The smooth voiced, slow tempo of the jazz genre could be considered an almost perfect medium in which to deliver songs about love and romance.
Which is why promoter Ray Nyuli and his six-piece jazz combo Mo Jazz will take the stage at St. Andrews on the Square Friday night for a slightly belated celebration of that testament to romance — Valentine’s Day.
If Nyuli, the group’s guitarist, had his way, Mo Jazz would have performed on Valentine’s Day as well. But the holiday had other plans.
“It was tough to find a room,” said Nyuli, who also runs Entertainment Management Associates. “I would have loved to do concerts on Thursday and Friday.”
But Nyuli, bassist Myron Rosvick, drummer Buddy Rogers, pianist Grant Porter, Graham Kay on tenor sax and Jesse Brauner on alto sax promise their show will keep love in the air.
An instrumental group, Mo Jazz will recruit a singer for special occasions. An Evening of Love Songs is special enough that Nyuli and company have arranged two.
Joey Jack, formerly of the popular local band The Sleeveless Tease, brings his pop background to the performance. Nyuli said Jack puts a jazzy spin on The Doors’ Light My Fire and sings traditional jazz pieces like It Had To Be You.
Joining Jack is Jeanne Rodrigue, who won first place in the 2009 Canadian Senior Star competition. Nyuli said she can sing anything from choir to musical theatre, and will bring her own flair to Cheek to Cheek and The Look of Love.
“We’ll have fun with the songs. Some swing, some Latin music, some pop,” he said. “Jazz is really nice for love songs. There’s so many to choose from as well.”
Nyuli, has enjoyed playing music since his high school band days in Flin Flon, Man. He said there was an English teacher right out of university who had long hair, played guitar and drove a Camaro.
“He was a real cool dude,” he said.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the music begins an hour later. Tickets are $23 at Kamloops Live! Box Office, www.kamloopslive.com.
Meanwhile, An Evening of Love Songs isn’t the only performance Entertainment Management has on deck Friday night. Audiences can enjoy a Francophone concert and dance with La ligue du bonheur at the Ramada Inn, 555 Columbia St., starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $12 for youth and available through Kamloops Live! Box Office.
An optional buffet dinner begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $28.