ECMA AWARD WINNER FOR BEST JAZZ GROUP OF THE YEAR
It's no surprise that the Jive Kings have won consecutive ECMA Awards for jazz in 2000 and 2001. They were at the centre of an intense buzz at last year's ECMA weekend in Sydney, Nova Scotia. This year in Charlottetown they appeared on the nationally televised award show as well as the Atlantic Airwaves live CBC radio broadcast. Put simply, the Jive Kings are redefining what a jazz concert can be for many Maritimers. Since their first gig in March of 1999 this lively eight piece group from PEI has continually wowed audiences and critics with their infectious brand of swing, big band and Latin styles. It's not just that their debut album "Spoon for Knife" received glowing reviews, it's that the band is quickly gaining a reputation for energetic and eclectic live performances. With the release of their second CD, "the Jive Kings with Measha Brüggergosman", they have collaborated with another of the East Coast's hottest musical commodities. This CD includes eight originals by Jive Kings members, five jazz standards featuring Measha, and a Tom Waits cover (Telephone Call from Istanbul).
"When your first album nets an
East Coast Music Award for jazz artists of the year
what do you do for an encore? If you're
Charlottetown's Jive Kings you try to top it.
Easier said than done. Did they succeed? The answer
is an unequivocal yes."
The Jive Kings have enjoyed considerable success in their short history. Their diverse repertoire, adaptability, and wide demographic appeal has lead to a busy schedule at many different types of events. In the past five months alone, the Jive Kings have performed at Jazz Festivals, as guest artists with a symphony orchestra, club dates, weddings, and an ever increasing number of corporate functions. Some highlights include: The Celebrate Toronto Street Festival (with an audience of 60,000), the Atlantic Film Festival Closing Gala, sold out shows at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and Festival by the Sea, Festival of Lights, the Canada Day Celebration in Moncton, NB, appearances on Breakfast Television in Toronto and Halifax, and a two hour national CBC Radio broadcast.
"Enthusiasm and exuberance
bubble right out of the jewel case on
P.E.I.'s wunderkind jazz band The Jive Kings.
Sometimes their energy
excites reminiscences of The Shuffle Demons from the
'70s, and at other
times the in your face brassiness of the
ensemble-they all play on the bright
side of instrumental timbre-evoke visions of Blood
Sweat and Tears."
While the above mentioned engagements were highlights, there is one other that stands above them all. This was the Jive Kings performance at the Indian River Festival. The beautiful St. Mary's Church in Indian River, PEI was where the band first collaborated with New Brunswick soprano Measha Brueggergosman. With five smoking new arrangements by the Jive Kings' Barrie Sorensen, this concert exceeded the performers expectations and apparently the audience's as well - based on the numerous standing ovations from the standing room only crowd. The concert was recorded and broadcast nationally by CBC Radio. Also, CBC Newsworld's "On the Arts" was on hand to record footage for features on both Measha and the Jive Kings. With the Jive Kings going into the studio the next week to record their second album, they seized the opportunity and invited Measha to record the tunes from their concert. She accepted and the album was released on October 13, 2000.
"Spoon for a Knife is an example of some of the
best performance, playing, and
writing I have heard in a long time... Even if you do
not want to buy a swing CD,
buy this one. You won't be disappointed." Spoon
for a Knife gets 9 out of 10
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