The last in-person show that Cameron Wilson played before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown went into effect last spring was at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre.
A tour with the Juno-nominated Marc Atkinson Trio was due to follow; however, those plans got thrown out when the provincial emergency health order was declared.
Since then, the violinist has managed to pick up some gigs — on- and off-line — as a solo artist and with his group, Van Django, which, on Oct. 2, will perform two hour-long concerts at the City Centre venue, at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
“It’s been a surreal time but now it’s nice to get back to playing before people,” Wilson told the Tri-City News last week. “It’s therapeutic for the audience and it’s therapeutic for us. We hope it’s the start of more shows.”
This year, they picked up dates for socially distanced events at the PNE, Frankie’s Jazz Club in Vancouver and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby. In March, they also taped a concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), featuring seven of its compositions.
(Last weekend, Wilson also performed with the VSO for its Back To The Future series, playing Alan Silverstri’s score.)
And, in November, Van Django will head to Maple Ridge to perform with singer LJ Mounteney at The Act Arts Centre; it also has gigs lined up with the Kamloops Symphony.
“With capacity at 50 per cent now, it’s not great but that’s still better than before,” Wilson said. “We can see things are slowing getting back to normal in the province.”
As for its Evergreen concerts this weekend, Wilson said the Hot Club of France-inspired band will likely showcase tunes from its most recent album, Hotel Europe, as well as Django Reinhardt songs and arranged mash ups.
• The Van Django shows on Oct. 2 are part of the Evergreen’s $25 for 25 series, in recognition of the venue’s milestone anniversary. For tickets, call the box office at 604-927-6555 or visit evergreenculturalcentre.ca.