Trombonist RJ Satchithananthan, back row, left to right, drummer Lowell Whitty, tuba player Tom Richards, and saxophonist Paul Metcalfe, front left, and trumpeter John Pittman will appear as the Heavyweights Brass Band at the Queen’s in Nanaimo for a show on June 27. (Photo by Diana Piruzevska)

Trombonist RJ Satchithananthan, back row, left to right, drummer Lowell Whitty, tuba player Tom Richards, and saxophonist Paul Metcalfe, front left, and trumpeter John Pittman will appear as the Heavyweights Brass Band at the Queen’s in Nanaimo for a show on June 27. (Photo by Diana Piruzevska)

New Orleans-inspired brass band coming to Nanaimo

Heavyweights Brass Band play at the Queen’s on June 27

In a first-ever joined production, the Nanaimo Blues Society and the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival will host the dynamic Heavyweights Brass Band for a show next week.

The group will play the Queen’s, at 34 Victoria Cr., on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m.

The upcoming show isn’t the first time the Toronto-based brass band has visited the Island, as drummer Lowell Whitty said they’ve performed at the Dinghy Dock Pub and Victoria Jazz Festival before as well.

“It’s our first trip out of province as a band since the pandemic. So it’s good to stretch our legs and get out there again,” he said. “We’ve focused a lot more on our original music lately. It’s like a New Orleans funk party band – all horns and drums with a sousaphone covering the bass lines.”

He did say, however, that they do still have a few covers in their repertoire, including songs by Amy Winehouse and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

The Heavyweights Brass Band’s latest album, Stir Crazy, was recorded right before the pandemic and released this past November.

Whitty said they just dropped a new single, Fake It, in early June, and have a new single, Get Along, planned for release in the next two months. Both singles, as well as their albums, are available on music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

The Heavyweights Brass Band will also be playing in Victoria on June 25, in Tofino on June 26, and in Banff on June 28.

“We thought this was a great opportunity for them to stop in Nanaimo,” said François Savard, president of the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival. “The … jazz festival has never used the Queen’s as a performance stage, and we thought that working with the main producer would help both of our associations.”

Jackie Moisan, president of the Nanaimo Blues Society, said the society is excited to collaborate with the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival for the upcoming show, and looks forward to working together in the future.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: A flavour of New Orleans at Nanaimo jazz fest parade


mandy.moraes@nanaimobulletin.com

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