Singer returns to jazz scene

A local singer is reviving her chanteuse habit after a long absence and is injecting new life into the jazz scene at the same time.

Darlene Shatford has been a staple of the Prince George entertainment industry for years, but other pursuits drew her attention and pulled her out of the spotlight. She steps back up to the microphone on Saturday at Artspace.

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"I'm singing, and Curtis Abriel will be with me on piano. W are pulling Barry McKinnon out of the woodwork to do some tasty drumming, and we have Brin Porter on bass. Well, he and Curtis will be switching instruments, they are both really versatile players," said Shatford.

Her hiatus was unintended, and it was Abriel who caught her drift. He was coordinating some live performances at Winston's Resta-Bar at the Coast Inn of the North and thought to ask Shatford to sit in with him for some casual music making.

"Curtis got me developing my chops again, I was having fun, and people have been bugging me to get back out there," said Shatford.

She laughed that the last time she was on stage was probably the last time McKinnon was on stage too. He was also a longtime local music veteran, one of Shatford's most consistent collaborators, and had eased back from the music scene.

"My last show? Well, hmmm, I'm trying to remember when that was. Three years? Five years? It's been a long while," she said.

She has looked to one of her favourite artists as a theme for the Saturday concert. Canadian jazz great Holly Cole is the event's muse, which counter-intuitively means all kinds of jazz standards are possibly on the table.

"I love Holly Cole, I've been listening to her for 20 years, and its kind of funny because she does covers, she is most famous for her variations of other people's songs, and what I'm doing is my interpretation of her interpretations," Shatford said.

Showtime is 8 p.m. at Artspace on Saturday. Tickets are on sale now downstairs at Books & Company for $15.

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