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cbbcA Saturday afternoon dance party at the 2016 Canadian Big Band Celebration. Photo by Kerry Jarvis

The 23rd annual Canadian Big Band Celebration will soon be on our weekend doorstep, as the annual festival rolls out on September 15, 16, and 17.

The celebration will feature a stellar weekend of top musical entertainment with groups and performers from near and far.

Friday Night Jazz

Beginning at 7 p.m. and running to 12 a.m. the SS Trolley and another shuttle bus will be available to all who purchase a $20 Passport to the “Friday Night Jazz” event.

Port Elgin Jazz Hotspots are the Queen’s Bar & Grill with Noodle Factory, a 10 piece local band with an eclectic mix of original takes on jazz standards, rock and some R&B.

Dance to the ever popular six piece Howlin’ Dog Vintage Jazz Band at the Royal Canadian Legion.

Outstanding Toronto entertainer and Juno Award winning pianist/vocalist Tyler Yarema will be performing a mix of jazz and blues at Chester’s Bar & Grill to the delight of his many local followers.

The Wismer House has Bobby Dean Blackburn and Friends with R&B from the ’50s and ’60s.

Southampton Jazz Hotspots include the Southampton Town Hall where between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. will see a one hour musical drama depict memories of dance halls produced by Performing Arts of Saugeen Shores.

Duffy’s Fish and Chips has the James Addis Trio, a wonderful trio performing a wide array of jazz styles and standards.

The Walker House will be presenting the New Orleans Jazz and Blues stylings of the popular pianist/vocalist Roberta Hunt and her Trio.

Across the street at the Southampton Legion is jazz pianist/vocalist Mike Lewis and his quartet, an engaging entertainer who will be performing jazz standards great for dancing.

Vocalist Mary Catherine Pazzano and her quartet, who have just finished recording an album, will be performing at a new venue for the festival this year, the Southampton Golf and Country Club (formerly Chippewa).

Friday Night Jazz Parking and Shuttle Pick Up

Port Elgin

1. One time only-pick up at former Little’s Furniture at 7 p.m. will return at end of night by request
2. CIBC, Goderich St and Green St
3. Cathy’s Flowers, Goderich St and Mill St


4. Southampton Post Office
5. Southampton Golf and Country Club

Saturday’s Big Event Afternoon Show

Come out to the UNIFOR Main Assembly Hall for Saturday’s big dance party. The afternoon show launches the amazing ‘50s to ‘80s dance repertoire performed by The Lulu’s Band with special appearance by guest Ian Thomas who has written many hit songs including international sensation, “Painted Ladies.”

Thomas’ talent doesn’t stop at singing, as he’s also a very humorous entertainer. Dance to the songs of Ian Thomas, Bill Haley, Elvis, Del Shannon, Smoky Robinson, Santana, Neil Diamond, Beach Boys and of course, The Beatles. The show runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $20

Saturday’s Big Event Evening Show

Continuing at UNIFOR Main Assembjly Hall, Saturday’s big evening dance party features the Canadian Big Band, a 17 piece professional big band performing some of the world’s best big band dance repertoire from the ’40s through to the present day.

Special guest vocalists of the Canadian Big Band are Heather Bambrick and Ethan Salmon. Bambrick’s engaging stage presence has propelled her to the forefront of vocal jazz in Canada and beyond. Also a respected educator and broadcaster, she is a favourite of listeners as a long-time host on Toronto’s JAZZ-FM.

Salmon, born and raised in Saugeen Shores and moving to Toronto to begin a singing career, will croon his way through a number of popular big band arrangements from the book of Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka and Michael Buble. The show runs from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. Admission is $30

Sunday Jazz Brunch

After all the dancing the Sunday Jazz Brunch in the UNIFOR Dining Room is always a cornucopia of delectable pleasures prepared by Executive Chef Paul Johnston. Jazz pianist Robin Rich will perform a wide variety of easy listening jazz to accompany the feast. Doors open at 11 a.m. Admission is $40.

Canada 150 Concert Legacy Project

The UNIFOR Main Assembly Hall will be transformed from a Dance Hall to a Concert Hall for the final event of the weekend. Sunday’s Canada 150 Concert will get underway at 2 p.m. and feature the Canadian Big Band and the Chantry Singers choir, each performing a short program of Canadian music.

The grand finale will feature a work commissioned by the two groups “Canadian Folk Medley” and arranged by Juno Award winning composer/arranger John MacLeod. The "Canadian Folk Medley" includes four First Nations folk songs and six English-French Canadian folk songs.

After this debut the music and recording will be made available to all high school and community bands and choirs across Canada through the Canadian Music Centre. Doors open at 1:30 and the concert runs from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Admission $20.

For more information and tickets please contact the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce, 519-832-2332 or visit or on Facebook.