If you’re a fan of jazz or big band you may have heard from Paddy Roach recently.
Roach is The Sarnia Community Foundation’s (SCF) special events chairman.
Each year at this time he personally calls about 400 known music lovers and sells tickets the old-fashioned way.
“We find it works very well to get on the phone and call every one of our past supporters,” he says.
If you haven’t had the call, there’s still time to get tickets to Sensational Sunday Sounds featuring the Bluewater Big Band and Juno-nominated singer Heather Bambrick.
Known previously as the CanAm Jazz Jam, the event was co-ordinated the past 18 years by George Delgrosso, a local educator, counselor and musician.
Delgrosso died in February, so this year’s show has been changed up a bit and will be in tribute to him.
CanAm Jazz originally featured musicians from both sides of the border, with an emphasis on jazz.
“Over the years, it became more Can than Am,” says foundation executive director Jane Anema.
“About five years ago, Dr. D. came to us and asked if we would team up with him. Now that he’s no longer with us, we want to keep his concert going.”
Under a new name, Sensational Sunday Sounds will be a combination of pop music, show tunes and jazz.
“We’re looking forward to some great jazz, but also the sounds of Broadway in a tribute to the work George did for our community in developing many musical talents,” said Roach.
The Bluewater Big Band, under the direction of trumpeter Tim Hummel, is making its first appearance at the event.
The band formed 20 years ago when Hummel and seven other high school music teachers initiated a jazz and swing program for students.
Guest performer Heather Bambrick is described as one of Canada’s finest jazz divas.
“Heather is renowned in Canadian jazz circles as a performer, educator and radio host, so we’re particularly pleased that she is able to join us this year,” said Anema.
“Both the band and Heather have a commitment to musical education similar to the dream George brought to the foundation in producing the Can Am series,” added Roach.
“We’re pleased to build on his legacy.”
The late afternoon event is moving to the Dante Club, a slightly larger venue that can accommodate about 200 with room for dancing. Appetizers will be served.
Each year, the event raises $3,000 to $5,000 for the SCF’s arts and community grant fund.
Additionally, two $1,000 scholarships supported by the Zandbergs family will be awarded to students pursuing teaching careers.
The foundation gives out about 30 post-secondary scholarships each year. Its core mission is to build permanent funds to support projects and programs throughout Sarnia-Lambton.
Since its first grant in 1985, SCF has given nearly $5 million back to the community.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Sensational Sunday Sounds
WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 25. 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
WHERE: Dante Club, 1330 London Rd.
TICKETS: $25. Call 519-332-2588 or at the foundation office, 110-560 Exmouth St.