Cariboo Gold Dance Band Enters Mid-Century Revival – Williams Lake Tribune

Cariboo Gold Dance Band, like everyone else, faces the challenge of moving into the “new reality”.

The band have been fortunate enough to resume rehearsals and are working hard to be joined by renowned jazz singer Steve Maddock to present an evening of original arrangements by Frank Sinatra’s “big band” on February 5 at the Gibraltar Room.

Cariboo Gold has a 38 year history based on volunteer musicians in the Williams Lake area.

The face of the band has evolved as a few longtime members have retired or moved away over the past two years, including George White, Bill Crook, Ross McCoubrey, Bill Hyde and David Rusch.

We recently had the pleasure of having Mike Bruce on piano, Matt Grunland on guitar, Eric Grimmish on saxophone, Kevin Easthope on percussion and this season WLSS students Edwin Lee, Austin McAllister and Koen Vogt fill the vacancies.

The result is a mix of ages and experiences that gives the band a whole new level of depth and energy.

The style of big band music, including the swing style that we will be performing on February 5th, is unique and requires significant work to develop as individual members of the band and as well as in a clean, coordinated and hopefully -the, pleasant.

The group’s leader, Murray Hoffman, notes that the skill level has grown to the point that the group now has musical arrangements in their repertoire that were tried and graded years ago due to their level of difficulty.

The hope is to continue to build on this success as more amateur musicians take interest in it.

On February 5, Cariboo Gold will spend the day with Steve Maddock in preparation for our combined performance that same evening.

Kirsten Lyons of Williams Lake will also be featured on the mic.

The band will also play a few instrumentals that will showcase a true big band sound, including some long solos.

Tickets will be available to a restricted, fully vaccinated audience in conjunction with provincial health orders.

Professional audio and video recordings will be made during the performance and a number of songs from the evening will be available on YouTube.

Cariboo Gold hopes to reach regular customers and new audiences who might now be intrigued or just ready to go out and listen to live music.

The event is largely sponsored by a grant funded by the Town of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District through the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society.

The group also received grants from the Community Arts Council Williams Lake for some essential equipment, including a keyboard synthesizer replacing the bass guitar and a few pieces of ancillary percussion equipment.

The group feels extremely fortunate to be part of the diverse and talented artistic and cultural community that exists in the Cariboo.

Doors will open for the event on February 5 at 7 p.m., the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and children, available at The OPEN BOOK.

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