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Jazz trio heats up Hot Springs

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HOT SPRINGS — Montanans may not know it, but jazz does emanate from North Dakota.

Grant Sorlie, 58, brought his Good Vibes band to the Symes Hotel on Friday.

Sorlie and bass guitarist Jim Luikens met while attending the University of North Dakota in 1977 where they played in a jazz ensemble.

The men, who now live in Kalispell, occasionally team up with Bigfork resident Neil Batterson to perform jazz gigs at area locales.

One of their haunts is the Symes Hotel, where the men get a free soak in the acclaimed hot springs before performing at the hotel’s restaurant.

Live performances at the hotel typically take place every Friday and Saturday night and are sponsored by the Hot Springs Artists Society, which passes the sombrero for donations during each event.

Sorlie and Luikens have been friends for nearly 40 years and enjoy their time together.Although they both play with other bands, as does Batterson, the group has played at Symes Hotel about 10 times, Sorlie said.

“I always play better when I’m soaked,” said Batterson, who’s been playing with Good Vibes since 1998.

The men might also be spotted playing with their other groups: Sorlie with Cocinando, a Latin jazz band, and Luikens at Fresh Life Church in Kalispell. Batterson said he’ll start playing with Roots Uprising, a reggae band, in the next couple of months.

Symes Hotel is located at 209 Wall St. It can be found online at symeshotsprings. com or on Facebook.

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