The Legendary Lake Monsters are a sizzling high energy 10-piece band bringing together the talents of Paul May (Vocals, Guitar), Anita Baturin (Vocals), Henry Piovesan (Vocals, Keys, 1953 Hammond B3 Organ), Aaron French (Bass), Greg Baturin (Drums), Alex Barss (Alto Sax), Craig Carmody (Tenor Sax, Flute), Mike Scharf (Baritone Sax), Al Szeliga (Trumpet), and Brian McMahon (Trombone).
The Legendary Lake Monsters name came about on a scorching hot Okanagan outdoor rehearsal overlooking the lake. They wanted a name that was reflective of the whole Okanagan Valley and the size of the band…something unique and memorable. The legend of the Ogopogo monster in Okanagan Lake predates the arrival of the Europeans in the area and is recognized throughout Canada. This band contains more than two handfuls of Monster players, so the name resonated with them.
Dance was the reason that The Legendary Lake Monsters formed in 2012. Put together by past bandleader Rod MacDonald with the drive of horn players Carmody and Szelgia, they wanted to put together a dance band unlike any other band in the Okanagan. MacDonald describes the style as "a dynamic and entertaining horn-driven sound, playing music from a wide range of genres". Their sound is a true mix of Swing, R&B, ‘60s Pop and Rock, ‘70s Funk, ‘80s New Wave, Latin, and 21st-century horns based music from artists such as Bruno Mars, Cake, Amy Winehouse. Maroon Five, Trombone Shorty, Adele and Nikki Yanofsky, Meghan Trainor, Shemekia Copeland.
The Lake Monsters have made some changes along the way, with stunningly talented vocalist Anita Baturin joining the band in its second year, and her husband Greg Baturin joining to tirelessly and flawlessly drive the sticks. A great addition in late 2014 brought Henry Piovesan, an amazing vocalist, composer, gifted keyboard and Hammond B3 Organ player and big air Baritone Sax player Mike Scharf, formerly of The Shuffle Demons, as monster bass man Aaron French.
Members of the band have shared the stage with internationally known artists such as: Colin James, Mike Reno (Loverboy), Jo Burt (formerly of Black Sabbath), Dzal Martin (The Equals), Jack Lovin (Powder Blues), Russell Jackson (The BB King Band), Alfie Zappacosta, Paul Laine, and Sonny Rhodes (Sonny Rhodes Blues Band).
In the past few years the Legendary Lake Monsters have played to large audiences at Vernon’s Funtastic Music Festival, the Penticton Peachfest Music Festival, Penticton's massive Rib and Music Festival and of course local Vernon venues such as the Vernon Jazz Club, Vibrant Vines Winery, Lorenzo's Cafe, The Green, Sparkling Hills resort and the 400+ capacity Vernon Prestige Lodge, performing a fabulous sold-out Bond 007 themed New Years night in 2015 with local award-winning Okanagan Spirits, 2017 featured a popular sizzling Mardi Gras New Years, 2018 New Years was a sold out Rat Pack Las Vegas tribute.
The band continues to please crowds out of sheer love of creating music with each other and sharing it with the audience. Each band member has been a musician for most of their lives and the act of performing means something a bit different now than when they were growing up. As our guitarist, Paul May reflects "one of the great joys of playing music is the ability to use the experiences we’ve developed over a lifetime to make the best music we can with good friends."