Powerhouse vocal trio, from left, includes: April Gislason, Maria Manna and Maureen Washington. They’re back at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton next Sunday, Dec. 16 for a 2 p.m. show. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Powerhouse vocal trio, from left, includes: April Gislason, Maria Manna and Maureen Washington. They’re back at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton next Sunday, Dec. 16 for a 2 p.m. show. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Divas put their soulful voices into jazz

Ladies of Gospel offer a different twist to their immense talents

They’re back! Victoria’s vivacious, entertaining divas — Maria Manna, Maureen Washington and April Gislason —bring their new show, The Ladies of Jazz, to Pat’s House of Jazz in Crofton on Sunday, Dec. 16.

“Last spring it was standing room only for their Ladies of Gospel show, so book early for their jazz show, which is inspired by such jazz greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Natalie Cole,” said jazz series publicist Gloria Collins.

Manna noted the songs they have chosen “are rich with meaning, texture and colour. There is room for personal interpretation, sentiment and feeling when delivered.

“We like to give our audiences the inside scoop about who inspired us in music, why we love to sing, how we prepare for a concert and what it is about the songs we have chosen that speak to each of us,” she said.

Manna, an ordained minister who can weave her soulful voice through jazz, blues and gospel in English and Italian, was also the recipient of the 2013 Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.

Washington, one of Victoria’s busiest singers, garnered accolades by winning the 2014 Black Canadian Awards “Best Jazz and Soul Artist.”

Gislason has a rich, powerful voice. As a vocalist and guitarist, she has collaborated with David Foster, Bryan Adams and Boz Scaggs as well as lent her voice to thousands of jingles across North America.

The combination of Gislason’s Puerto Rico/New York upbringing, Washington’s African-American roots and Manna’s Italian heritage made for a memorable performance of gospel tunes. Now they’ll put their own spin on jazz.

The divas will be accompanied by Karel Roessingh on piano, James Young on bass and Dave Emery on drums.

The show, the last of the year, is part of the weekly Pat’s House of Jazz series, presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society.

It runs Sundays from 2 p.m. at the Osborne Bay Pub, 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton, a stone’s throw from the Salt Spring Island ferry terminal.

The series resumes on Jan. 13, 2019 with the drummer-led Morgan Childs Quartet, with saxophonist Ryan Oliver, trumpeter Patrick Boyle and bassist John Lee.

Admission for the divas is $20. For information, phone 250-324-2245 or visit http://osbornebaypub.com.