Regina band proud to be part of JazzFest’s ‘outstanding’ lineup

Soul Deep is among the headliners of JazzFest Regina, which returns this week after two years of challenges due to COVID-19.

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When Lorne Pavelick hails the return of JazzFest, he doesn’t just beat his own drum.

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Pavelick – the founder, manager and drummer of Soul Deep – speaks on behalf of every local band that will be performing alongside top Canadian artists at JazzFest, which runs from today to Monday in Regina.

The 14th annual music festival is back after being disrupted by COVID-19 for two consecutive years. Soul Deep performed at JazzFest before the pandemic and were invited back this year by executive producer Peter Champagne, who needed another local headliner to join Frogsback on Friday night at the University’s Darke Hall. from Regina.

“It’s an opportunity to partner with a great musical event,” Pavelick said. “Peter has always had a place in his heart for local talent. The lineup he’s brought this year is really great and he wants to grow this festival by including local talent. We are grateful that Peter is open-minded and willing to offer the opportunity to not only have a gig, but to perform in our own hometown. This is a big problem for us. »

Soul Deep just successfully debuted 2022 on May 27 at the sold-out Revival Music Room. It was the band’s first performance since appearing at Revival over 27 months ago – just before Saskatchewan’s initial COVID lockdown.

After a long hiatus, the band repackaged late last summer and began rehearsing with a few new members, including a three-man horn section.

Pavelick and bassist Depen Pandya are the last original members of Soul Deep, which has gone through many changes since its inception in 1999. The nine-piece ensemble performs classic and contemporary hits from a variety of genres, including soul, R&B, Motown, disco and rock.

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However, the band’s foundation was built on strong jazz elements.

“We’re proud of what we’re doing these days,” Pavelick said. “We’re trying to convince people that, yes, a nine-piece band can exist in this town and be great on stage. We are proud of it.

JazzFest is returning to its original format in 2022 after being limited to a one-day live concert in 2020, followed by a three-day mini event last year at the Hilton DoubleTree.

This year’s five-day concert series takes place at multiple locations around Regina, including an outdoor stage downtown.

“We’re thrilled to be back,” said Champagne, who is also president of the Regina Jazz Society. “We just hope that the hunger we feel (is shared by) people who want to go out and see great live entertainment.”

JazzFest opens today at 9:30 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at City Square Plaza, followed by the start of free daily outdoor concerts (Thursday through Saturday) that include local musicians and school programs. There’s also live entertainment at the Momentum Café today at 4 p.m.

The headliners, featuring multiple Juno Award winners, will kick off tonight with the Kevin Kasha Quintet and wrap up Monday night with the Jocelyn Gould Quartet (including Will Bonness on piano). Both shows are at the Bushwakker Brewpub (7 p.m.).

Darke Hall hosts two headliners Friday through Sunday at 7 p.m., starting with Soul Deep and Frogsback. Saturday evening will follow Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti, as well as the Amanda Tosoff Quintet with Emilie-Claire Barlow on vocals. Sunday evening, it’s Malika Tirolien and the Laila Biali Trio.

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Meanwhile, Sunday afternoon at Darke Hall, JazzFest is hosting a campaign for Ukraine to raise money for the war relief effort. It starts at 12:30 p.m. and includes a free concert featuring Nastasia Y with Occhipinti, George Koller, Ben Wittman and the Ukrainian dancers of Tavria.

Full schedule and ticket information (including weekend passes) can be found at jazzregina.ca.

“We have one of the best rosters we’ve ever had,” Champagne said. “We are jam-packed with great talent every night. You can’t go wrong catching one of these acts.

JazzFest Regina is just a branch of a larger organization called Jazz Festivals Canada, which hosts summer shows in cities from coast to coast.

Due to the COVID pandemic, this year’s Regina lineup was not complete until February, several weeks later than usual.

“There were a lot of unknowns,” Champagne added. “We went ahead and said, ‘OK, we’ll do it.’

“We are back.”

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