Tim Sars and Tiny Islands bring a taste of New Orleans to Penticton on Jan. 28. Submitted photo

Sounds of Mardis Gras to fill Children’s Showcase in Penticton

The Vancouver-based children’s group Tim Sars and Tiny Islands present At the Mardis Gras

Brass instruments will come to life in the next instalment of the Children’s Showcase in Penticton.

The Vancouver-based children’s group Tim Sars and Tiny Islands present At the Mardis Gras starting at 2 p.m.

Sars and his brother Nathan Barrett both career musicians, develop a variety of shows to tour around schools and children’s venues. This is the first time they will play At the Mardi Gras in the interior.

"Jazzology", a show for elementary schools by Tiny Islands. from Spontaneous Productions on Vimeo.

“Both Nathan and I, we play brass instruments and we really love the music of New Orleans and we have kind of taken our love for it as an opportunity to bring it to elementary schools,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do a show where we showcase different instruments that children are used to seeing in school band. We play them in a style that people in B.C. aren’t always used to.”

Sars has never been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans himself, but his brother has and even lived there for a time.

“We both have always loved that style of music. Nathan brings some of that personal experience to the show,” he said.

“We work on a lot of the call and response. There’s a rich history of call and response. We also talk about where the music came from and how the music was brought to the street and how it can be used in ceremonies like funerals and celebrations. There’s a lot of audience participation throughout the entire performance so people can expect to be singing along to lots of music and there’s usually dancing at one point.”

For the past 15 years Sars has worked as a career musician. He’s played in a variety of bands at all types of venues including festivals. His brother attended national theatre school in Montreal.

“He brings a more theatrical edge to the show.”

As part of the show, audience members will learn a little bit about of all the instruments played.

Bass and drums will be played by other musicians while the Sars and his brother will play trumpet, several different saxophones and a tuba throughout the performance.

“We like to introduce them. It’s educational but entertaining at the same time. You wouldn’t really know it’s educational. We like to slip that in there,” he said with a laugh.

Several years ago an agent suggested Sars try the children’s entertainment circuit and he hasn’t looked back.

“He saw a show of mine and liked it and suggested I try it out. Pretty much I do what I do at a bar or on a festival stage and then do it for kids. Maybe we have to do a few lyric changes, but mostly it’s the same,” he said.

Sars said he’s always enjoyed working with children and teaching them about music. In Vancouver he teaches private music lessons, hosts community bands and runs after school programs linked to music.

“Performing for kids has made my adult shows 10 times better. You have to hold children’s attention for the whole entire time. With adults you can lose them and they will still be polite. I’m way more conscious now and go into it with the mentality of keeping the whole show on point.”

The show takes place Jan. 28 at the Cleland Theatre. Tickets are $12 each and can be bought at www.eventbrite.ca.

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