The Champagne Orchestra, led by trumpeter Al Guraliuk and featuring Lini Evans on lead vocals, will be playing the sweet sounds of the swinging big bands starting at 2 p.m. June 3 at the Clarke Theatre.
This nine-piece swing band plays the songs that filled the great ballrooms of the 1930s and ‘40s. The music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Les Brown, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James and many others, had people dancing cheek-to-cheek during the golden era of radio, and their music is still popular. Artists such as Michael Bublé, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and even Rod Stewart have once again popularized these timeless songs.
Guraliuk has been leading the Champagne Orchestra for more than 30 years. Since receiving a bachelor of music degree from the University of British Columbia in 1979, he has been actively involved in Vancouver’s musical community. Guraliuk has traveled to New York, New Orleans and Havana to further study music. As a jazz musician, Guraliuk strives to attain a balance between emotion and technique and, above all, a sound that really swings.
He has been a featured jazz soloist at concerts held at the Queen Elizabeth and Arts Club Theatres. With a natural flair for showmanship and a commercial approach to music, Guraliuk is an ideal dance band leader. As musical director, he has performed with the late Danny Kaye, headlined Las Vegas acts like Danny Gans and Fred Travelena, and with many of Vancouver’s finest performers such as Dee Daniels, Denzal Sinclaire, Tom Arntzen and Tatiana Hancheroff.
Evans is a Vancouver-based international entertainer with a stage presence that sparkles and a powerful voice. She has performed at numerous corporate functions and international festivals in addition to gala shows in Hong Kong, Paris, Osaka plus a command performance in Kobe, Japan. Evans has been a featured vocalist in Reno and performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also performed at Toronto’s Skydome Stadium and was the only entertainer to sing for visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji at a prestigious event attended by 1,000 world leaders. Her credits also include numerous television and radio performances.
As a solo cabaret performer she has amazed and delighted audiences worldwide singing in eight languages. Among them are Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese. Evans has also performed on U.S. cruise ships, at a variety of North American private functions, nightclubs and festivals. Since 2003 she has performed with the Champagne Orchestra.