The CanUS Band, as the name implies, contains musicians from both sides of the border. (Photo submitted)

The CanUS Band, as the name implies, contains musicians from both sides of the border. (Photo submitted)

Experienced musicians make CanUS jazz band a hit

Road trips are a thing of the past, providing more time for local gigs

It’s jazz. It’s Dixieland. It’s swing. It’s ragtime. It’s the blues and New Orleans jazz with three-part-harmony vocals.

It’s all of the above and comprises the repertoire of CanUS Jazz Band, a red-hot band coming to the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton on Sunday, Nov. 25.

For 15 years this Victoria jazz band stole show after show on the “trad” jazz circuit all over North America. Triangle Jazz of Seattle called them “a hot band with a swinging rhythm section and a great front line.”

The highlight for CanUS was being invited to play the Millennium Theatre at The Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The fact CanUS served an international audience and is composed of musicians from both sides of the border gave rise to the unusual spelling of its name.

Formed in 1991, they’ve since retired from the road, giving them more time and opportunities to share their music locally.

The band, led by Victoria pianist/vocalist Toni Blodgett, features some of the best musicians in Victoria including a front line of Bob Cadwallader on trombone, Mike Broadley on trumpet and Al Pease on clarinet and tenor sax.

They are backed by the driving rhythm section with Blodgett, bassist Joey Smith and drummer Don Leppard.

A Seattle jazz critic once described CanUS as having “wonderful vocals and the most diversified book of music in the business.”

Sunday’s concert is part of the weekly Pat’s House of Jazz series, presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society, at the Osborne Bay Pub, 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton. Admission is $15.

Reservations are recommended. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m. Call 250-324-2245 or visit

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