The Salmon Arm Armenians will be rocking Song Sparrow Hall on May 28 for the Celebrate Shuswap Live concert series. (Salmon Armenians/Facebook photo)

The Salmon Arm Armenians will be rocking Song Sparrow Hall on May 28 for the Celebrate Shuswap Live concert series. (Salmon Armenians/Facebook photo)

Ring in the return of live music with Celebrate Shuswap Live concert series

Salmon Armenians one of the acts scheduled to perform

For three nights in May, Shuswap residents will have an opportunity to gather in celebration of the local music community.

Between May 19 to May 28, Acoustic Avenue Music will be bringing local musicians to the Song Sparrow Hall stage in Salmon Arm for a Celebrate Shuswap Live series of concerts.

The series is an extension of performances that took place at Song Sparrow Hall in 2021 and were filmed for a documentary titled Celebrate Shuswap. The documentary was a way of showcasing musicians from the region who were unable to perform live due to the ongoing pandemic.

“In March 2020, when the pandemic was declared, it resulted in all the pieces of the music and entertainment industry as we knew it coming to an abrupt halt,” explained Acoustic Avenue’s Ted Crouch in a media release.

“Over a two-year period, musicians, engineers, technicians and media waited to return to work as the world tried to find different options to share their music for audiences that could not gather in traditional ways. The music did not die but it certainly took a forced hiatus.”

With the removal of pandemic restrictions and the return of live music, the upcoming Celebrate Shuswap series brings musicians and audiences together at Song Sparrow Hall.

Read more: Upcoming documentary celebrates Shuswap music scene, past and present

Read more: Live music returning to Salmon Arm’s Song Sparrow Hall

On Thursday, May 19, jazz comes alive in the 235-person capacity venue with a double-bill concert featuring two emerging jazz bands: Jake McIntyre-Paul and his six-piece ensemble, and the jazz-fusion of power-trio Mozi Bones.

McIntyre Paul, a bassist and composer based in Salmon Arm, graduated from Salmon Arm Secondary in 2014 before pursuing jazz studies at Capilano University. As a working bassist, McIntyre-Paul performed and toured with country artist Jesse Mast, jazz trio Ptriodactyl, and performed with jazz artists Karin Plato, Donnie Clark, Bob Rogers and Sandy Cameron, among others.

Based in the Interior, Mozi Bones is an emerging trio that pushes the boundaries of modern music while blending genres ranging from Afrobeat to jazz, and psychedelic rock to Latin. The trio’s original sound pulls listeners into driving grooves and soaring melodies.

“The players share a deep commitment to a warm and intimate sound,” said Crouch of the trio that is preparing to release its debut album this year.

Mozi Bones was featured in the Celebrate Shuswap documentary. The trio was also featured in the 2021 Wednesday on the Wharf live sessions album.

Continuing the series on Friday, May 27, the Canoe Rockers pick up the momentum with a night of dancing to some rocking blues tunes.

With their funky material ranging from rock’s beginnings to today’s alternative hits, as well as originals, the Canoe Rockers are a danceable five-piece band voted People’s Choice of the 2021 Wharf Sessions in Salmon Arm. Three band members come from the venerable Blind Bay Blues Band. The Canoe Rockers bring to the stage years of experience working with many terrific Canadian artists.

Celebrate Shuswap Live is pulling out all the stops for the finale on Saturday, May 28, with Shuswap musical favourites the Salmon Armenians, who’ll be serving up an energetic evening of dancing to some high-powered rhythm and blues.

“The Salmon Armenians have been rocking the house since their 1996 Salmon Arm ROOTSandBLUES Festival debut,” said Crouch.

Voted Best Blues Band in the 2007 Okanagan Music Awards, the Armenians have racked up an impressive musical resume that includes 24 sellout shows with the Vernon Jazz Society, and six appearances at ROOTSandBLUES.

“Stoked and ready to hit the stage at Song Sparrow Hall, this high-powered roots and blues band will debut new material along with fan favourites so you can dance, dance, dance the night away,” said Crouch. “Celebrate Shuswap Live is a celebration for everyone. And everyone is invited to be part of the party.”

Tickets for each performance are available online at
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