Simpson and Weekes at the Union Street Grill and Grotto

1920s jazz, blues and ragtime delivered up with a good helping of haunting folk

Grant Simpson will be performing with singer-songwriter Kate Weekes at the Union Street Grill Saturday and Sunday.

From the Yukon, Grant Simpson is in the midst of one of the most interesting phases of his 35 year career as a musician, vaudevillian, guitarist, singer, songwriter and pianist – specializing in the style that ruled the 1920’s Jazz Age – Stride Piano.  In the past year alone, Simpson has played in Nanjing, China, Iqaluit, Yellow Knife, Dawson City, Dawson Creek, Ottawa, Kemptville, Perth, Port Alberni, Prince Rupert, Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Kamloops, Kelowna and dozens of other places throughout Canada.  He has performed on VIA Rail across the country several times, and has taken his music to Korea, Caribbean Islands, Mexico, the U.S. and the Bahamas.

Simpson has deep roots on Vancouver Island.  His great-great grandfather, Adam Grant Horne was an explorer for the Hudson’s Bay Company and made the trek from Qualicum to Port Alberni on foot in the mid-1800s.   As a result of this journey Horne Lake was named after him.  Another great-grandfather, Fredrick Brown was the first Post Master at the Union Bay Post Office and his grandmother Edythe Hicks was the first Post Mistress of the same place.  His mother (who still lives in Nanaimo) was raised in the Post Office.  One of Simpson’s songs “The Old Post Office” captures the story.

In 1980 Simpson was recruited into the cast of the world famous Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue in the Yukon and thus began the vaudevillian aspect to his career – initially as the professor of the 88s in the notorious Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Casino in Dawson City, then as the musical director of the Frantic Follies Vaudeville Show in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Simpson continues to perform in the Frantic Follies Vaudeville Revue during the summer months in roles ranging from Emcee, Comedic Actor, Lead Musical Saw Conductor, Lead Banjoist and janitor.  He spends his winters touring his unique blend of vintage music and humor as a featured performer at festivals, concerts, pubs, cafes and theatres.  .

All this leads to a full and busy musical life, and one that brings him to Courtenay  for two performances at the Union Street Grill and Grotto.

Simpson will be performing with the wonderful Ontario singer-songwriter Kate Weekes.  The two have toured extensively over the past seven years and offer a menu of quirky swing tunes with interesting lyrics.  Weekes has been touring her new CD “Frost on Black Fur” throughout Canada.

Simpson and Weekes will be at the Union Street Grill and Grotto for two performances:

January 3 and 4, from 6– 9 p.m.    (no cover – PWYC by donation)


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley playgrounds, outdoor fitness stations now open

School District 71 and Comox Valley local governments have reopened outdoor playgrounds… Continue reading

City of Courtenay outlines changes to property tax payment options due to COVID-19

Courtenay property tax notices were mailed on May 27-28, and will be… Continue reading

Comox Museum exhibits available for online viewing

Visit all the Comox Museum exhibits from your home, on its website

Classes in Comox Valley to look a little different in June

School district senior staff has been busy prepping for re-opening

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read