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Pemberton launches arts series this weekend

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SwingSoniq is a trio from Winnipeg who play contemporary swing-jazz. Greg Leskiw's (formerly of the Guess Who) gritty voice reminds me of the bourbonish Louisiana, zydeco sound, but their style is quite different. Joined by Greg Lowe on lead guitar and Daniel Koulack on the upright bass they celebrate the sounds of the ’30s and ’40s along with their own compositions. SwingSoniq draws their inspiration from the Hot Club of France and gypsy guitar players with a vibrant and charming result. Their at St. David’s Sunday, Nov. 18.

The Juggernaut Jug Band... where to be begin? There is almost too much to say about this crazy bunch. Well, they really are a jug band and they come from Kentucky. They sport crazy names – the Amazing Mr. Fish, Big Daddy, World Wide Webb and Roscoe Goose – they play crazy instruments – the running nose flute, the walking and washtub bass, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, didly'bo, washboard, trumpet, cans, blues harp etc. Remember Lydia the Tattooed Lady and Minnie the Mooch – classics that everyone should know? I'd never heard anyone but Groucho Marx singing the former, although Minnie the Mooch appears on the occasional jazz album, and was thrilled to find a group who still knew songs from that era. Great fun for the family for a bit of a hair let down before Christmas. In Pemberton on Dec. 8 and Whistler Dec. 9 at Millennium Place.

Should you bring the children? Well the last one is more of a family occasion, although I wouldn't recommend them for the very young. If you have children who really enjoy music that would be fine for SwingSoniq, but it is not aimed specifically at a younger age group. The same applies to the play. If you have children who listen to more sophisticated comedy, like reading and stories and are over 8 or 9 this may appeal to them.

Will this affect the Whistler Arts Council? I don't think so. A small core of die hard culturevultures used to trip down from Pemberton to Whistler and I am sure they will continue to do so for the rest of the arts council's very exciting winter season.

I will be trying to arrange performances that are complementary to Whistler rather than the self same piece, but, I imagine, every now and again we may run into the same performer, but the intent is to complement. As some Whistler friends said to me the other day, "We love to go to the arts council performances. We always see people we haven't seen for ages and it is as much a fun social event as it is a good performance."

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