Blake is a world class performer in a neighborhood venue. The show is a combination of songs and rambles landing somewhere between a concert and a theatrical installation. The neighborhoods have been all over Ireland and the US and occasionally in Canada, Scotland, England, Norway, Denmark, Germany and France. The shows are booked, managed, and driven to by Blake- a one man cottage industry existing underneath and outside the main-streams of the music business. He developed touring not as an economic model but as a lifestyle. The touring and performing has become an art in itself.
Wil Campa y Su Orquestra has been touring extensively nationally and internationally inspiring and introducing thousands of audiences to Cuba’s musical royalty. Wil’s vision, musical talent and chorographical direction have placed this Orchestra as one of the most exciting touring groups to emerge out of Cuba. His childhood was spent in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, where he grew up amidst streets filled with joyful traditional Cuban music. From 1988 to 2004 Wil Campa performed with well known Orchestras “Cumbre” and later “Maraca” participating in the prestigious “Aldofo Guzman” Festival and many elite Jazz Festivals traveling to over 37 countries around the world. A story that begins in the countryside of Cuba has seen Wil take Cuban Son to millions of music lovers across the world. Wil resides in La Habana, Cuba.
Guy Davis can tell you stories of his great-grandparents and his grandparents, their days as track linemen, and of their interactions with the infamous KKK. He can also tell you that as a child raised in middle-class New York suburbs, the only cotton he’s picked is his underwear up off the floor.
He’s a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. The blues permeates every corner of Davis’ creativity.
Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many ears as possible through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces.
Formed in 1989, in County Sligo, Ireland, Dervish has performed from China to Rio, enchanting crowds with their rollicking reels and melodious melodies. Inspired by a project performing local music of Sligo, Dervish went on to win a raft of awards, including accolades for their 1997 live album, “Live in Palma,” which has been reviewed as one of the best live traditional recordings in our time.
Now composed of six members, Brian McDonagh (Mandola), Cathy Jordan (Vocals, Bodhran, Bones), Thomas Morrow (Fiddle), Michael Holmes (Bouzouki), Shane Mitchell (Accordion), and Liam Kelly (Flute, Whistles), Dervish has performed through the world, with highlights including Hong Kong and New York, and have been strongly involved in the promotion of traditional Irish music through their festival appearances and cultural exchanges, including a trip to China in 2006.
With four original members still at the helm, and 23 years of experience under their belts, Dervish released their 14th album last year, and signed a publishing deal the year before.
A CELEBRATION OF WEST AFRICAN MUSIC & DANCE
Featuring Alpha Yaya Diallo & Bafing
A guitarist, singer, songwriter and a three-time Juno Award winner, Alpha Yaya Diallo is a true multi-cultural artist performing in French, English and his native Guinean languages of Fulani, Malinke, and Sosoxi. Diallo’s dexterous acoustic and electric guitar-playing with its fluid melodic lines and compelling grooves places him in the front ranks of African musicians. His latest project, A Celebration of West African Music and Dance, features high energy African rhythms, visually captivating dancers and a hypnotic percussion section.
Alpha was discovered in the late 1980s by Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records when he was touring as the lead guitarist for the group Fatala. By successfully uniting the traditional and the contemporary, Diallo has carved a niche for himself beside such West African luminaries as Salif Keita, Baaba Maal, Youssou N’Dour, and Ismael Lo.
Born in Guinea, West Africa, Diallo was frequently on the move with his family, growing up in a number of regions. There he was exposed to a variety of cultures, and musical traditions from the Malenke, Sousou, and his own Foulani people. In addition he spent time in neighbouring Senegal and picked up the popular and powerful mbalax rhythm there – as well as influences from Cape Verde and the Caribbean.
Diallo’s musical inheritance is something he always wants to nurture and to build upon. He never strays far from these roots, while at the same time ensuring that his performances and his albums make use of the very latest advances in music technology.
The Dulsori ensemble works with the percussion phenomenon known as “pungmul,” used by Korean farmers to summon and celebrate the elementary natural forces. Their instruments imitate the sounds of the natural world – thunder, lightning, rain and wind. Through synchronised drumming, the ensemble accumulates energy, thus asking for exuberant joy. Through the throbbing of the drums they rekindle forgotten Korean celebratory rituals in accordance with their modern musical feeling, transforming the old tao philosophy into a passionate musical act.
Dulsori, (literally ‘Heartbeat of the land’), blends the energy of traditional Korean drums, music, and song into an infectious mix that captivates audiences around the world. Since its establishment in 1984, Dulsori seeks to elevate the power of percussion with the unique vocals of traditional and contemporary Korean songs. The result is an extraordinary musical experience for audience and musicians alike. This Seoul, South Korea based group believes that their original work has the power to awaken the human spirit. We tend to agree.
“We aim to break the barriers between the players and the audience in staging our performances.” – Moon Kap-Hyun, director of Dulsori
Imagine folk music re-imagined! With musical interests spanning several genres and styles of music, the five members of Fish & Bird, bring a contemporary twist to their re-imagined kind of folk music.
Many of us know the story, how the Gallus Brothers sound like a record collection found in the basement of a retired acrobat with a penchant for good old fashioned blues. How Devin Champlin savagely syncopates on a reso-phonic guitar, while Lucas Hicks amps it up by playing percussion on a suitcase full of bones, bells and antique tomfoolery. Both are talented multi-instrumentalists and their sets are a mix of country blues, old tin pan alley songs, mandolin and fiddle tunes, and a dash of danger by way of acrobatic antics. They have played across the US and Canada from festival stage to smoky bar, wooing crowds with their fun music, their good humor, and their willingness to jump on a table, stand on each other, and juggle while playing a good old tune from way back when. All we can add is that we love these guys.
From a busking trip to Victoria the band and its stomp-folk harmony laced music has arisen to acclaim, awards, and national exposure. The Indie-folk act is gaining momentum as its live performances have evolved into incredibly active, foot stomping sets fuelled with fire.
Corey Harris began as a New Orleans street singer, travelling the southern U.S. In his early 20s he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, “Feel Like Going Home,” which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S.
Zakiya Hooker is familiar with the blues. She had a front-row seat to view the best the genre had to offer, right in her own living room. Her dad was renowned blues giant John Lee Hooker. To be the daughter of a Living Legend is a major obstacle. To choose to follow in his footsteps is a major undertaking. But rather than relying on her father, Zakiya has pursued life – and music – on her own terms, overcoming personal tragedy and skepticism along the way.
A strong and versatile vocalist, she has carved out a market for herself. She is a regal combination of sass and soul. Unlike her late father, who was the most rural-sounding major blues artist of the post-war era, Zakiya is a decidedly urbane stylist whose dusky alto tones, clear enunciation, and subdued phrasing bring Peggy Lee somewhat to mind. Ms. Hooker’s cool, straight-forward singing is in sharp contrast to the hot blues playing that surrounds her onstage.
Zakiya Hooker has a beautiful voice and she puts on a witty, funny, emotional and most of all entertaining show. You know what they say… “the fruit never falls too far from the tree.” This certainly rings true with Zakiya.
A concept that grew out of a conversation held in a Vietnamese restaurant in Toronto, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra has been enchanting audiences around the world since 2010.
Composed of seventeen members, LBO rose to public prominence on their way to a three-week tour of Romania in 2012, when they played an impromptu concert on board their long delayed Air Canada flight. The band was also featured in a short documentary in 2012, titled Let’s Make Lemonade, highlighting their airplane concert. The documentary went on to be played on Air Canada flights in 2012 and 2013.
LBO released their first full-length album in 2013, rounding out their busy year. The accompanying tour took them across the Romania, Serbia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Macedonia, and Germany. Lume, Lume was also nominated for a Juno this past February.
Wandering the streets of Vancouver with battered and ancient instruments, appearing and disappearing into the night dressed in the highest fashions of your great-grandparent’s youth, everything they cross paths with becomes a Balkan wedding dance party and they are currently wandering their way towards Mission.
Born in Australia, and raised in Winnipeg, Ruth Moody grew up in a musical family, creating and performing from a young age. Like her siblings around her, Moody was classically trained starting at age four, but was drawn to voice performance, rather than drawn to strings, like the rest of her siblings.
Her vocal talents have taken her throughout the world, performing most noticeably as a member of the Wailin’ Jennys. Since 2002 Moody, as a member of the Jennys, has earned for numerous awards, including a Juno for best roots and traditional album in 2004.
In 2010 Mody released her first solo Album, The Garden. The Garden was nominated for three Canadian Folk Music Awards, two Juno Awards, and a Western Canadian Music Award.
More recently Moody was showcased at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and toured through Europe with her band, opening for Mark Knopfler, who was featured on Moody’s most recent album, These Wilder Things, released in 2013.
For nearly two decades, this dazzling ensemble has enchanted audiences and critics worldwide with their exotic blend of musical virtuosity, artistic passion and humor. Classical in training – eclectic by design – Quartetto Gelato thrills its audiences with its multi-instrument mastery and offers the bonus of a brilliant operatic tenor.
With a performance repertoire that spans the globe including classical masterworks, operatic arias, the sizzling energy of tangos, gypsy and folk songs, the group’s theatrical stage presence and relaxed humor establishes an intimate rapport with audiences worldwide.
Peter Do Sotto is the founder of the group. He is a seasoned classical violinist and a dazzling gypsy virtuoso. He also possesses a fabulous tenor voice and has appeared in eading roles in many opera and theatre productions.
Alexander Sevastian is a four time world accordion champion who emigrated to Canada from Russia in 2001.
Elizabeth (Liza) McLellan brings her classical charm and sought-after skills as cellist. Talented multi-instrumentalist Colin Maier rounds out the group on oboe.
If there were ever a group of musicians that could make anyone feel at home with classical music, Quartetto Gelato is it. [Newsday (NY)]
“Rattletrap Ruckus is the perfect metaphorical band name for this outfit – a bone-shaking jalopy transporting a boisterous rumpus riot through European streets, Jewish strongholds, dusty Spanish courts, and Argentinian avenues. But don’t let the free-for-all circus fool you. These are seriously mature players offering a cavalcade of melodic choreography ample enough to pin your ears back. Because of their one-of-a-kind orchestration (button accordion, tenor banjo, cello, and “laundrophone” bass), it’s tempting to slot them as a novelty band, except their superb musicianship and exquisite arrangements trump any such casual conclusion. You’ll often hear the cello and bass doubling each other, an octave apart (taking a page from the Mariachi handbook), urging the banjo and accordion to dazzling and inspired heights. We’re in an age when everyone’s doing everything that’s ever been done. But nobody sounds like Rattletrap Ruckus.” – Peter McCracken, Director, Voiceworks & Fiddletunes
One of the winners of last year’s Music BC/Mission Folk Music Festival Showcase Award, the Sweet Lowdown charmed, sang and played their way into the hearts of festival audiences. They are back with their lovely lilting harmonies and zesty instrumentation.
VOU was founded in 2007 primarily as a contemporary pacific dance company. It has since spread its creative wings and branched out into the fields of music, fashion and film with its unique sound and style being seen far and wide.
Their mission is to spread the magicoof their spirit, energy and Mana to the world through music and dance. They want to inspire others. They draw on their rich cultural heritage to take their art to the world, while at home they help to develop the arts industry in Fiji through education ad by creating commercially sustainable career paths.
VOU was founded by Sachiko Miller who has performed, composed and choreographed major works in New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and China. She is also the president of the Fiji chapter of the World Dance Alliance.
Joining Sachiko are Edward Soro, Mereia Tuiloma, Eleni Tabua, Navitalai Fong, Ratu Rusiate Rokilibau, Eremasi Rova, and Gina Janus-Spedding, a Canadian Choreographer, dance instructor and dancer from Vancouver who is their school manager and also trains and choreographs company members.
Tim Williams’ career began in the coffee houses of Southern California in the mid-1960s and continues today around the world from his home base on the Canadian Prairies. Tim has played festivals, folk clubs, concert halls and roadhouses from Rabat, Morocco, to Melbourne, Australia, and from Dawson City, Yukon Territory to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, all to huge acclaim. His guitar skills are frequently compared to Ry Cooder and David Lindley (and like them, Tim plays a wealth of other string instruments), and his songwriting has won praise from the likes of Tom Russel and Willie Nelson. A string of Maple Blues Award nominations (Toronto Blues Society), three JUNO award nominations (Canada’s Grammy equivalent) , five Betty Mitchell Awards for composition/musical direction in theatre, and roughly a dozen awards from Real Blues magazine (as artist, guitarist, producer) attest to the high caliber of his work. Tim was also honoured as Guitarist Of The Year for 2012 by the Calgary Blues Music Association.