Maureen Washington will be returning to Prince George after a three-year hiatus to celebrate her beloved mother Barbara's 80th birthday on the weekend with a concert and everyone is invited.
"I always tell everyone Feb. 9 is the most wonderful day for me because without my mother I wouldn't be here," Washington said. "It's a very joyous day in my life."
Washington, a national award-winning jazz singer, will perform Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 at the Prince George Playhouse and will be accompanied by three talented musicians from Victoria, where she now resides.
Joining her will be Karel Roessingh on piano, Joey Smith on double bass and Damian Graham on drums.
During the show, Washington will be performing some new music, as well as the traditional jazz standards that are favourites of her audiences around the globe.
"My mother has quite a list of requests so I'll be singing those so she won't have to yell them out during the show," Washington laughed. "So a few of her choices and then some new tunes and the old favourites and that's where the idea of Harvest Moon (her latest CD) started with people always saying 'oh, do that song!' or they'd say 'do you have that on a CD?' So I thought we'd put all the favourites on one CD. So during the show there will be people's typical favourites and then I'll probably throw in a Britney Spears tune and one from Maroon 5 and I always do a Bee Gees tune."
It's been 12 years since she moved to Victoria from Prince George to build her career and she made her way through the hottest lounges, international jazz festivals, a European tour and soldout showcases. She's now decided semi-retirement might be a good thing and has moved away from the regular lounge appearances. She's still performing at festivals and solo shows, while doing private engagements and teaching voice.
"I'm on a steady roll - it's been really good," Washington said of her current career.
But it's always been about the next level, whatever that means to the performer.
"So, OK Maureen, what are you going to do from here?" Washington said was the next question. "So now it's about jumping forward and trying to take those risks to actually tour farther across the country is really what I'm needing to do or wanting to do in amongst trying to live my every day life."
Teaching has been a fantastic addition to her career, she added.
"I'm so grateful I can earn a living doing what I love," Washington said.
Washington will be performing Friday in Quesnel before she takes to the Playhouse stage Saturday night.
Playhouse doors open at 7, show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40.50 + service fees available online at https:www.centralinteriortickets.com or at their box office at 3540 Opie Crescent. Call 250-596-0020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.