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Making your toes tap at Sticky Fingers

Regal Jazz Band rolls through a ‘Royal’ long weekend
Regal Jazz photo
The Regal Jazz Band hits Sticky Fingers this weekend. Photo supplied

Its members range in age from 60 to 80, and they may not exhibit the pomp and pageantry of Harry and Meghan’s wedding, but it’s another great reason to look forward to the Victoria Day long weekend.

The Regal Jazz Band, Collingwood’s collection of Dixieland masters, is set to “blow” at Sticky Fingers this Sunday afternoon. Whether you remember King Oliver, Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington doesn’t matter – these guys will have you moving.

Bob Muir, spokesman and trombone player, tells BarrieToday, the audience spans all generations.  

“The music we play can be enjoyed by people of all ages and I enjoy watching pre-schoolers dancing to our toe-tapping music.”

Muir goes on to say jazz musicians are like a family, and the door is definitely open for younger people to take up playing this traditional jazz form.

And that’s because, “we choose music that has a ‘tune’. (Fortunately), there are younger musicians who have learned these old tunes and are playing them”

And among the tunes they play, Bob and the gang have catholic tastes.

“(Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines’) Rosetta is one, and Up the Lazy River is another. Our audience recognizes When the Saints Go Marching In. We have played it so often, that if it is requested, we quietly moan, ‘Oh not again’ and enjoy ripping off a rousing rendition of it.”

The band has seen many changes over the years; after moving to Collingwood, Muir joined the Georgian Sound Big Band, to play trombone, having jammed a number of times with their lead trumpeter, Don Doner, who had a vast repertoire of Dixieland tunes.

As for the band’s current name, Bob says, “I chose the Regal Jazz Band name in the 1980’s when I played various gigs in Toronto. I used Don and the drummer from the Big Band, and added others. So, like many of the Dixieland Bands of the ’30’s and ’40’s, the Regal Jazz Band grew from the Big Band.”

The Regal Jazz Band has many homes away from home. 

“For close to 10 years, we have been invited to Bala. We set up on a boat and cruise in front of the many homes and cottages on the Moon River, playing Dixieland Music until the sun sets. They stand on their decks or come down to their docks or follow us in their boats dancing and enjoying the music.”

Sticky Fingers, 150 Dunlop Street West, is a hub of jazz in Barrie, and a place Bob and the band relish coming to.

“We have wanted to be invited to play at Sticky Fingers for many years. The current president of the Simcoe County Jazz Society, John Zvanitajs heard us play at the Fish Bar in Collingwood and arranged for us to be invited. I expect it will be the best performance the Regal Jazz Band has done.”

The Regal Jazz Band plays Sunday, May 20 from 2 till 5 p.m. Tickets are $10.00, only $5.00 for students and kids under 12 get in free.


Glenn Wilkins

About the Author: Glenn Wilkins

Glenn Wilkins, in a 30-year media career, has written for print and electronic media, as well as for TV and radio. Glenn has two books under his belt, profiling Canadian actors on Broadway and NHL coaches.
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