Blue showdown at WinterBites Festival

Only one piano player will be left standing, say organizers of the first WinterBites Festiva

The WinterBites Festival coming to the Comox Valley will present a blues piano showdown called Pianorama featuring veteran players Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne and David Vest (pictured).

The WinterBites Festival coming to the Comox Valley will present a blues piano showdown called Pianorama featuring veteran players Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne and David Vest (pictured).

Only one piano player will be left standing, say organizers of the first WinterBites Festival, which presents a blues piano showdown Jan. 18.

“We’ve got two of North America’s true piano masters of blues and boogie woogie teaming up exclusively for a show at WinterBites,” brags Doug Cox, talent booker for the new WinterBites Festival.

“My favourite thing about curating shows is putting together once-in-a-lifetime collaborations of talent for what makes a truly unique event,” Cox adds. “Both the players and the audience are treated to an extraordinary night of music and sharing beyond a usual concert experience!”

Such will be the experience for those who choose to attend the Pianorama with music veterans Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne and Louisiana’s David Vest.

Kenny grew up in the midst of a sharp musical dichotomy, thanks to parents whose tastes were wildly divergent. His preacher father told him to stay on the straight and narrow path, and at all times to avoid “the Devil’s music,” a classification that included boogie-woogie.

His mom, however, was thoroughly taken with everything about boogie-woogie. As a self-taught musician, it was all she could play. She especially favoured Amos Milburn’s One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer, while she also exposed her son to songs by Nat (King) Cole, Little Willie John, and Fats Domino.

Wayne has been a travelling musician almost all his life, playing in show bands and cover bands in his youth, seeing the world from Texas to Hawaii and from Peoria to Paris. Deeply influenced by Fats Domino and Johnnie Johnson, Kenny Wayne’s other heroes include keyboard rockers whose names are beginning to fade into history — men such as Amos Milburn and Bill Doggett, both long overdue for rediscovery by the new generations of blues fans.

Although he now calls Canada home, Maple Blues Award winner David Vest is an authentic, Southern-bred boogie-woogie piano player and blues shouter. Born in Alabama in 1943, David grew up in Birmingham, not far from Tuxedo Junction.

About the time he turned 21 he found himself onstage backing Big Joe Turner, who said that David Vest’s playing made him feel like he was back home in Kansas City.

He had also worked the southern gospel circuit and David wrote the first songs ever recorded by Tammy Wynette. He also dated a sister of the Louvin Brothers, toured with Faron Young (who threatened to kill him), backed Red Foley in a show where all the stars got robbed, worked in a theatre with Fannie Flagg and became the first American artist to record an album in Romania, after his appearance at the Sibiu Jazz Festival.

Other WinterBites concerts in January feature Ashley MacIsaac, Jim Byrnes and Barney Bentall.

For more information, visit www.winterbitesfestival.com or call 1-855-400-2882. One can also join the conversation using #CVWinterBites.

— Vancouver Island WinterBites Festival

Just Posted

Corwin Fox performs on the grounds of the Courtenay and District Fish & Game Club for a 2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest segment, with the iconic Comox Glacier in the background. The 2021 festival will feature numerous outdoor segments, highlighting the beauty of the Comox Valley. Photo via Island MusicFest
2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest format will showcase the beauty of the Comox Valley

The 2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest -The Virtual Edition - will be like… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox takes step closer to finalizing Northeast Comox Storm Water Management Plan

“(This has been a) tremendous work in progress for many years”

Town of Comox council (from left) Alex Bissinger, Ken Grant, Nicole Minions, Mayor Russ Arnott, Stephanie McGowan, Maureen Swift and Pat McKenna. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Byelection coming to the Town of Comox

The latest municipal election was held in October 2018

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read