DRUMMER LEN WILKIE (far right) of the Lensmen is part of a new group called Velvet Swing that performs Thursday in a Georgia Straight Jazz Society gig.

Quintet puts ‘ooo’ in smooth

Velvet Swing will return with its unique and new sound to entertain you with a selection of the best tunes of the Great American Songbook.

The Georgia Straight Jazz Society’s 2012-13 season will come to a summer break in a couple of weeks.

Before it does, you still have the opportunity to come down to the Avalanche Bar to listen to great live jazz, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The smoothest jazz in the valley is coming to the Avalanche this Thursday, when Velvet Swing returns with its unique and new sound to entertain you with a selection of the best tunes of the Great American Songbook.

With Brent Hart on piano, Mike Schwartz on saxophones, Len Wilkie on drums, Roger Purdy on bass and Kate Morrisson on vocals this quintet puts the “ooo” in smoooth!

Regular jazz audiences are familiar with the popular work of Brent, Len and Mike, the three founding members of Velvet Swing, and the band is very excited to be joined by Roger Purdy, a bass player who grew up to Gershwin, Miles, and has a love of Broadway musicals.

His deft touch on the bass provides a solid foundation for the rest of the band.

Wonderful vocalist Kate spends a lot of her time in musical theatre, but she’s been persuaded to branch out and let her soaring voice make songs like Skylark, Dream, and In a Sentimental Mood come alive again.

Len Wilkie’s’ Sinatra-like vocal stylings are always a treat to hear since they have long been the hallmark of the original band, and Mike and Brent will also offer up a vocal or two.

The group has selected a wide range of tunes from Blue Bossa to The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers to Duke’s Place, so that Mike and Brent can pass out some really tasty improvisations.

Easy going jazz! Perfect for a relaxed summer evening’s entertainment. If you haven’t sampled live jazz in our new Eighth Street location, come on down and discover what so many people reckon is the best way to enjoy Thursday evenings, and kickstart an early weekend.

For more information about the Jazz Society and its goals, visit www.georgiastaightjazz.com or see it on Facebook.

The season closer will be held July 4. The new performance year will commence Sept. 12, with a mix of familiar and new acts over a 40-week period.

So much good jazz — but best of all — it’s live.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society

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