The Old Guys reunite to play out spring

Salmon Arm Jazz Club hosts June 13 concert at Nexus

The Salmon Arm Jazz Club will be playing out spring with the return of The Old Guys.

Getting ready for their third annual Old Guys show, members of the group are practising together and individually to produce an exciting, swinging and jazzy show.

“The Old Guys is a group of veteran jazzers,” explains band leader Sandy Cameron. “Our name comes from a Richard Underhill composition of the same name. Richard wrote this tune as a tribute to the musicians that influenced him. His 16 bar blues is one of his compositions recorded on the CD, Tales from the Blue Lounge, and has become our theme song.”

Coming back to Salmon Arm for the third year, Donnie Clark is the most well-known member of the group. Clark has travelled the world, blowing his trumpet in many Dixieland and bebop settings. He was an important CBC Vancouver music producer and director, including the show “Dr.Bundolo” which featured Donnie and his music. Now living a semi-retired life in the Kootenays, Donnie still commutes to Vancouver to play his trumpet.

Due to health issues, the group’s original pianist, much loved Kelowna musician, Don Ross, won’t be able to make this year’s concert. In his place, recently retired Colin Spence, who grew up in Salmon Arm and has returned to live in the Shuswap. The youngest member, (just a kid, he’s in his mid-60s), has been playing and studying jazz piano since he grew up here. Among his influences, he counts local keyboard giant, the late Norm Cannon.

Read more: Old Guys assemble for Jazz Club season finale

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The rest of The Old Guys are nearing or over their 80th year. They bring a wealth of musical and show biz experience to the Nexus stage. Bassist and vocalist Bill Lockie; honorary Old Guy Gareth Seys on drums; and clarinet/sax guy Cameron rounds out the quintet.

“Our set list features many old Dixie and swing standards, by Bennie Goodman, Fats Waller and Buddy Bolden, the Duke, of course, and others,” said Cameron. “We’ve put together a list that will get toes tapping.”

The Old Guys are set to play the Nexus on June 13. Admission is by donation.


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