A local jazz trio known as the Jivin’ Belles is reviving the sounds of the big-band era with ’40s-inspired evening of holiday classics.
Of course, a true big band is difficult to dig up these days, but the Belles have rounded up four musicians to back tunes inspired by the legendary Andrews Sisters—a prevalent influence in their own music and vocal style defined by tight three-part harmonies.
“We’re doing our own arrangements that are inspired by either the Andrews Sisters or Puppini Sisters, which are a group inspired by the Andrews Sisters from the United Kingdom,” says Kate Blechinger, who attends the MacEwan University jazz program along with bandmates Emily Guthrie and Mallory Chipman. “We’re basing our arrangements off of those and then a mix of a capella and band accompaniment with those tight, three-part harmonies and kind of winter, holiday and some Christmas music. We’ve tried to keep it broad because we want people of all holiday designations to come.”
However, the evening isn’t just a night to reminisce and perhaps do a little swing dancing—which is greatly encouraged by the Belles. The event is a fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society, with 100 percent of ticket sales being donated to the organization along with 50 cents from each drink purchased at the bar. The goal is to raise $1000, but the Belles hope to surpass that.
“I rescued some of my pets from the Humane Society or shelters and I just really think they do great services for the animals themselves,” Blechinger notes. “They’ve housed animals in the Humane Society for up to eight months fully supporting them, and they put on a program about animal and pet ownership—how to be a good pet owner. They investigate animal abuse claims and stuff like that, so they really are a crucial organization that we have in Edmonton.”
“I think a lot of people will get animals as gifts and I think it’s important to understand what that means,” Guthrie adds. “It’s a big responsibility and it’s a living creature that you have to take care of, so it’s an important time for people to remember that.”
Sun, Dec 15 (7 pm)
Sawmill Banquet Centre, $15 – $20 (tickets at Blackbyrd Myoozik or through firstname.lastname@example.org)