The Simms Saturday Evening Concert in the Park series will feature the Lensmen this Sunday.
The performance will be an opportunity to hear some invigorating and authentic Dixieland and ’40s music. The music starts at 7 p.m. and will be a tribute to Noel Thomas.
Noel played cornet with the Lensmen until his death in June. Noel’s beautiful playing graced countless ears and hearts on the West Coast over the past 50 years.
Many on Vancouver Island will be familiar with his performances at Butchart Gardens with the Butchart Buskers and later with the Desperation Jazz Band.
The Lensmen collectively bring a lot of years of experience to recreate music that has been around a long time. The group’s repertoire reaches back to just about the turn of the century, 1900 that is, and through the ’40s.
They have also been known to play a little jazz beyond the Big Band Era with Len Wilkie crooning a la Frank Sinatra and are not ashamed to say even a little country. Some of the oldies but goodies that will be on the program are Harlem Nocturne, Bye Bye Blackbird, Hernando’s Hideaway and St. James Infirmary.
The Lensmen are Len Wilkie – drums, Mike Eddy – piano, Al West – bass and Greg Sumner – cornet.
Greg is the founder of the Cure All Jazz Band and is an encyclopedia of performance knowledge about the traditional style of jazz starting from the 1920s. Greg brings a wealth of showmanship, exciting cornet playing and marvelous vocals to the evening.
Al is an extremely busy bass player in the Valley. You hear him everywhere from the Sid Williams to the symphony orchestra. As well as bass, Al will be gracing us with some fine banjo playing and vocals.
Mike will be bringing piano interpretations to the group that span a wide diversity of styles.
Len is an original from the Desperation Jazz Band that plied their Dixieland performances up and down the coast. He will keep a tap in your foot and a smile on your face.