Chilliwack secondary Dixieland band hitting all the notes

Chilliwack secondary
Chilliwack secondary's Curbside Trad Jazz Band is off to nationals, Sacramento and New York City.
— image credit: Paul J. Henderson

A group of Chilliwack senior secondary (CSS) students are taking their musical stylings beyond the schools walls, outside of Chilliwack, all the way to California and New York City.

The Curbside Trad Jazz Band is a New Orleans jazz group carrying on the tradition spurred on by teacher Gary Raddysh.

The group of nine Grade 10 to 12 students play the Dixieland style, which goes beyond the music to include Vaudeville-style performances as well.

In addition to a July 11 set at Party in the Park, and an August Music and More gig, the group is off to MusicFest Canada Nationals mid-May and then to the Sacramento Music Festival, May 22 to 26.

The four-day music festival features professional performers from across the U.S., and the Curbside Trad Jazz Band are the only youth group from Canada.

Group member Ben McRae said he inherited the style of music from his grandparents.

“They were big jazz fans,” he said. “I was always hearing Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman.”

The school’s connection to the Sacramento festival goes back a few years to when CSS grad and now well-known jazz musician Bria Skonberg was at the school.

Skonberg now lives in New York City. Adding to the Curbside Trad Jazz Band’s year, she has invited the group to open up for her at a show in September in New York.

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