Wîci was officially formed by Steve and Kirstie in 2018 (although it’s safe to say that we have been working on various musical projects for the past 18 years). Developed initially as a duo, we have since progressed and expanded with musicians to become a full band that can accommodate different formats. We play at various hotels, restaurants, bars and at private parties across the island. Pre-Covid, we used to enjoy letting our hair down (well – Kirstie anyway – Steve has no hair) by playing at wine bars, breweries and craft beer bars in both Jersey and the UK. It is always good to play in different settings both on and off island, to learn about different music.
Wîci (pronounced Witch-ee) means “together” in Canadian Cree, which is important when you are in a band, as you need to pull together as a team. Apart from the musical reference to Wîci, both Steve and Kirstie have connections to Canada (plus we’re ‘together’ as a couple in life). With that in mind, it was no surprise that the band name had some Canadian connotations.
We like to play a variety of music so that we can cater for almost everyone in terms of genre of music and age groups. Although our specialities are Latin, Jazz and Salsa, we love to put our own twist on songs and “Latinise” them a bit. We always try and get people’s feet tapping and hips wiggling.
Wîci as a full band has a fantastic sound, with Kirstie on vocals, cajon and hand percussion; Steve on guitar and vocals; Matt on trumpet, hand percussion and backing vocals; and Chris on main percussion (conga, bongo, small drum kit). Our hand percussion consists of various shakers, guiro, cabasa, claves, and anything else we find! We pride ourselves on our flexibility, which makes us appealing for smaller venues (and budgets). We can play as a duo, a trio (with Matt on trumpet), quartet or occasionally a quintet with a second horn.
Coronavirus has made it difficult for all musicians, and it’s still tough with the Government “strongly discouraging” both brass and singing. We have used the time to learn new songs and rhythms and have streamed some online Vigs (Virtual Gigs), which have been fun. We understand that online music isn’t quite the same but, always aiming to please, we like to think our online Vigs brighten up the day. During lockdown, we were fortunate enough to have Steve’s son Jack staying with us. Jack teaches trombone in Norway, but he was happy to step in and play some tunes on our Vigs. We’re planning to air a few more soon, so keep an eye out on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wiciband. There are still a few venues out there who are willing to put on live music, and also some private events, so we’ve managed to keep playing which is great. Of course, it is important to comply with rules so everything is a little different, but when it’s online we can provide more of the Wîci experience!
Looking to the future, we are hoping to increase our presence as a full band and get a few new venues and private events under our belts once the restrictions ease. We’ll continue learning new songs, as that’s what we enjoy (and we like to have a wide range of material so that we can go in different directions and “go-with-the-flow”).
If you want to contact us, we’d love to hear from you via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org