and ska acts like Cat Empire and Katchafire, and several other contemporary soul and world-fusion artists. With themes of love, longing, the environment and the changing tapestry of our culture, the Ponderosas’ music will move you lyrically as well as rhythmically.

For more, visit www.bananafishdanceorchestra.com and www.facebook.com/ponderosas.

Tickets are available at Bop City, the Waverley and by phoning 250-336-8322.

— Cumberland Village Works

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