For those busting at the seams with the Christmas spirit or those still in search of it, look no further than the Dream Cafe this Friday night when the Four Ladies of the Company B Jazz Band come to town.
No stranger to the Dream Cafe, this time the Vancouver-based quartet will bring the joy by playing a range of classic Christmas songs and even a new Christmas tune written by group member Shannon Scott.
“It’s great to bring some of our original music into the mix. It’s such a new song that it doesn’t even have a name yet,” she said with a laugh.
“Our sound definitely lends itself perfectly to Christmas music,” she added. “There’s No Grinches or Scrooges in the group. We all enjoy Christmas.”
Throughout the evening the audience will be able to sing along with some of the classic Christmas tunes done by Bing Crosby or The Andrews Sisters.
They’ll also hear lesser known hits like Santa Claus Blues and What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve.
“We do a quirky arrangement for I’ll Be Home for Christmas that I think the audience will really like and What Are You Doing for New Year’s Eve, I like that one, it’s kind of Christmas neutral,” she said.
Scott said the night wouldn’t be complete without turning it into an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.
“I love that this has turned into something people do,” she said. “I have two ugly Christmas sweater vests. I might pick up a couple. We’ll see how that plays out. We don’t want to be too much competition.”
To add to the festive feel there’s sure to be a group of swing dancers set to dance the night away.
“There’s a really strong swing dance community, not just in Vancouver, all over the the world. No matter where we have a gig a half dozen to a dozen dancers seem to come out. They’re amazing to watch. They really inspire us on stage.”
Christmas holds a warm spot for the group which celebrated its 10th year together in 2017.
For at least the last five years Scott along with fellow Company B women Jennifer Hodge, Juhli Conlinn and Bonnie Northgraves have performed at the CBC Open House and Food Drive. The event broadcasts live and raises funds and food for those in need.
“It’s a pleasure to be involved each year and help in the ways we can,” she said.
Several years ago they toured with The Christmas Road Show Special, headlined by Canadian Tenors member Ken Lavigne. And over the years they’ve also joined the lineup of musical talent performing at holiday festivities including Vancouver Christmas Market and the Robson ice rink’s 12 Days of Christmas.
The women won’t be home for Christmas this year, they’ll be performing in Whistler on Dec. 24 and 25.
“We won’t be home but we say at least we’ll be together. We’re very close.”
The Ladies of the Company B are a breakout from the larger ensemble called the Company B Jazz Band.
The members of the Company B met a decade ago while studying Jazz Studies at Capilano University.
The group just released a new six-tune EP called the Bee Sides at the end of November. This is the fifth release for the group.
“We decided to release our songs in smaller chunks. We enjoy this idea of being able to release music more regularly instead of having to wait for a full album to be ready and people don’t have the attention spans.
Bee Sides includes a mix of clever arrangements they’ve perfected over the last 10 years including Bounce Me Brother With a Solid Four, We’re in the Money and on a Slow Boat to China.
Up next for the Ladies of the Company B is a European tour.
Anyone wanting tickets to Friday’s show at the Dream Cafe can buy them online at thedreamcafe.ca. Tickets are $40 for premium and $30 for the wings. Doors open at 6 p.m. show starts at 8 p.m.