The tradition of dancing in the park returns with the Soul Shakers bringing summer music to Willows. Oak Bay Parks and Recreation brings back its summer concerts on Wednesday, June 29 with the Soul Shakers from 6-8 p.m.

The concert series features local musicians with up-and-coming artists as opening acts, beginning the series with veteran artists who organizers call “one of the best dance groups on Vancouver Island.”

Over a 15-year career, the Soul Shakers have performed at countless festivals and concerts island-wide and produced two original albums, including their most recent album Ready For You in November 2019.

After the opening concert, the music shifts to Thursdays as Hoppin’ Mad Jazz Band performs on July 7. Billed as a group of serious musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously, the group is steeped in traditional jazz led by Australian-born trumpeter and saxophonist Simon Stribling.

Freeze Frame hits theaters July 21, taking outside audiences on a journey to the 1980s and beyond.

Singer-songwriter Sarah Smith performs August 4. Recently moved to Pender Island from Ontario, Smith is a full-time touring artist, performing all over the world, whether it’s just her and her acoustic guitar or her full band. Check out his website for all of his music and tour dates.

Peach and Quiet, the Pender-based duo of Heather Read and Jonny Miller, open Sarah Smith’s show. In 2019, they discovered the joy of singing together, which extended to songwriting.

Closing of summer concerts in Willows with Impulse Response on Thursday, August 18 from 6-8 p.m.

Dubbed Victoria’s funkiest soul pop band, Impulse Response is fronted by vocalist Shanna Dance and vocalist/keyboardist Alexander Ferguson. The band released an original Light Waves EP. They also put their spin on songs by artists such as Bill Withers, Joss Stone, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Ray Charles. This group has delighted audiences across the island and beyond with their unique soulful sound, including performing at the TD Victoria International Jazz Festival, opening for St. Paul and The Broken Bones at the Royal Theatre.

Dashel Scott, a 12-year-old singer-songwriter based in Victoria, opens the show.

Concerts are from 6-8 p.m. at Willows Beach Park. Visit oakbay.ca/parks-recreation/events/calendar for a full list of events.


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