08/13/2013 13:47 EDT | Updated 10/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Big dreams for big band music

It might not be a trend now, but if Gary Lee gets his way, big band music will soon become the next big thing in Vancouver.

"What we're trying to do is revive dining, dancing and nightclub shows, " Lee told the CBC's Kathryn Gretsinger on The Early Edition.

"It'll be like a really bona fide dinner club, like in the old days," he said, promoting his Blast from the Past dinner and dance that runs Tuesday and Wednesday.

The event is an effort to transform Vancouver's Pink Pearl Restaurant into a night club reminiscent of famed venues like Isy's Supper Club Vancouver, The Cave, and the Marco Polo Supper Club.

Lee hasn't always been a musician. Growing up, his father told him a career in music would be a "low class" lifestyle, and that he should become either a doctor or an engineer. Lee abided by his father's wishes and went on to become both a civil and mechanical engineer.

But music, especially that of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., was always his first love.

Now retired, performing with the Big Little Buddha Band — and music in general — have become the main focus of his life.

"I don't need to be an engineer, I can be what I want to be," said Lee.

The Blast from the Past dinner and dance is tonight and tomorrow at the Pink Pearl Restaurant, 1132 East Hastings. Dinner begins at 5 p.m. PT and the music begins at 7:30 p.m.

With files from The Early Edition's Elaine Chau. You can follow her on twitter @echaudaily.