As the 2019 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival came to an end this weekend, a group of musicians came together to honour and remember a local music legend.
This is the first festival since Maurice Drouin’s passing and it was a tough week for Tatrina Tai. The vocalist had mixed feelings about the performance on the Canada Day long weekend.
“I can honestly say that obviously it’s a huge honour. There’s also a huge bittersweetness to the entire situation,” Tai said.
Earlier this year, the Saskatoon music scene lost Drouin. The 82-year-old pianist loved performing and was known for never slowing down despite his age.
WATCH: (June 24, 2018) First weekend of the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival a success
Bandmate and best friend Graham Dyck was one of the singers with whom he performed, and Dyck said they were trying to give listeners a taste of what Drouin offered.
“We want it to be as close to what a Maurice show was, and unfortunately that’s almost near impossible to do with his sense of humour and his wit,” Dyck said.
“You couldn’t plan what he was going to say or do and that was part of the magic.”
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Dyck said the last few months have been difficult performing at shows while thinking Drouin would be on his right.
“As hard as it is to look around and not see your guy with you — your teammate — you try to honour his memory by doing what he would do,” Dyck said.
Tai, who saw Drouin as a mentor, said it would be an extremely emotional show, but this couldn’t have been done any other way.
“Maurice was all heart. If he knew that people were doing this for him and he was here, he would’ve been a big bag of tears,” Tai said.