Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Multi-Juno nominee John Stetch returns to Canada, returns to full-band recording with Vulneraville

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Album launch for Vulneraville

May 5 – The Bassment, Saskatoon
May 6 – Yardbird Suite, Edmonton
May 7 – Pyatt Hall, Vancouver

Five-time Juno nominee John Stetch is turning over a few new leaves with the release of his brand new album Vulneraville; the project marks a return to full-band performance for Stetch after several albums of solo piano work, and a return to a home-base in Canada – Vancouver this time – after well over two decades in New York State.

Consider his May 7 concert at Vancouver’s Pyatt Hall his homecoming.

Stetch will arrive in town with the shit-hot team of players he’s been working with in Harlem for the past year: saxophonist Steve Kortyka, who has been touring with Lady Gaga’s jazz project; in-demand Dutch drummer Philippe Lemm; and bassist Ben Tiberio, a 25-year-old wonderkind who has already played some of the hottest clubs in New York.

Together, they’ll set fire to a new collection of Stetch originals, titled Vulneraville, that exudes virtuosity, groove and soul. Read the rest of this entry »

Twelve-year touring veterans The Eisenhauers launch Steve Dawson-produced duo debut

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The Road We Once Knew out April 21 on Black Hen Music
 

April 22, 2017 – Revelstoke, BC – Revelstoke Coffee House
May 11, 2017 – Rossland BC – The Flying Steamshovel
May 12, 2017 – Chilliwack, BC – Acoustic Emporium
May 13, 2017- Vancouver, BC – Rogue Folk Club
May 14, 2017 – Abbotsford, BC – Field House Brewing
May 16, 2017 – Kelowna BC – Kelowna Folk Club
May 17, 2017 – Field, BC – Truffle Pigs Bistro
May 19, 2017 – Edmonton, AB – The Almanac
May 21, 2017 – Calgary, AB – Broken City
May 22, 2017- Saskatoon, SK – Drift Cafe
May 25, 2017 – Steinbach, MB – Coffee Culture Cafe & Eatery
May 26, 2017 – Winnipeg, MB – West End Cultural Centre
May 27, 2017 – Regina, SK  – Creative City Centre
May 29, 2017 – Lethbridge, AB – The Slice
May 30, 2017 – Cranbrook, BC – The Heidout Restaurant and Brewhouse
June 9-11, 2017 – Ymir, BC – Tiny Lights Music Festival
July 22-23, 2017 – Crawford Bay, BC – Starbelly Jam Festival
August 17, 2017 – Keremeos, BC – Old Grist Mill
August 19-20, 2017 – Salmon Arm, BC – Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival
 

Most musicians “turn pro” hoping to make a living making art.  Few would turn their nose up at a little critical praise or commercial success.  But music plays a more novel role in the lives of Sheree Plett and Jeremy Eisenhauer, collectively known as The Eisenhauers:  Touring is a tie that binds their marriage together.

So if you’re wondering how this winsome country roots duo with heartbreakingly sweet vocals, stirring harmonies and beguiling acoustic picking escaped your attention for the past twelve years, well, they were just too busy being a happy troubadour family to think of telling media they existed.

Until now that is. Read the rest of this entry »

Alex Cuba follows up Grammy-nominated Healer with

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Mounting expectations brought by multiple Grammy nods and significant global recognition can easily pressure an artist into making a creative misstep – a move driven by momentary disconnection from one’s muse.

For Smithers-based Cuban-Canadian artist Alex Cuba, earning his second career Grammy nod for his 2015 album Healer – along with a 2015 Latin Grammy for Best Singer-Songwriter Album – has had precisely the opposite effect.

Possessed of a new level of confidence that comes from having proven oneself among one’s peers, Alex is opening himself up like never before on his new album, Lo Único Constante (the one constant), taking new creative risks and mining for inspiration his earliest musical influences from his childhood in Cuba.

It’s an album that easily surpasses Healer as his finest to date, an album of spacious acoustic roots that places Alex’s smooth, soulful Cuban espresso vocals front and centre, evoking a carefree day in the sunny streets of Havana.

Chief among the influences on this album is filin (derived from the English word “feeling”), a movement that emerged in the 1940s, popularized by acts such as César Portillo de la Luz, Jose Antonio Mendez, and Omara Portuondo (to name a few), which draws inspiration from guitar-based Cuban roots styles such as trova and American jazz and soul.  Its mellifluous melodies, stirring harmonies, and meticulous song-craft are showcased throughout Lo Único Constante, notably on the first single, “Todas Las Cabezas Están Locas,” released Friday.

Recorded in Montreal with producer Jean Massicotte, the song opens with Alex crooning in heartfelt tones over gentle acoustic guitar, before Les Triplettes de Belleville soundtrack composer Benoit Charest jumps in with some gentle gypsy jazz licks. Brazilian-born vocalist Bia offers some sultry back-up singing leading up to rhythmic choruses, accentuated by layered vocals and joyful hand claps.

Alex shows off his roots in a whole different way on “Chekere,” a song about the spiritual properties of shakers.  Its tribal-like rhythms come courtesy of the Abakuá drums, a percussion instrument that pre-dates the conga and belongs to a Cuban secret society. Read the rest of this entry »

Fourteen-year-old Vancouver artist Maya Rae brings youthful influences to vocal jazz

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Photo credit: Saffron Kelly
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Sapphire Birds album launch
Feb. 23, 8 p.m., Frankie’s
Tickets $20
Reservations at http://www.coastaljazz.ca/

She’s just 14 years old, but Vancouver jazz vocalist Maya Rae already knows exactly who she is as an artist.

Her debut album, Sapphire Birds, showcases her beguiling, understated vocal style and her totally unique repertoire, which ranges from originals inspired by life at school and home to fresh covers of jazz standards and unique renditions of favourite pop songs by artists such as Meghan Trainor and Christina Aguilera.

In fact, the opening track of Sapphire Birds, a cover of Trainor’s “Close Your Eyes,” immediately puts the listener on notice that Maya is her own kind of artist. She strips the song of Trainor’s girly, bubble gum pop vocal affectations, and replaces them with real swing and soul. A-list Vancouver Jazz pianist Miles Black and Maya’s mentor, West Coast saxophonist and jazz impresario Cory Weeds give the piece a gorgeous vintage doo-wop feel that leaves the whole thing sounding 100 times better than the original. Read the rest of this entry »

Montreal’s multi-award-winning Mélisande [électrotrad] creates an explosion of trad music and beats

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Photo credit: Albert Zablit For a high rez image, right click the photo and select “save target as” or your browser’s equivalent.

Launch concerts for Les Millésimes:

Feb. 11 – The Ironwood, Calgary, AB
Feb. 24 – Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg, MB
Feb. 25-26 – Maple Sugar Festival, Nanaimo, BC

March 4-5 – Festival du Bois, Coquitlam, BC

Following in the footsteps of globally-renowned acts like Afro Celt Sound System and Sweden’s Hedningarna, award-winning artist Mélisande [électrotrad] (say: may-lee-ZAWND) is leading a movement to merge traditional Quebecois music with electronica.

The band’s brand new sophomore album Les millésimes (the vintages) is an odyssey of pulsating beats, live drums and percussion, searing fiddle melodies, driving vocal choruses, blistering horn arrangements and creative synth lines – all providing hook-laden, centuries-old songs with a new life on the dance floor.

Mélisande and musical partner Alexandre “Moulin” de Grosbois-Garand purposely chose songs with a festive feel for their second album, hoping to make it groove even more than their award-winning debut. They chose the album title to suggest that great music, like fine wine, gets better with age. They selected their source material from the American Folk Life Centre at the U.S. Library of Congress as well as from the archives of the Canadian Museum of History and the University of Laval. Mélisande picked out her favorite versions of the songs while “Moulin” composed the core musical arrangements.

The first single, “Sur la ritintin,” opens with a brief cold vocal before erupting into pounding beats and bubbling bass, the traditional call-and-response vocal structure of the song rendered as a repetitive pop hook. Adding to Mélisande’s energetic singing, Francois Richard’s horn arrangement and Robin Boulianne’s fiddle build in intensity as if in a classic La Bottine Souriante song on steroids. Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Lyrics Meet Baroque Pop in kele fleming’s Return to the Spotlight

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Photo credit: Sarah Race
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no static album launch dates:

Feb. 25 – Junction City Music Hall, Toronto, ON
(early show with Sarah Greene and the Collette Savard Band)
March 2 – Bar Robo, Ottawa, ON

It’s not often we get to hear new music from kele fleming.

The founder of the early 90s Vancouver indie pop band Hazel Motes – which, along with acts like Lava Hay and the Grapes of Wrath, helped define the city’s sound for that era – has a full-time career in higher education now, so it’s always a breath of fresh air when she carves out time from that career to show us where her creative muse has been carrying her lately.

Never has that been more true than with her new release, no static, which sees kele combining her literate folk rock sensibilities with the Baroque pop melodies of Ron Yamauchi (Insomniacs, Soreheads) to bring us a collection that is truly the best of both worlds. Ron’s catchy compositional style perfectly balances the earnestness of kele’s often introspective lyrics, which touch at times on topics such as social alienation and the marginalization of women. The result is a collection that is both intelligent and extremely fun to listen to.

Kele’s musical calling cards remain her jangly electric guitars – a throwback to the days when indie meant raw – and her voice, a majestic instrument of seemingly-limitless force and dexterity that can shift from choir girl naiveté to early Sinead O’Connor-style edge in seconds. Read the rest of this entry »

Slocan Ramblers to stage homecoming tour after a (career) high and lonesome year on the road

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Feb. 23 – Connections Coffee House, Sangudo, AB
Feb. 24 – St. Basil’s Cultural Centre (New Moon Folk Club), Edmonton, AB
Feb. 25 – Crescent Heights Community Hall (Nickelodeon Folk Club), Calgary, AB
Feb. 26 – Key City Theatre, Cranbrook, BC
Feb. 28 – The Langham, Kaslo, BC
Mar. 2 – Spiritbar at the Hume Hotel, Nelson, BC
Mar. 3 – The Arts Station, Fernie, BC
Mar. 4 – KathFest, Canmore, AB
Mar. 7 – Blackfoot Balehouse, Blackfoot, AB
Mar. 8 – Ghostown Blues, Maple Creek, SK
Mar. 9 – Creative City Centre, Regina, SK
Mar. 10 – The Bassment, Saskatoon, SK
Mar. 11 – The Happy Nun, Forget, SK
March 25 – Old Town Hall, Newmarket
April 7 – Registry Theatre, Kitchener
May 11 – Full Circle Theatre, Perth
May 12 – Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora
May 20 – Regent Theatre, Picton
Atlantic dates in May:
May 4 – Harbourfront Theatre, Summerside, PEI
May 5 – deCoste Centre, Pictou NS
May 6 – Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre, Windsor, NS
May 7 – L’Association Le Moulin de la Baie, Saulnerville, NS

After spending more than three months on tour in the U.S. last year, playing sold-out shows in Colorado, earning standing ovations from crowds of 300 or more in places like Los Angeles, and performing and teaching at some of America’s biggest bluegrass festivals, Toronto’s Slocan Ramblers were feeling both high and lonesome like never before.

So the award-winning young bluegrass outfit, which has been lauded everywhere from Exclaim, to HuffPo to Hockey Night in Canada, has decided to open 2017 with a series of concerts close to home. Read the rest of this entry »

Joanna Chapman-Smith brings global folklore to life with multi-disciplinary folk opera

Joanna Chapman-Smith launches Elon & the City of Stone

Sunday November 20 at Hugh’s Room

A dinner theatre featuring storyteller Anna Kerz

Tickets: $20 Advance / $22.50 Door

Performance: 7:30pm

Reservations:  (416) 531-6604 / info@hughsroom.com

Eight years in the making and comprised of folklore from four continents, the latest project from Toronto chanteuse Joanna Chapman-Smith is a career-defining work of art – an utterly unique album combining music and storytelling into glorious musical theatre of the mind.

Elon & The City of Stone features beautifully-orchestrated original songs based on traditional tales Joanna collected from Italy, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia — all tied together with an original story about Elon, a young inhabitant of the City of Stone who helps a mysterious, story-telling being transform his urban home.

“Shall I tell you stories?”  Joanna sings, on the album’s overture, before narrating the opening chapter of Elon’s tale.  From there, she picks up his story between the songs – which themselves represent the stories told by the mystical raconteur.

Joanna’s voice, strengthened over several years of study and training that followed vocal damage in 2008, is a revelation – powerful and pure and possessed of the mellifluous dexterity of a Broadway star’s.

As a narrator, she is bold, expressive and dramatic, bringing Elon and his surroundings to life with a captivating flare. It is sometimes said that a story is only alive between the teller and the listener, and Joanna succeeds beautifully at animating the City of Stone in the listener’s imagination.    Read the rest of this entry »

Pioneering women of world music return to the spotlight with Turkwaz

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Turkwaz launches Nazar Sept. 24 at the Music Gallery

Doors at 7 p.m; Show at 8 p.m.

Tickets $25; $20 for members of the Music Gallery; $23 if purchased online.  A CD is included in the price of the ticket.

Tickets at musicgallery.org

More information:  416.204.1080

Four musical trailblazers of Canada’s global music scene will be in the spotlight this fall with a brand new project That’s already playing to sold out crowds in Toronto:  the breathtaking Mediterranean quartetTurkwaz.

Their debut album, Nazar, showcases the versatile vocals and boundless sense of musical adventure that has made Maryem Tollar, Brenna MacCrimmon, Sophia Grigoriadis and Jayne Brown leaders in cross-cultural collaboration.

Recorded with Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music Company and mixed by Jono Grant at Victory Drive Music, Nazar is a stunningly diverse collection of songs from Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and the Balkans, woven into a cohesive whole by the quartet. It’s a nuanced collection that showcases the singers’ raw vocal power and the sense of restraint that comes with maturity. Read the rest of this entry »

Vancouver’s Farnaz Ohadi turns a turbulent journey from Iran to Canada into an album of empowerment for women

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October 1, 8PM, at the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts

2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver

Tickets: $35/$45

Tickets available at:  https://tickets.capilanou.ca  / 604.990.7810

At 42, Vancouver based Persian Flamenco singer Farnaz Ohadi is releasing her debut album – a culmination of her turbulent life experience from Iran to North America and a riveting message of resilience and empowerment for women.

A central, respected figure in the Vancouver flamenco scene, she now translates her life story

through a blend of Flamenco rhythm and musicality and Persian poetry.

Her distinctive voice has been described as a blend between the tones of the late Cesaria Evora and the melodic power of La Paquera de Jerez.

With esteemed Flamenco guitarist Liron Man as her musical director/composer, Farnaz spent 2015 producing Bird Dance, a debut album that features an intoxicating blend of rhythms and world instrumentation from both Flamenco and Persian traditions, combined with deep, soul-drenched vocals and lyrics that recount Farnaz’s life story in song. Read the rest of this entry »