Anna Jacyszyn is ready to bring fun back to the jazz genre.
“I’ve had audience members say I don’t like jazz, but I like your jazz,” said Jacyszyn, who is performing at the Dream Café on Saturday with the Jazz Café Quartet. “We have this group of accomplished musicians who are fearless, knowledgeable, have a lot of experience combined with a cheeky storytelling singer who enjoys her job and ensures the audience enjoys their time too.”
The quartet includes Jacyszyn on vocals, Bernie Addington on double bass and bow, Neville Bowman on piano and vocals and Scott Gamble on drums.
They create a multi-award winning combination of internationally respected musicians who are all now based in Kelowna.
Each member is constantly honing their craft and sharpening their chops through various side projects.
The years of experience behind them bring inspirational original arrangements of classic jazz songs. Jacyszyn said their improvised solos, stylistic rhythms and the life they inject into every song is a “true representation of how much fun jazz music is supposed to be like.”
“The band has taught me so much on how to approach a song then break all the rules. We take classics and put our own spin on it to keep things fresh. They say the difference between classical and jazz is they work towards perfecting each note and we work really hard at learning the essence of what makes the song so great then putting our own stink on it,” she said.
To say Jacyszyn has had a lush life full of adventure would be an understatement. She spent years in living and working in Asia, including three in Shanghai, and returned home to family in Kelowna with dreams of building a speakeasy-style jazz club. The experience of working and living abroad as a musician has followed her.
“I was always considered a novice in the jazz genre, but in China all musicians from western countries who were looking for gigs were thrown into the same pool. I worked so hard there expanding my knowledge in music and my confidence level was 100 per cent up because I had the balls to take the best musicians and work with them and now the quartet is quite a strong team,” said Jacyszyn.
Jacyszyn is the founder of the Jazz Café in Kelowna, which has presented five sold out seasons at the monthly membership club/speakeasy.
The showcase, hosted each month by Jacyszyn, was held at the Black Box in Kelowna. Performing as the house band helped grow the quartet’s reputation for quality musicianship. Now they are taking a sabbatical so Jacyszyn and the quartet can pursue other avenues and work on a new album.
While some of the quartet have performed at the Dream Café in Penticton before, Jacyszyn makes her debut at the music house this weekend.
“The members and guests who made up the audience at the Jazz Café were very respectful and although we had café-style seating plan, the crowd was silent in-order for the performance on stage to come alive to create those subtle nuances that come through creative jazz musicians. This respect for the performer is what Dream Café also demands and it’s a treat to get this chance,” said Jacyszyn.
The singer said she approaches performing like reading a good book, she wants the audience gripped to every twist and turn.
“We have catered our setlist specifically for the evening to make sure the Dream Café audience feels special. We will start off bringing sensuality and heat then something thought provoking followed by extremely hard jazz pieces. Jazz lovers who know their music will say, ‘Wow,’” Jacyszyn said.
The Jazz Café Quartet perform at the Dream Café on Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $18 and can be reserved at www.thedreamcafe.ca, by phone at 250-490-9012 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.