Summerland alumnus wins 2013 Juno Award

Pugs and Crows, a band from Vancouver with a Summerland connection, have won the 2013 Juno Award for Instrumental Album of the year.

Pugs and Crows, a band from Vancouver, have won the 2013 Juno Award for Instrumental Album of the year.

Playing double bass for this band is Russell Sholberg, a graduate of Summerland Secondary School.

This summer, Sholberg was in town for his 25 year grad reunion.

“I had a great time,” he said. “It reminded me that my Summerland classmates were a fun, inclusive bunch of people. I think I really learned how to be open minded from the different friends I hung out with in Summerland and that has been a great asset, helping me to become diverse and successful as a musician.”

Sholberg started playing electric bass in Grade 12.

Once he picked up the double bass, musical worlds opened up for him.

He joined the UBC big band where he learned basic jazz techniques.

He learned classical techniques as a member of the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I played with as many bands as I could and learned a lot about music from studying their different styles,” he said.

Pugs and Crows have been together for more than five years.

“I think we came together as a group because we wanted to make original music, that was not tied to any particular style,” Sholberg said. “We have been compelled to build our own identity as a band.”

Speaking of the Juno, he said, “It has been a nice bit of recognition that makes us feel that we are doing the right thing in following our own musical path.”

Sholberg said he plans to continue working on original music in the future. He also expressed a desire to arrange for the band to do some shows in the Okanagan.

To read more and to hear a sample of their music, go to pugsandcrows.com.