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The Unbroadcast Life of Mildred Bailey

7:30 PM, Thursday, December 30 and Friday, December 31
Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street
Tickets: Sliding-scale $15-35

A workshop presentation of a live podcast and revue of the life and music of Mildred Bailey, Salish jazz singer, social darling, and little-known musical pioneer of the 1930s.

Podcast play written by Russell Wallace. Music arranged by Tony Wilson. Directed by Columpa Bobb.

Presented by the Powell Street Festival Society in partnership with the Firehall Arts Centre.

In the 1930s, Mildred Bailey was the centre of a lively music scene. She broke ground for Billy Holiday and Bing Crosby among others. One of the first microphone singers, she introduced a new technology to the artform and her contemporaries, and held legendary parties wherever she lived. This live podcast play and musical revue explores Mildred Bailey’s life and impact on the jazz scene, offering glimpses into rehearsal rooms, music studios, and lively, star-studded wingdings by way of the Salish Trailblazers podcast. Come celebrate the music and life of Mildred Bailey and the eve of a New Year!

COVID-19 protocols in place, including limited tickets, physical distancing, and mandatory proof of vaccination.

Creative Team Bios:

Russell Wallace (writer) is an award-winning composer and traditional singer from the Lil’wat Nation. He is an alumnus of Capilano University (theatre), University of BC (Creative Writing), Banff Centre for the Arts (Composer), and Spirit Song Native Theatre (Theatre). Wallace is one of the founding members of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast. He received a Leo Award for Best Musical Score for the documentary series, 1941: The Untold History of the Americas before Columbus. Wallace has been a guest programmer for World Vancouver and has programmed the Aboriginal Electronic Music Festival for a number of years. He teaches at Vancouver Community College.

Guitarist and composer Tony Wilson (music director, arranger) has been a fixture on the West Coast jazz and free improv scene for decades. In addition to releasing numerous albums under his own name such as Looking Back and A Day’s Life, he has also played and recorded with the Peggy Lee Band, Waxwing and Pugs and Crows.

Columpa Bobb has been a theatre artist for 25 years. She has turned a multi-faceted career as a performer, playwright, director and producer to start and run the only Aboriginal Theatre company in Manitoba that has produced theatre for and by Indigenous people for the last nine years.

Featuring performers Justin Neal as NARRATOR, Michelle Bardach as MILDRED BAILEY, Jeremy Wong as AL RINKER, Emmett Hatlelid as BING CROSBY, Dave Say on Saxophone, Joshua Zubot on Violin, Tony Wilson on Guitar, André Lachance on Bass, Robin Layne on Vibraphone and Percussion and Kai Basanta on Drums. Production team includes Stage Manager Jillian Perry, Sound Technician Marc L’Esperance, and livestream technician Jo Hirabayashi.

Powell Street Festival Society and Firehall Arts Centre acknowledge the support of Canadian Heritage, the City of Vancouver, and the BC Arts Council