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O Come All Ye Soulful to grace Whistler for the holidays

Acclaimed jazz and soul artists Dawn Pemberton and Jodi Proznick play Dec. 14 at the Maury Young Arts Centre

Arts Whistler Live! is ringing in the holiday season with a funky twist, bringing O Come All Ye Soulful to the Maury Young Arts Centre on Dec. 14. The group is helmed by two award-winning jazz and soul musicians: vocalist Dawn Pemberton and bassist Jodi Proznick, who leads the band. Also involved are pianist Tilden Webb, drummer Nick Bracewell, Vince Mai on trumpet and saxophonist James Danderfer. 

Together, the critically acclaimed group will share their take on all kinds of holiday oldies, including material from Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Donny Hathaway, John Legend, Otis Redding and Darlene Love—just to name a few. 

Jazz and soul music are close cousins, and O Come All Ye Soulful inhabits the sweet spot where both intersect. 

“It’s a fun and groovy show full of classic holiday songs performed by a world-class ensemble,” reveals Proznick, who has multiple National Jazz Awards and two Juno nominations to her credit. “There are moments of tenderness and moments when you will be dancing in your seat.” 

Christmas is a time of great joy and celebration for many, but it can also be a time of sadness and loneliness for others. Pemberton hopes that she and her peers can bring good cheer to Whistler this month, especially for those who might find themselves struggling over the holidays. 

“Being able to share your music any time of year is special and wonderful, especially after not having been able to do it for a few years [during COVID], but Christmas can be a hard time for many people,” she says. “One thing that does make it special is there’s this canon of music that people know—whether it’s sacred or secular. I think the show taps into that. 

“Whenever you can touch on those songs, it conjures something special within the audience.” 

We got soul

Pemberton and Proznick both grew up in the Lower Mainland: Vancouver and south Surrey respectively. Their families brought them into contact with music early and often, and inevitably they chose to make their careers as performers. 

The duo began collaborating during the pandemic, which is when they unveiled their first Christmas show. Along the way, they’ve developed a deep appreciation for each other’s talent. 

“Jodi is a killer, high-class musician,” says Pemberton, recipient of the 2015 Western Canadian Music Award for Urban Recording for the Year. “She plays everything with such ferocity and stellar execution, but she also has a ginormous heart. When she shows up in a musical setting, it’s with so much generosity and so much love. It's rare to find someone to collaborate with where things move so easily.” 

The feeling is mutual for Proznick. “I have known and admired Dawn Pemberton for years,” she says. “Her artistry is amazing. She exudes warmth and generosity of spirit when she performs. She’s rooted in tradition but [brings] her own spin on every song, and she is super groovy.” 

Both artists have performed in Whistler before, and are blown away by its natural splendour—not to mention the people. They remember crowds that were “rip-roaring and ready to go”: jovial, engaged and energetic. It’s an experience they look forward to reliving. 

Between the free-flowing creativity and collaboration of jazz and the deep richness of soul, guests will have plenty to savour as well. 

“The thing that I love about soul music in particular is that it really speaks to people's humanity,” Pemberton opines. “It's medicine. It’s created by black men and women who were experiencing extreme racism and white supremacy, and in a world where there wasn't a space for them, they had to create their own space [with] a style of music that allowed them to express their deepest emotions.

“That’s what speaks to my soul—it’s the ability to get to the heart of the matter, and to make almost any topic feel universal and recognizable.” 

Find tickets and more information online at