Okanagan talents shine under Vernon spotlight

The Dixie Fried Hep Katz are featured in episode four of the Focus Online Series, March 4-7. (Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre photo)
Scotty Berg and Justin Moore (back) are featured in episode four of the Focus Online Series, March 4-7. (Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre photo)
Lake Country singer Payton Bischoff is featured in episode four of the Focus Online Series, March 4-7. (Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre photo)
The Maritime Kitchen Party is featured in episode four of the Focus Online Series, March 4-7. (Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre photo)

A 12-year-old Lake Country phenom, Enderby singer-songwriter-guitarist and astounding Kelowna duo are just a few of the talents in Focus online.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre returns in a big way with episode four of its successful Focus Online Series, four days only Thursday, March 4 to 7. The latest episode features area rockabilly band Dixie Fried Hep Katz, Lake Country singer Payton Bischoff, veteran East Coast-style band Maritime Kitchen Party and performance by Kelowna’s Scotty Berg and Justin Moore. The new venture is free to view (although donations are gratefully accepted) at ticketseller.ca.

It has been met by widespread viewer and industry praise for the highly-talented and diverse performers, technical production values and seamless online accessibility. Focus episodes one to three have played to 2,800 viewers, (and another 1,020 viewers for Ballet Kelowna’s recent One With) and has gained a significant jump in the art centre’s Instagram followers.

“We have been blown away by the talent of these young artists,” artistic director Erin Kennedy said. “They have been lovely to work with and so professional. We are excited for our community to enjoy their performances.”

Touted as “the future of Rockabilly” by The Wheelgrinders, the Dixie Fried Hep Katz’ young trio is led by Enderby’s singer-songwriter-guitarist Porter Johnson; with drummer-backup vocals-songwriter Kyndra Johnson; and “slapping” bass player Logan Bannick. They are heavily-influenced by the Sun Records artists and others from the ‘50s including Eddie Cochrane, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Duane Eddy and modern rockabilly greats: The Stray Cats, The Wheelgrinders, Cousin Harley and Reverend Horton Heat. The Dixie Fried Hep Katz have quickly earned a large following and have set their sights on recording and touring.

“It was an honour to perform at this great venue,” the band said. “The sound rocked and we enjoyed the big stage! Everything was set-up well and this was a great experience. The production team was top notch and made it easy for us to do our thing — Rockabilly!”

Lake Country’s Payton Bischoff is a proud, top-12 finalist in Okanagan’s Got Talent – out of more than 140 contestants. Bischoff loves to perform in a variety of venues, from talent competitions to busking in downtown Kelowna. She is also passionate about acting and enjoys performing on stage with Kelowna’s Actors Studio.

“I loved that there was a sound person, a videographer, and a lighting guy. It made it feel like I was in a music video,” Bischoff said about her recording experience. “It was amazing to watch myself after they recorded me singing, I was so excited and didn’t want it to end.”

Veteran performers Maritime Kitchen Party is named for this long-standing East Coast tradition. Maritimers love to party—and inevitably the party ends-up in the kitchen. There’s always a guitar with someone belting-out traditional songs at the top of their lungs. Maritime Kitchen Party brings that feeling to their live performance, with foot-stomping music heavily influenced with Canadiana such as Great Big Sea, Stompin’ Tom, Blue Rodeo and more. Maritime Kitchen Party has opened for, or played with: Kim Mitchell, 54/40, Men of the Deep, Big Sugar (twice), Tal Bachman, Prism, The Sheepdogs (twice), Blue Rodeo and many more.

Scotty Berg is just 13-years-old and has already performed in front of thousands, singing at Wentworth Music rock shows, the national anthem at numerous sporting events, Okanagan’s Got Talent and he won the Armstrong Fair’s Youth Talent competition. Berg recorded an original song, I Wouldn’t Know What to Do and is now followed on social media by artists Aaron Pritchett, Laura Cavacece and Ben Klick, influencer Jillian Harris and NHL star Tyson Barrie. As a versatile vocalist, he is passionate about all genres of music and is studying guitar and piano to expand his musical capabilities. Berg will be performing in a duet with Justin Moore, an ultra-talented local who has already found success on YouTube and has released several of his own songs for which he produces and plays all the instruments. His blend of pop and alternative rock has also been compared to Ed Sheeran, John Legend and Josh Groban. He also comes from a richly talented musical lineage as the son of well known local, Julliard-trained opera singers Paul Moore and Melina Schein — who was featured in episode two.

“It was really a great experience to be a part of this series,” Moore said. “The production team was absolutely killer. All we (with Scotty Berg) had to do was walk onstage and perform and everything was clean, organized and professional and was really well done.

“I think this is a phenomenal way to bring attention to the music industry when musicians can’t play live,” Moore said. “It’s a great move and it’s the way of the future to make content like this and I hope people take the time to enjoy some ‘pseudo live’ music and support local musicians.”

The Dixie Fried Hep Katz echoed that: “We are grateful to VDPAC and the FOCUS Online Series for this opportunity to perform during this time of limited performances.”

To view free 1-minute featurettes of FOCUS Online Series performers from Episodes 1 to 4, viewers can go online to YouTube and enter “vdpac” in the Search field for VDPAC’s own YouTube channel.

Watch Episode 4 of VDPAC’s FOCUS Online Series for free, (Running time: 18:23minutes) airing from 12:01am, Thursday, March 4th to Midnight, Sunday, March 7th with comments welcome on Facebook (@vdpac) or Instagram (@vernonperformingarts).

READ MORE: Vernon stage puts new artists in focus, amid pandemic

READ MORE: The show must go on: Kelowna musicians take virtual stage to keep playing


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Arts and EntertainmentCoronavirusLive music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Windsurfers enjoying a windstorm on Skaha Lake in Penticton on March 28, 2021. (Sandy Steck Photography)
Wind warning issued for Okanagan Valley

Boaters are being warned of gusts up to 70 km/h by late afternoon on Sunday

Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Shostak (centre) fends off a check from Salmon Arm defenceman to get a close-in scoring attempt on Silverbacks goalie Owen Say during Vernon’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout victory Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over cliff in Coldstream near Kal Lake Park

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

A GoFundMe page has been launched for a Vernon man whose BX orchard property home off Pleasant Valley Road near Stickle Road was totally destroyed in a fire Saturday, April 17. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Fundraising campaign launched for Vernon man who lost home to fire

A GoFundMe page has been started by family; man taken to hospital with injuries from fire

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Most Read