RazzmaTazz offers more than all that jazz

Saanich choir holding auditions for its second season

Dale Rasmussen, founder of the RazzmaTazz jazz choir, is gearing up for the group’s upcoming second season. Rasmussen is holding auditions toward the end of August and into September for the group, which is known for adapting popular songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s to more of a jazz style.

Dale Rasmussen, founder of the RazzmaTazz jazz choir, is gearing up for the group’s upcoming second season. Rasmussen is holding auditions toward the end of August and into September for the group, which is known for adapting popular songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s to more of a jazz style.

Auditions are starting up for RazzmaTazz’s second season, and the choir is looking to bring more soulful songs, blues tunes and jazzy renditions of classic pop hits to the stage.

Local musician Dale Rasmussen, who is the founder, director and accompanist of the group, said he started the choir last year as a way of reimagining songs by the likes of Elton John and the Eagles with more jazz and swing elements.

“I often find that sometimes, the music I’m interested in doesn’t often get performed in choirs,” he said. “When you think of choirs, you think classical music or sacred music or sometimes old folk music, and I wanted to try to expand on that and do the music that I love.

“I thought, I’d like to start something that’s a little different from anything else here.”

While the group does perform more traditional standards by such legendary composers as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson, he said they’re known more for their unique takes on songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

“We take some older songs by The Beatles, we combine a Cole Porter song with a Queen tune, we’ve done Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi,” he said.

Rasmussen said the group’s first season started strong and featured a wide age range, from members in their mid-20s into their 60s.

“There’s a lot of closet musicians and singers in the area, and they all came out of the woodwork,” he said.

Though the group didn’t have a name at the start of auditions last year, they brainstormed and came up with RazzmaTazz – a clever name that didn’t pigeonhole them into just doing jazz tunes.

“As soon as somebody mentioned it, I thought, that’s good because it plays on my name and it sounds fun and it doesn’t have the word ‘jazz’ in it, so we can branch out a bit,” he said. “If we want to do that Queen and Cole Porter thing, the jazz police aren’t going to get too worried about that.”

Now, with 30-some members in the group, Rasmussen is looking to add a few more before rehearsals begin in September. He has auditions scheduled for Aug. 29 and 30, as well as Sept. 12., though accommodations can be made for singers who can’t make those dates.

Those interested in joining should have some previous singing or choir experience and sight-reading ability, but Rasmussen said he doesn’t want potential hopefuls to feel intimidated by the audition process.

“All it means is we talk a little bit, and before then, I send them a short segment of music along with audio files for them to learn, and they come and they sing it,” he said.

Rehearsals and sectionals are held Monday evenings from Sept. 14 to May 16 at Lambrick Park Church, 1780 Feltham Rd. A handful of shows have been scheduled for the upcoming season, with the possibility of additional performances.

For more information about auditions, rehearsals and the 2015-2016 calendar, visit dalerasmussen.com and click RazzmaTazz Jazz Choir under Choirs. To set up an audition, call Rasmussen at 778-533-0406 or email him at razzmusic@shaw.ca.

 

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Juno-winning Toronto dub poet Lillian Allen is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet for 2021. (Photo courtesy Karen Lee)
Juno-winning dub poet is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet this year

Lillian Allen will present online lecture, reading and Q-and-A

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

Most Read