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French curve



The musical faces of Lily Frost

WHO: Opel (featuring Lily Frost)

WHERE: Garibaldi Lift Co.

WHEN: Every Sunday and Monday

"I never have day jobs per se, I always find a way to make a living by playing live gigs."

And with a blossoming solo career and three side projects, Lily Frost seems to have no shortage of gigs to keep her busy.

Frost has been a regular in Whistler for a number of years with a number of bands. Currently she can be seen and heard Sundays and Mondays at the GLC with Opel.

Frost began her musical adventure in Egypt, where at the age of 19 she found herself singing on pleasure boats on the Nile River. Soon after, she returned home to Canada to study jazz vocals at Concordia University. The bilingual community of Montreal would help shape Frost’s musical path.

"I didn’t want to stay in residence (at university). I moved right downtown Montreal and spent time with French people and got interested in the French end of things. I just threw myself into it. I just had this hunger for foreign culture."

During these schooling years Frost met up with The Minstrels. This collaboration soon became known as The Colorifics. With a "’60s surf, jazz fusion" the band found great acceptance on the swing scene and was close to signing a contract with Atlantic Records.

"I decided to give my resignation though," says Frost, "I realized I didn’t want to sign up for a life of just one style of music."

The Colorifics continued on for a few years, without the lead vocals of Frost, and only recently disbanded.

Frost found an outlet for her French interests in her second project, Mimosa. This four-piece band offers Frost the opportunity to work with a close friend, Anna Lumiere, and to experiment with French ’60s organ music.

"There’s a woman by the name France Gaul who is the daughter of a famous composer in France and she did several albums that are in that vein. So it’s based on that concept but we write our own songs. I also studied in France when I was 16 and I guess that’s where my interest in French culture started."

Mimosa started as the songwriting duo of Frost and Lumiere, who plays left handed bass and organ. Jamie Amerika (trumpet) and John Raham (drums) were recruited to complete the unique, funky quartet.

"Mimosa though is still a side project," stresses Frost. The band released a full length CD, Bucolique , in 2000 but has stuck to doing gigs just on the West Coast, including a run as regulars at the GLC. This allows Frost enough time to continue working on her solo career. Mimosa has taken a temporary hiatus as Lumiere prepares to bring a new life into the world, but band members have set their sights overseas for later this year. Frost hasn’t confirmed whether she’ll travel with Mimosa to France, citing her solo efforts as her priority.