Oak Bay is in for a wonderful treat this coming Friday, Sept. 29, as two talented singers, Maureen Washington and Edie DaPonte, descend on the Upsairs Lounge at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre.
Washington and DaPonte will perform for the first time on the same stage, in what will be a 1940s-style dinner-and-a-show setup of the lounge.
“It’s a brilliant lost art,” said Washington, looking back at the glory days of jazz when people just came down for dinner, but also an lively, interactive show.
But Friday’s performance will be much more, as the two divas plan to bring their own musical diversity and charm, something that Washington is looking forward to.
“It’s a double bill, and rather than going here’s your set, here’s my set, we’re going to kind of combine a bit of everything,” she said. “We’ll do a duet and each of us will pick a point of the stage and just so we can create a fun, lively athmosphere right from stage together.”
Washington, who has been in Victoria for 11 years following a musical career as a proffesional musician, will be singing songs on that were featured on her last album, Harvest Moon, the ninth album she recorded.
DaPonte, on the other hand, brings in her own unique flair and style, emanating the spirit of Edith Piaf, after whom she was named. The Sidney-based singer is known for her songs about Vancouver Island and Sidney, and her soothing songs in Portugese.
“I’m having a lot of fun with the music and I especially love the intimacy of an audience, connecting with them and making them feel great,” DaPonte said. “It’s kinda why I sing. I really enjoy a live performance. It’s not just jazz… there’s a little bit of Edith Piaf, a few of my own originals… my background is Portugese, so I do like to sing in Portugese as well.”
DaPonte added that she’s excited to sing with Washington come Friday in what will be her first time performing at the Oak Bay Rec Centre.
“I’m really excited to sing with Maureen, she’s a wonderful vocalist, and it’s going to be fun, because we’re both a little cheeky,” DaPonte laughed.
Emotive and passionate, DaPonte’s voice lends itself perfectly to a wide range of jazz standards, seamlessly moving from jazz to Bossa Nova and back again, switching between English, Portuguese, Spanish and French numbers with ease.
Meanwhile, Washington slips easily from sassy to sexy within a single line of lyrics, at times echoing the haunting tones of Etta James and Carmen McRae, then faster than the mind and ear can make the transition, Washington exudes the impish irreverence of Jann Arden and the vocal agility of Holly Cole.
Either way, one thing’s for certain. This is going to be a sizzling hot double bill featuring two of Western Canada’s most outstanding vocalists.
Doors are at 6 p.m. for dinner service, while the show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Lounge at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee Street.
Tickets can be purchased for $20 at Ivy’s Bookshop and Oak Bay Recreation Centre, or $25 at the door.
For more info on Washington and DaPonte, please visit their websites:
Maureen Washington: www.maureenwashington.ca
Edie DaPonte: www.edie.ca