Colin James headlines Jazz and Blues Weekend 

Mimosa, Spacious Couch and photography exhibit round out showcase

What: Whistler Jazz and Blues Weekend

When: June 14-16

Where: Various venues

Canadian singer Colin James is the headliner at this year’s Jazz and Blues Festival, but there’s a diverse showcase of music and visual talent throughout the weekend.

This year the first annual photography showcase at the Cinnamon Bear Bar highlights some of the best in musical photography, in a venue with a jazz-club feel.

Six local photographers and two visiting photographers from Vancouver, presenting images from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, will show images based on a theme of music and musicians.

"I’m excited this year about incorporating the festival with different venues in the community, ranging from interactive sessions with musicians to the photographers’ exhibit," says Gwen Young, festivals co-ordinator with Tourism Whistler.

Local photographers showing in the exhibit include Ellen Atkin, Scott McAlpine, Dean Cote, Greg Eymundson, Leanna Rathkelly, and Carrie Olson.

In addition to James concert, the musical lineup for the festival includes a jam session with the band Spacious Couch, at the Brewhouse. Nominated for a 2002 West Coast Music Award for best jazz release, Spacious Couch bring Afro-Cuban and "New Orleans funk grooves" to the stage.

The session will be open for musicians to participate.

Drawing on influences like Maceo Parker, Spacious Couch’s Cory Weeds (who also plays with Crash) promises some gems for the in-tune ear and the listening mind.

Another interactive session takes place at the Cinnamon Bear Bar with a question and answer session with musicians from Les is More and the Megan Fanning Trio. The musicians will answer questions about important influences that have enhanced their careers.

The Acme Dance Company will be presenting free swing dance lessons in Village Square over the weekend, for those who want to learn to jump, jive and wail.

Chin Injeti, producer and multi-instrumentalist, sings from his first solo release, Day Dreaming . Formerly of the band Bass is Base, Injeti was nominated in 2002 for a Juno Award for best R&B/Soul Recording Artist.

The Father’s Day Jazz and Blues Brunch takes place on Sunday, June 16 at the Wildflower Restaurant at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, with music from the gospel choir, Circle of Voices. The choir also perform from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday in the Village Square.

Other bands include Mimosa, who bring French lounge, New York Swing and Brazilian bossa nova, with songs from the ’60s to the present day.

Wes Mackay entertains with jazz and blues at the Mallard Lounge during cocktail hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For information and tickets for the Whistler Jazz and Blues Festival call the Whistler Activity and Information Centre at 604-932-2394. For a full schedule of event times log on to www.tourismwhistler.com.

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