‘Happiest’ band back at Friday Night Live

Lynn Valley’s most popular weekly jazz/rock/folk/comedy variety show is back in 2019 with nine performances ranging from Stone Poets to Great Plains.

The season is set to open Jan. 18 with Friday Night Live mainstay Matt Grinke and the Happiest Big Band on Earth.

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Grinke, perhaps the most devoted jazz pianist and Walt Disney devotee on the North Shore, put together the 17-piece group when his Capilano University music instructor assigned him the task of giving an old song a new arrangement.

After hearing his own musical fingerprints on “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin, he knew he had to put together a band that put musical dexterity and appreciation for Mickey Mouse on equal footing.

The band plays all Disney music, alternating between the fan favourites and the deep cuts.

“You can ask anybody in the world what their favourite Disney song is and everybody will have an answer.”

The season is also slated to include comedian Jullian Kolstee. A Carson Graham graduate, Kolstee returned to his high school as a coach, guiding Carson’s improv team to the national championships in four out of five years.

Friday Night Live’s spring lineup also includes contemporary folk trio Stone Roses as well as the duo Saskia and Darrel Delaronde, also known as The Great Plains.

Friday Night Live is also set to welcome Countermeasure. Featuring 14 harmony singers, the a cappella ensemble is scheduled to choreograph and perform songs on the theme of saints.

Grinke is also set to close the spring season in a performance with classical concert pianist Frank Chu.

The show operates out of Lynn Valley United Church at 3201 Mountain Highway.

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