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Oldies but goodies



Megan Fanning Trio revives jazz standards

Who: Megan Fanning Trio

What: Whistler Jazz and Blues Festival

Where: Cinnamon Bear Bar, June 15, 3 p.m.

Where: Village Square, June 16, 4 p.m.

From the stage of the Pan Pacific Hotel to Delta Whistler Resort’s, The Megan Fanning Trio brings you "smoky jazz" from their debut album, Wee Small Hours .

"I’ve always had a passion for jazz, and I got used to performing in a small venue first," says Fanning, one of the performers at this year’s Whistler Jazz and Blues Festival.

Singing once a week with another musician in a quiet dinner café gave her the experience she needed to start touring.

"My husband said ‘you know we’re used to living on one income, and you love to sing, so let’s give it a try.’"

While she "had been performing in an amateur way for a long time," Fanning returned to music full time three years ago, after raising her two sons, 10 and 12. Singing part time helped her give it a go.

Born in Sydney, Fanning moved to Vancouver as a young child, where she sang in the school choir. Vancouver R&B troupe The Dynamics was her first professional gig, in 1990, followed by a variety of solo gigs singing jazz and pop with bookings at venues like Vancouver Yacht Charters and the Pan Pacific.

Her new, 12-song CD includes one blues tune from Robin Ford, called Start It Up, as well as Hallelujah, by Ray Charles, and In The Wee Small Hours, by Hillard and Mann. All are hits from the ever-popular "old standards" collection.

"The songs are standards for a reason. They’re long lasting songs with a lot of freedom in them, and you can choose to stick closely or go further with it," adds Fanning, who says while she tends to stick closer to the straight line of the melody, some performers may experiment and scat with the sound.

Fanning hired an Emily Carr student to help design the CD cover, liner notes, and graphics. She says "it was more work than I imagined," but enjoyed the experience of her first production. She has plans to produce another.

The Megan Fanning trio also features musician Michael Guild, a regular performer at the Vancouver Jazz Festival with musicians Dal Richards and Mitzi Gaynor, and Tim Stacey, who has performed with among others Dame Vera Lynn.

"Nothing beats getting out there and doing it," adds Fanning.