Saanich’s own Groove Kitchen will ring in 2017 when the band hits the stage New Year’s Eve at the iconic Hermann’s Jazz Club.
Keyboardist Adrian Chamberlain knows the pressure of playing on New Year’s Eve.
“People are all hyped up,” he said. “They have expectations. They want to have fun and be in the mood.”
If so, Groove Kitchen is bound to deliver and then some.
A review of the band’s past show-list points to an ever-growing popularity around the Greater Victoria area, with Hermann’s Jazz Club being the band’s main place of residence.
“We have played there a fair bit,” said Chamberlain.
Yet Groove Kitchen is never in danger of taking themselves too seriously. They once used to perform in chef outfits – get it – and refer to themselves as the top band in the Marigold area, a quiet, almost rural neighbourhood in Saanich, where they rehearse their repertoire of songs, a collection that includes classic tunes by Maceo Parker, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Buena Vista Social Club, to hip hop and newer funk from Bruno Mars, Young MC, Will Smith and Nelly.
Groove Kitchen started in 2011 as a collaboration between Chamberlain and lead guitarist-vocalist Dave Anderson. Chamberlain said he and Anderson were both interested in playing funk music.
“The rhythms are more complex and interesting,” he said. “That’s the big selling point for me.”
Pedro Arbour (drums-vocals) and Steve Moyer (bass-vocals) joined the current line up in 2012, while Eric Hughes (alto-tenor sax) joined in 2014.
Chamberlain – who started off as a classically-trained pianist – says all of his bandmates come with an immense amount of experience, having performed since their teens.
“All of the musicians are better than I am,” he says. “It makes you step up.”
Consider Moyer. In his early 60s, Moyer has been playing since he was a teenager, said Chamberlain.
Saturday’s show will be the third straight year for the band playing New Year’s Eve at Hermann’s.
Those who get tickets for the show also receive a glass of champagne, noisemakers and a few surprises.
On one occasion, the band paid a friend a case of beer to show up as the proverbial New Year’s baby.
“He was wearing a big diaper and a sash,” Chamberlain recalls.