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Over 17 years ago, local musician George D Delgrosso found the Sarnia jazz scene so enthralling he knew he needed to showcase it.

Sarnia Can Am Jazz was born and this year they giving a nod to Canadian artists in honour of Canada 150.

can be a lot of things. It relaxing. It can be really smooth. It can be exciting and, the reality is, it not stuffy, laughed Jane Anema from the Sarnia Community Foundation, which helps organize the annual event.

On Sunday, there shouldn be an empty space on the dance floor as over 200 to 300 people are expected to attend and are swept up first by the swinging jump n jive group, The JitterBugs, who pay homage to Frank Sinatra, Louis Jordan and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Internationally renowned jazz vocalist Denise Pelley, who opened for Aretha Franklin, will belt out old school jazz reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie. and London.

jazz gives one a taste of experiencing ideas on the spot because jazz includes improvisation, Pelley said. are free so you can go anywhere. Even with a vocalist, (they) can explore while singing, adding their own spin on the song. of the usual mix of Canadians and Americans, it will be the first that both performers are Canadian. Both performers also come from London, Ont., and this weekend also marks the second consecutive year The Jitterbugs have performed at Can Am Jazz.

Closing out the night will be a joint performance between the two jazz performers. at Sarnia Best Western Guildwood Inn on Sunday.

Jazz is an art form meant to be experienced and Anema notes people might not realize just how much jazz has already influenced their musical tastes. That why she calls jazz the roots of a lot of music.

such a broad based musical style that is the genesis of so many other things, she said. you listen to a lot of new music coming out, there jazz rhythms all the way through. the past six years, the foundation has lent its support and transformed Can Am Jazz into a fundraiser and solidified a lasting legacy for Dr. D. The foundation gives grants to charitable organizations which they say help improve the quality of life in Sarnia Lambton.

The foundation started in 1983. Since then, more than $4 million has been granted to the art scene, to emerging issues like mental health, social service agencies, and to senior citizen projects. In the past year alone, approximately $200,000 has been donated to various groups.

Additionally, every year, about $40,000 in scholarships are given to local students. The proceeds from Can Am Jazz will be pumped back into the community, including into the foundation fund of the arts.

People can buy tickets for $25 from the Sarnia Community Foundation office at 110 560 Exmouth St., with some being offered at the door.

When people go, Pelley says they be keeping jazz vibrant.

is important not only to the Canadian culture but to culture in general, she said. like wanting your family lineage to keep going. I want to see jazz go on with future generations.
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