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Melody Diachun Performs the Music of Sting

By Contributor
January 19th, 2023

Selkirk Pro-Musica presents its third concert of the 2022-23 season with JUNO and National Jazz Awards nominee, vocalist Melody Diachun performing The Music of Sting.

The concert will take place at Shambhala Hall, 7:30pm on Friday, January 27 with tickets now available at Otter Books in Nelson.

Diachun will be accompanied by her contemporary jazz group, David Restivo, piano and keyboards, Michael Occhipinti, guitar, guitar loops and ambient effects, Doug Stephenson, acoustic bass, and Tony Ferraro, drums.

“Born Gordon Sumner, Sting is one of the greatest living songwriters, both as a solo artist and with the legendary post-punk reggae rock band, The Police. The album project is a bold and logical next step for Melody, an artist with a penchant for pairing atypical material with improvising musicians. She remains faithful to the essence of the songs, whether they are huge hits like “Roxanne” or B-sides like “Murder By Numbers.”

The soloists roam free over grooves and soundscapes that range from lush to bombastic.”

The album and concert have been in the works for a while, as Diachun explains:

“This is our Nelson album release concert/celebration! The album was supposed to be recorded in June of 2020. We finally recorded in May 2022, and we’re excited to be able to bring our bandmate Michael Occhipinti from Toronto for a trio of BC album release concerts.”

Diachun is a vocalist, songwriter, arranger, and a warm performer praised for her “soulful confidence, exquisite intonation, phrasing, and sense of time.” — All About Jazz.

With five albums as leader, Diachun is an increasingly significant artist with her own sound and approach to creating new music. In 2012 she came to Nelson to join the faculty of the Contemporary Music & Technology program at Selkirk College.

Diachun continued on to become the program coordinator in 2015, and the Chair for the School of the Arts in 2022.

David Restivo is one of Canada’s most respected and influential jazz artists. He is a three-time winner of the National Jazz Awards’ Pianist of the Year Award and is well known for his work with Rob McConnell, Mike Murley, and legendary songwriter Marc Jordan. He received a JUNO for his work on the 2001 recording “The Rob McConnell Tentet”; his album “Arancia” was nominated for Jazz Group of the Year at the 2022 JUNOs. 

Michael Occhipinti is a versatile, sound-sculpting guitarist and composer/arranger who has spent decades freely moving between jazz, chamber music, world music, R&B/funk, and anything involving modern guitar sounds. In addition to his previous JUNO Award and 8 JUNO nominations, Michael recently won the 2022 JUNO Award for Jazz Group of the Year as a member of Avataar.

Doug Stephenson has been an integral member of Western Canada’s music community for over thirty years. The Calgary native is a bassist, guitarist, composer, producer, and mixing engineer. He has performed with many well-known artists including Charlie Rouse, Les McCann and Campbell Ryga.

Tony Ferraro is a diverse, musical drummer who is at home in many different genres. After being named Percussionist of the Year at Toronto’s Humber College, he studied with some of the most accomplished drummers in the world, including Dave Weckl, Steve Smith, and Horacio Hernandez.

“Diachun’s deep-dive into the archives of Sting’s songbook is admirable … Whether it’s with a new arrangement, a new groove, or just the joy that can so often flow from Sting’s music.” – Lavender Sutton,

Tickets for the January 27 concert and are now available for $20 at Otter books in Nelson.


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