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Peerless series to showcase five artists



Jane Mortifee, Margo, Jim Byrnes, Angela Kelman and LessisMore

What: Peerless Music Spring Adult Contemporary Series

Where: Maurice Young Millennium Place

When: Feb. 16-March 16, 2002

Jane Mortifee, Jim Byrnes, Margo, LessisMore and Angela Kelman are some of the Peerless Music artists the local record company is presenting during a series of Whistler concerts in the new year.

Peerless Music President Fred Xavier this week announced a five-concert music series in Whistler, at Maurice Young Millennium Place Feb. 16 through March 16, 2002.

Lori McCombe, director of artists and repertoire, says the concert series is an opportunity to highlight the best of Vancouver backup musicians, including Steve Hilliam, saxophonist for LesisMore, who also plays for Colin James.

"Al walker was in Holland, the Powder Blues played the Monterey Jazz Fest in Switzerland a few years ago, so our musicians have played internationally as well," adds McCombe.

Also in the lineup of adult contemporary music, on Feb. 16, is Angela Kelman, a member of trio Farmer’s Daughter, who performs her bossa nova material as well as ’70s rhythm and blues.

Next comes bluesman and actor Jim Byrnes on Feb. 23, performing traditional jazz and blues songs.

March 2, LesisMore featuring Leslie Harris play from their second album of urban jazz and blues.

Working with Peerless happened by accident for sultry diva Margo, who sings on March 9.

"I’m a really sports-minded person, so Whistler should be great," says Margo. She hooked up with Peerless for a new album.

"(The album) was really a case of great timing. I wasn’t looking for a record deal and was performing a lot in Toronto. But I connected with Fred, and now when a song comes to me I’ll sometimes sing part of it into the answering machines if he’s not in – my songs just come to me whole," she says.

March 16, actress and singer Jane Mortifee performs her captivating magic at what will be a reunion of sorts.

"I used to play with a bunch of bands at Rohans," says singer and actress Mortifee. "Fred and I (continued to connect over the next 20 years), and we said let’s do something together. I’m recording an album with Peerless that will be mostly R&B this spring. I’m delighted to sing at this concert, and I used to sing with musicians like Jim Byrnes at the old Rohans club as well.

"In concert, I usually do a more electric selection that’s eclectic, and I’ll do a combination of bluesy stuff at the concert in March," adds Mortifee.

Her credits include musicals A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, and the David Foster music specials.

Kibwe, who recently opened the Kibwe Foundation, will record the Peerless concert series using the ScenaWave and Protools system. The studio, also based at Millennium Place, is connected by a cable to the concert hall, so he can work downstairs as the concert progresses.

Peerless promotes this series as adult contemporary listening, but it includes blues and some rock ’n’ roll.

"You can play the blues whether you’re old or young, look at Johnny Lange or B.B. King, adds McCombe.

Peerless Music established offices this past month in Whistler. Based in Emerald Estates, they continue to develop and promote a roster of musicians through Internet promotion.

Tickets are $25 for each show and are now on sale. A Peerless Present Seasons Pass is $100. For more information call Peerless Music at 604-905-4460 or Millennium Place Box office at 604-935-8410.

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