The Ajna jazz trio, led by Keremeos-born saxophonist Jonnie Bridgman will be providing entertainment at the Similkameen BBQ King in Keremeos at the Grist Mill. Rapidly becoming one of the area’s premiere wine events, this year’s Barbeque King takes place from 5 -9 p.m, Saturday, July 12, at a cost of $80.
Bridgman grew up in Keremeos, attending high school here. His most recent connection was a two year stint teaching music at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School from 2010-2012. He spoke to the Review in mid June about his latest endeavours in the music field.
Review: What are you bringing with you to the Grist Mill? What type of music will you be playing?
Bridgman: I’ll be touring with a four piece jazz group.We’ll have a bass, saxaphone, trumpet player and a singer.
Basically, we’re a jazz band. We’ve just finshed a CD, and we’re ready to tour. We’ll be playing some standard jazz pieces, there’s some original work that is on the CD as well, and out music will have a strong vocal component.
We play the whole world of jazz. Our band has a modern sound that isn’t based on the traditional swing tunes. It’s a fusion – funk, rhythm and blues and jazz mix – a unique sound.
Review: What is your music schedule like these days? How many bands are you playing with?
Bridgman: This summer is busy – we’re booked for the next couple of weeks, and I’m also playing in a funk band called New Groovement.
We’ll be touring music festivals including one in Port Renfrew and we’ll also be making our first trip to Vancouver. Prior to our Okanagan tour, we’ll be participating in a festival in Smithers in early July.
Review: What is a typical venue for you?
Bridgman: We’re all over the map. We play festivals, bars, summer markets and other events. We do private events like weddings. We try to be flexible.
Review: Who does your music appeal to?
Bridgman: Hopefully it appeals to die hard jazz fans. Our music pairs well with an event like the Barbeque King – it’s the right setting for our type of music.
I think people will find it music that is interesting to their ears. We’ll try to keep it lively.
Editor’s note: Jonnie Bridgman will also be celebrating his 29th birthday on the day of the Barbeque King.