Canadian Big Band Celebration Weekend – Kicking Off Friday


The 2022 Canadian Big Band Celebration kicked off the weekend on Friday with an evening of blues, jazz, dinner music and big band sound.

In smaller venues, it was the background music for “dinner”. At Ristorante Rosina in Port Elgin, pianist John McClelland entertained with musical standards while in Southampton, James Addis was on keyboards at Walker House and Robin Rich from Durham performed his brand of standards at Elk & Finch Bistro.

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In Port Elgin, the crowds were strong when the groups started at 7 p.m. At Queen’s Bar & Grill, the Noodle Factory Jazz Project always leaves its mark on the musical genre of jazz during the celebration weekend. The Port Elgin Legion was all about the blues with the Joint Chiefs of Soul and thanks to the weatherman everyone sat down and listened to the Dunning and Pantlin Blues Machine perform on the terrace of the Wismer House.

At 9 p.m., the Port Elgin Legion was the place to dance with the Southampton Jazz Club, and they danced.

While the Legion was filled with those who wanted to dance, others were once again on the terrace of the Wismer House, where Blackburn’s name became part of the summer music with the legendary Bobby Dean Blackburn. On Friday however, it was ‘Blackburn’ who brought their unique R&D sound to the celebration weekend. The Juno-nominated, multi-award winning band created their own unique sound with a blend of Blues, R&B, Funk and Soul.

The band consists of three Blackburn brothers, Duane, Brooke and Cory with Andrew Stewart on bass.

Friday night kicking off the Canadian Big Band Celebration Weekend was just the beginning as the weekend music continues on Saturday.

The music begins at 2 p.m. at the UNIFOR Center (formerly the CAW Center) in Port Elgin with the sounds of big band dance music continuing throughout the afternoon. Then, at 8:00 p.m., it’s the BIG dance event with the ever-popular Lulu’s Band and Men in Black Brassline.

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For those who love jazz and blues, the music continues on Saturday nights at the Port Elgin Legion site with one of the best dance floors in the area and the perfect way to end a weekend celebrating the music.

At 7 p.m. on Roberta Hunt Threesome plays his unique style of New Orleans jazz and blues then, at 9 p.m., it’s two-time Juno award winner and seven-time Maple Blues award winner, the Kyzer’s Jack Group.


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