Joe Coughlin reclaims the stage at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, once again to benefit the Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship.
Coughlin graced the stage in late 2015 to sing Sinatra’s songbook for the scholarship that grew out of the Sno’uyutth pole outside Oak Bay High. The traditional First Nations work that went up in November 2015 was a grassroots community project, led by the Community Association of Oak Bay, that raised nearly $100,000 for the Butch Dick design (carved by his son Clarence Dick).
That left funds rolled into the Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship augmented by Coughlin’s songbook showcase. “He hasn’t played Victoria since the Sinatra,” said Joseph Blake, organizer of the scholarship fundraiser.
This year, Coughlin, returns, donating his time and talents at Dave Dunnet Community Theatre backed by the swinging, Canadian all-star quartet of pianist Miles Black, guitarist Bill Coons, bassist Ken Lister and drummer Hans Verhoeven for another benefit concert for the Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship. Returning to the jazz standards from his album Saloon Standard – one of the multiple award-winning singer’s most popular recordings – Coughlin will celebrate songs made famous by Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Mark Murphy, Johnny Hartman and other jazz greats.
“I don’t know that he’s done it in Victoria before, the salute to the saloon singers,” said Blake. “When he does it, he’s just an encyclopedia of stories.”
Between songs Coughlin showcases the stories behind the songs, singers and songwriters.
“It’s almost as good as the vocals … embodies the history of the music. Every day he lives it,” Blake said.
He has been performing professionally for over thirty years and has performed with numerous significant jazz artists including Jimmy Heath, Chuck Israels, Eddie Daniels, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bucky Pizzarelli, Sheila Jordan, Hugh Fraser, Dave Restivo, Carol Welsman, Dee Daniels, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington.
Saloon Standards to support the Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship is Thursday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance at McPherson Box Office, Scotia Bank Oak Bay and Oak Bay Recreation Centre. Tickets are $35 at the door.
Visit joecoughlin.ca for a taste of his music.
About the scholarship:
The committee featuring members from the Rotary Club of Oak Bay, school district staff, school alumni and members of the CAOB, issued the first scholarship in June of 2016, to Ellery Kirkland, who studies biology at Vancouver Island University with the goal of becoming a forensic specialist with the RCMP. In June of 2017, the second annual scholarship was won by Alex Ross, a first year student at University of Victoria.
Sno’uyutth means spreading good energy and the dream is to expand the Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship to all the secondary schools of School District 61 and beyond.
“I would like to build it up so we’re beyond Oak Bay,” Blake said. “That’s my 10-year goal.”