Season-opener of ‘tour de Fort’ a success

The Townshend Theatre featured a slice of Las Vegas on Tuesday night as “tour de Fort” presented Matt Dusk at its 2005/06 season-opener.
To a sold-out audience, the Toronto-born Dusk, 26, added a new spin to some old favourites, including “Pennies From Heaven,” “I Won’t Dance,” and “Mack the Knife.”
Dusk opened with a Frank Sinatra classic, “Fly Me to the Moon,” establishing a charming stage presence and quickly earning a rapport with the audience.
Nominated for a Juno Award this year, it’s no surprise Dusk recently completed filming in Las Vegas on the reality series, “The Casino,” playing the part of an in-house entertainer.
With a solid repertoire of swing and big band classics, Dusk led the audience on a mini-tour down memory lane.
Cole Porter’s “I Get a Kick out of You,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” and “For Once in My Life” showcased the young singer’s rich voice, exceptional timing, and snappy styling.
Backed up with impressive jazz improvisation on keyboard by Michael Shand and the fluid and inspired sax of Steve MacDonald, Dusk had the audience singing in their seats.
Equally well-received was Dusk’s own material, including the enigmatic “Windows.”
“Two Shots,” a song written by U2 front man Bono and The Edge for the late Frank Sinatra, is a fitting “new” ballad, as performed by the talented Dusk—a rising star who has bridged the gap between old and new seamlessly.
As the warm-up act, Tessa Jones, a 22-year–old music student from Montreal, opened the show with her own vocal and guitar arrangements of “Lah ti Dah” and “The Wild Northlands.”
Reminiscent of a young Holly Cole, Jones’ ethereal voice rose and fell in a moving arrangement of Johnny Cash’s “Were You There.”
Prior to the show, “tour de Fort” president Dave Legg announced a new feature for passport-holders.
By logging on to the “tour de Fort” website, patrons who are not able to attend scheduled performances can exchange or lend out their passports to those who wish to attend.
As of Tuesday night’s concert, only one passport remained unsold.
The next “tour de Fort” performance, featuring Jeff Healey’s Classical Jazz Wizards, is scheduled for next Saturday (Oct. 15) at the Townshend Theatre.
Admission is by passport only.