Quartet brings top-flight talent to Upstairs Lounge

Maureen Washington offers a taste of Christmas to Oak Bay audience

Maureen Washington leads a quartet that brings jazz and blues standards with the occasional contemporary song offered a jazz treatment to Upstairs Lounge Dec. 12.

With the rapid approach of Christmas it may seem a given that the last fall concert of the Upstairs Lounge series hits a few holiday notes. Award-winning Victoria singer Maureen Washington promises her quartet will take a careful approach to the Friday concert.

“I’m trying to find the balance … I don’t want to over-Christmas people,” Washington said. “We will have some Christmas flair to it, but we will have some typical standards and blues…. it’ll be a blend.”

One song from her recently released CD Christmas Is – called Love is Christmas – has hit a chord at all the launch shows and will likely be heard by the Oak Bay audience.

“I have a feeling that song is going to be played at every Christmas show over the next couple of weeks,” Washington admitted.

The Maureen Washington Quartet – led by Washington, who was named 2014 Black Canadian Awards Winner of Best Jazz and Soul Act – includes three other notable Greater Victoria musicians: Karel Roessingh, Joey Smith and Damian Graham.

“When you get to see the four of us all together it’s just a show of magic,” Washington said. “Nobody’s a diva. We’re here to play some great music, touch your heart, touch your soul and let you escape …. be whisked away by the music for two hours.”

Washington has performed in the Upstairs Lounge (known as Sportsview Lounge by day) and finds it “a really good-sized venue, not too big, not too small. It just really has a real comfortable warm feeling.”

Perhaps one of the major draws is the all-ages allowance, creating an ability to infuse a multi-generational audience with her timeless music.

“When you have that kind of cross generation and they’re all listening to the same music it just really brings the community together,” Washington said. “My genre is sort of more for that older generation … when you see that younger generation coming in, the classic music still has that influence.

Here’s music that is just standing the test of time.”

The quartet offers jazz and blues standards with the occasional contemporary song offered a jazz treatment. Visit maureenwashington.ca for a taste of her music.

Christmas Is, her second holiday album, will be available when The Maureen Washington Quartet rounds out the season at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12 at Oak Bay Recreation’s Upstairs Lounge, 1975 Bee St. Tickets are $12 in advance at Ivy’s Bookshop and Oak Bay Recreation or at beaconridge productions.com online. Tickets are $15 at the door.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oak baynews.com