Jazz at the Anvil: R&B Allstars

Presented by Piva

The R&B Allstars formed in the late 70’s as a testament to our love of Classic R+B. The original band, with signature white tuxedos, first opened for Long John Baldry at Ohara’s. At this gig, the band was seen by Harry Brandolini, of No. 5 Orange, and he had an idea that the Allstars and the “5” would be a great weekend fit. Harry hired us, and the line-ups began, as did the curiosity. We were featured on local news, radio and TV shows. Many write-ups by people such as Tom Harrison only helped our popularity.

We soon became a fixture in the Vancouver nightlife scene, and also opened for touring acts that came to town. Many Jazz and Blues festivals followed. We were a fixture on Whistler long weekend holidays at Buffalo Bills. The Allstars recordings include Choo Choo Choo Boogie, Ain’t that a lot Of Love, Crazy Mama, Satisfaction, and an original, You’ve Got to Make up Your Mind. With great support from local radio, the band created a following that has endured for the past 45 years. More than 30 members have come and gone, including some of the best Vancouver talent.

The R&B Allstars is a dynamic 10-piece rhythm and blues band, celebrating their 45th year on the Vancouver music scene. Formed in 1979, the band gained popularity playing venues such as the iconic Town Pump, the Commodore, Richards on Richards, 86th Street as well as being a regular feature at Whistler’s Buffalo Bills. The band enjoyed great radio support in the early years having recorded many singles and a live album, Live at the Five, which is where it all started. More recently the band recorded a CD/DVD set at the Hard Rock Casino.

Recently, the powerful vocals of Nathen Aswell were added to those of Joani Bye, with vocal augmentation by Billy Mendoza, Peter Juric and Tim Porter. The funky powerhouse rhythm section features Tim Porter’s searing guitar stylings, Billy Mendoza pounding the bass, keyboard wizard Bill Sample, Rick Hill on drums, Steve Hilliam on tenor saxophone, Peter Juric (trumpet), Colin Weinmaster (trombone) and Bill Abbott (alto sax) form the outstanding “brass kicking ass” horn section.

The Allstars always enjoy reconnecting with their loyal fans of many years and finding new ones along the way.