The Don Leppard Big Band rolls into Pat’s House of Jazz at the Osborne Bay Pub Sunday, Dec. 2. (Photo submitted)

Leppard’s Big Band will never change its spots

Vocalist Daponte always a crowd favourite at the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton

One of the best big bands on the West Coast plays Pat’s House of Jazz in Crofton’s Osborne Bay Pub for the first time on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Victoria’s 17-piece Don Leppard Big Band, featuring vocalist Edie Daponte, plays everything from Count Basie and Duke Ellington classics to contemporary jazz arrangements.

Its repertoire includes works from the libraries of such jazz greats as Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, The Boss Brass, Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson, along with many compositions and arrangements written by its band members.

A retired military band director and arranger, bandleader Don Leppard is also the drummer — the guy who drives the bus.

A member of the prestigious RCAF band in Toronto, Leppard received his certificate of arranging from the Berklee School of Music. He also became the “pops” drummer with the Winnipeg Symphony and set drummer with the Manitoba Theatre Centre for 20 years.

He has recorded more than 50 albums with various artists and taped more than 600 television shows.

The Leppard band has also backed such international notables as Johnny Mathis, The Moody Blues, The Temptations and Engelbert Humperdinck.

Vocalist Daponte is a crowd favourite at Pat’s House of Jazz where her show, Under Paris Skies — La Musique de Edith Piaf, sold out last year. Her Paris to Rio show was also a huge hit when it opened this fall’s jazz series in September.

This big band performance is part of the weekly Pat’s House of Jazz series, presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society.

It runs every Sunday 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.

Admission is $20. Table reservations are recommended. For information, phone 250-324-2245 or visit http://osbornebaypub.com.

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