Rockabilly artists set to jam in Chemainus’ Waterwheel Park

Vancouver Islanders will be treated to a memorable afternoon of rockabilly music at the Island Rockabilly Jamboree, to be presented at Waterwheel Park, in Chemainus, starting on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Rockabilly dates back to the nineteen-fifties, when the sound of country music was first blended with that of rhythm and blues, leading to what is considered “classic” rock and roll. The best-known performers of the genre in those early days included Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. The music is known for its strong rhythms and twangy guitars.

Among modern performers of rockabilly music, Canada’s Paul Pigat is usually considered to be among the very best, and the Island Rockabilly Festival is very proud to welcome him. Pigat has recently returned from New York, where he was appearing in “Twang-O-Rama”, a great celebration of rockabilly music and the twangy Gretsch guitars.

RELATED: See the full schedule for the Island Rockabilly Jamboree

Pigat and his rockabilly band, known as Cousin Harley, features upright bass player Keith Picot and noted jazz drummer Jesse Cahill pounding the rock-steady beats. The three piece combo has in the past been featured at the great Viva Las Vegas rockabilly gathering.

Along with Pigat, several other popular BC rockabilly artists will be at the Chemainus festival. Victoria’s Hank Angel has just returned from performing at Viva-East, a Marlborough (Massachusetts) celebration that featured a huge array of rockabilly bands. Hank Angel and his band, the Island Devils, will be a great addition to the Chemainus festival.

Glen Foster is a widely respected musician from Nanaimo. He is a master of several different musical genres, but is in great demand for his rockabilly skills. The Glen Foster Group will be opening the festival in Chemainus.

Nanaimo’s Chevy Ray and the Fins is a band specializing in Rock ‘n Roll from the 1950’s, with a great array of rockabilly songs from the band’s many years in the genre.

The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society, which is organizing the Island Rockabilly Jamboree on August 12, is honoured to present these wonderful bands and the great music that they represent.