Colin James headlines this weekend’s Jazz & Blues Festival 

Colin James
  • Colin James

Mimosa, Chin, swing lessons part of the musical calendar

You can never have enough jazz.

And that’s what’s on offer in the three-day Jazz and Blues Festival, which starts today (June 14).

Canadian blues and swing guitarist Colin James, winner of six Junos, headlines the lineup for this year’s festival, playing songs from his album Fuse , as well as some of the oldies.

The festival is a mixture of musicians and venues in and around Whistler Village, taking place from June 14 to 16 and presented by Tourism Whistler in conjunction with Visa and local bars and restaurants.

Outdoor jazz concerts take place Friday through Sunday, featuring the whole gamut of jazz styles and improv experimentation.

"This year’s festival program has been expanded thanks to the generous involvement of several new partners in the Whistler community," Gwen Young, Manager of Festivals at Tourism Whistler, says of the annual jazz and blues festival.

Chin Injeti, formerly of the group Bass is Base, opens for James on Saturday night with songs from his first solo album, Day Dreaming , which was nominated for Best R&B/Soul recording at the 2002 Juno Awards, as well as Best Urban Release at the West Coast Music Awards this past year.

Musician Chin has also worked with Ben Mink (of kd lang), and Christopher Ward (of Alannah Myles), and re-mixed a track for Canadian wonderboys the Barenaked Ladies called Pinch Me.

Meanwhile Vancouver’s Mimosa add New York Swing and Brazilian bass lines to the mix, performing at the Village Square Friday and Saturday afternoons.

New to this year’s festival is the Photography Showcase which features images of jazz and music from local photographers, held at the Cinnamon Bear Bar in the Delta Whistler Resort.

The Cinnamon Bear is also the venue for interactive jazz presentations featuring the Megan Fanning Trio and Les Is More. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the lives and career paths of musicians in this informal discussion.

Gotta swing? Lisa Jacobs of the Acme Dance Factory offers lessons in jive, west coast and other steps at the Village Square on Saturday.

Local musicians are invited to take part in the interactive jam session with band Spacious Couch, Friday night at the BrewHouse.

Individual tickets are available through the Whistler Activities and Information Centre in the Whistler Conference Centre.

For a full schedule of events and times, refer to this week’s Pique to Valley listings.

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