Jason Scott as Neil Diamond. Submitted photo.

A diamond in Forest Grove

Tribute act to perform on April 7

UPDATE: Due to illness the show is being moved.

Jason Scott says he feels terrible about not being able to make it.

He’s currently looking to move his show in Forest Grove to the beginning of June.

“I hopefully see everyone at the beginning of June and we’re gonna have a hell of a good time. Hang on to your tickets, we’re not cancelling just due to the flu. Believe me, if I could make it there I would.”

Original story: If you ever wanted to go see Songwriters Hall of Famer Neil Diamond live but could never find the chance or money to get out to a show, you’re in luck.

The Forest Grove Royal Canadian Legion is hosting Jason Scott’s interactive Diamond Forever show on April 7.

The Cranbrook-based Jason Scott has been doing his performances as a Neil Diamond tribute act exclusively for Royal Legions of Canada in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

From a musically-gifted family, Scott entered The Conservatory of Music and graduated when he was 15.

“My mom could play the piano and when I was five years old I went up to her and said “mom, I want to learn how to play the piano,” and so she went out and bought me an accordion and I just hated that damn thing,” he said.

Scott would have to practice with the accordion, weighing roughly 70 lbs., for an hour after every dinner before being allowed to go out to play with his friends.

“I thought it was just a chintzy way for my parents to get entertainment,” he joked but he might have been serious, as his parents bought him a bigger accordion when he asked for a guitar after seeing the Beatles.

When he was older he went through the ranks of the west coast music movement, playing in nightclubs, cover bands and he started writing his own music after hooking up with Brian Oliver MacLeod of Headpins fame. MacLeod was also a producer and helped Scott sign a deal with a record label but when they were three or four songs into the album, MacLeod passed away after a battle with cancer and that was the end of that.

It wasn’t until an evening out at a sports bar with his family waiting for a Vancouver Canucks broadcast to begin when there was karaoke before the game that was due to start. His sister picked out Jazz on the Rocks for him to sing.

“Because I’m using the song screen my back was turned to the crowd and I’m reading the words because I didn’t know them, I knew the song but I didn’t know the lyrics, so by the time I finished the second line I thought the game had started because there was a big whoop in the crowd so I figured the Canucks had scored a goal,” he said.

In fact, the game hadn’t even started yet and Scott said the crowd were on their feet whooping at his performance and this was the moment he found out Neil Diamond was “falling off his face.”

Scott did not start performing as Neil Diamond until 1997 when he began performing in soft seat theatres and casinos across the continent and also competed in and won the “Be A Legend” competition at the Las Vegas Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in 2005, becoming the first Canadian to do so.

Scott has also won second place in the Annual Las Vegas Tribute Idol trophy in 2011 and the Reel Award for the pop and rock category in 2012. The Reel Awards are for tribute acts and impersonators.

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