Jazz quartet ready to bring swing to Dream Café

The Company B Jazz Band is coming to the Dream Café in their all-female, quartet form June 9.

The Dream Café is going to be running on jazz time June 9 when the Company B Jazz Band comes to Penticton.

The group of six formed at the end of their collegiate years after completing the jazz program at Capilano University in 2007.

They booked a gig about a month after deciding to play as a group. It was just what they needed to get the ball rolling.

“That kicked our butts to get enough repertoire together for a set,” said Company B vocalist Shannon Scott.

Almost 10 years later the group is still rocking five of the original members, one went on to pursue a medical degree, and the band members are all involved in different musical projects. The group takes different shapes depending on the performance.

The band has diverse and varied musical backgrounds bringing them together in the realm of jazz.

“Jazz gives you the greatest toolkit for working in whatever kind of music you’d like to,” Scott said.

The Dream Café show will feature the all-female quartet. In the four-person incarnation of the band, guitar is replaced by ukulele and aside from that the set is pretty much the same, Scott said, featuring upright bass and an interesting hybrid kazoo with a trumpet mute and of course percussion.

“We all come from different backgrounds and play in different bands. It’s hard to say that we have any one inspiration because we all play as many different kinds of music we can get our hands on,” Scott said.

She described a Company B show as entertaining, cheerful and upbeat.

“It’s old jazz and even if the subject matter is kind of dark it was always performed with cheerfulness in a way,” Scott said.  “At the time the music was always played with such energy and it’s just natural in the style. We have fun on stage, we have our inside jokes that we try to share with the audience and share little stories for the songs.”

The band plays mostly in B.C. but have been as far as China, where they played for a week last fall, as well as New Orleans and all over Canada.

The traditional jazz scene in B.C. is thriving right now, Scott said.

“It’s a small scene, but really strong and there’s a lot of call for it. It’s sort of in conjunction with the swing dancing scene which is also really, really big here,” Scott said.

As to why has it become so popular recently, Scott had a simple answer.

“It’s fun. It’s fundamentally always fun,” Scott said.

The group has been together for so long that it doesn’t seem like a job or commitment to Scott anymore.

“It’s just part of our life,” Scott laughed. “It’s not anything that’s a side project. It’s part of who we are, we’re a family. It’s comforting and fun and we keep it fresh adding new material, it’s just … part of life,” Scott said.

The group is well over halfway into recording their fourth album. One that doesn’t yet have an official title, though Scott laughed that some of the working titles are “absolutely ridiculous, and probably shouldn’t go in any newspapers.”

The album is planned for a fall release and will feature some original tunes.

Tickets are $20 and available by calling the Dream Café at 250-490-9012.