Jazz Out West brought Music in the Park to a close with style on Thursday August 22 at the historic Oliver Visitor Centre.. The three handsome gents (Jim Wyse on keyboard, Bob Larratt on bass, and Bob Park on drums), were fronted by the lovely and sparkling Iris Larratt on vocals.
Her smoky contralto reached low for some warm honeyed tones, and Iris handled the mic like a pro to modulate the notes in her upper register. Iris is particularly gifted at connecting with the audience, peppering some of her light-hearted numbers with a husky laugh that made the crowd laugh along with her. Her eye contact with each person gave special meaning to her songs.
Jim Wyse shared some banter with Iris, and introduced a few of the numbers. He was all concentration though when tickling the keys. Bob Larratt looked to be having a great time on upright bass, swaying and smiling. And a peak-capped Bob Park was a real cool cat on drums, shrugging his shoulders in time to his beat. Just need some shades to complete the jazzman look!
The band performed a lunar theme for the first half of the program in celebration of the full moon: Moon Dance, Fly Me to the Moon, No Moon at All, and Paper Moon, among others.
Jazz Out West opened the second half with their signature theme song and performed some crowd pleasers such as the rousing Come to the Caberet as well as many soulful jazz ballads, crooned with Iris’ trademark rivetting interpretations of the lyrics, wringing every emotion out with her expressive face, hands and voice.
The seven Music in the Park concerts have been well-attended by some of our most appreciative audiences to date, with generous donations landing this arts council programme securely in the black. Your support means we can continue .bringing the local talent you love and spicing things up with new performers each year.
The Oliver Community Arts Council is grateful for their corporate sponsor Valley First Credit Union, and
their regular venue at the Oliver Visitor Centre (Oliver Tourism Association) and is appreciative of the collaboration with Oliver Lioness Club on refreshments and Oliver Parks and Recreation and Oliver Kiwanis for the bandshell use for the Penticton Concert Band.
Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson