STUDIO 64 JAZZ AND BLUES SERIES – THE ANDREA PETRITY TRIO

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JAZZ BLUES & STUDIO 64: THE ANDREA PETRITY TRIO, September 24, 2016, 8pm at Studio 64 (Centre 64) Kimberley BC 292-andrea-petrity

Some musicians have an epiphany. They may be wandering along in a sonic fog and out of the blue they hear a performer or a recording that becomes an “aha” moment. It becomes lodged in their brain and the thought train becomes  – “So that is what it is all about. I want to do that”. What follows is a commitment to a musical performance philosophy that may take them in a completely different direction, one that they may have never considered prior to the “aha moment”. That didn’t happen for the Calgary jazz pianist Andrea Petrity. The metamorphosis was much more gradual than that. Like so many other youth she took piano lessons and worked her way though the standard classical piano curriculum and repertoire. After leaving school and wondering what to do with her life she came to a conclusion that she already had a possibly useful skill set and perhaps, if she applied herself, it may lead some where.  That is what she started doing and, eventually, she applied for admission to a Jazz Performance Program at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Now, years later she is a fully fledged Jazz Pianist with a great love for the music of Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Thelonious Monk and that whole other world of Jazz Piano. Her favourite is the long deceased musical genius Bill Evans but she freely admits that there are so many talented musicians out there it is impossible to know them all, hear them all, or give credit where credit is due.

When asked the crass question “And what is your real day job?” the unequivocal response from Andrea, her bass player Stefano Valdo and drummer Robin Tufts is that they are full time professional musicians. That they possess a degree of professionalism is more than self evident in their on stage demeanour and commitment to technical and musical excellence.

On Saturday night at Studio 64 in Kimberley the Andrea Petrity Trio gave the admittedly small audience (very unusual for this extremely popular annual series) a substantial serving of straight ahead, no holds barred piano trio jazz. They kicked off the evening with their interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s Bird on the Wire. I normally approach listening to drummers with a certain amount of scepticism. Kit drummers tend 216-robin-tuftsto play too loud and dare I say it, often sound unmusical. Andrea promised a tasty treat with Robin Tufts accompaniments and we were not disappointed in his adroit handling of brushes and his simpatico accents. The bassist Stefano Valdo is no stranger to Studio 64 audiences. The last time he was here he played a huge electric bass guitar but this time around he had switched to upright bass. One of his musical heroes is the late great Scott LaFaro of Bill Evans Trio fame. The influences, at least to my ears, were very evident 238-stefano-valdoin his free wheeling accompanying and solo style. One of the sonic pleasures of recent years is the return of the upright acoustic bass. Nothing quiet matches the big fat bottom depths  of the acoustic upright bass. The first “standard” tune of the evening done in a very original style was Harlem Nocturne. The rest of the program was filled with a number of Andrea’s originals that included You Took Love With You, a nod to Thelonious Monk in Monkey Around  (I am sure Thelonious was smiling), and a cute interpretation  of a Hungarian Folk tune with some nice hand percussion from Robin. The name of the tune was loosely translated as an ode to a Brown eyed or gypsy girl. It was a neat 4/4 tune with a triplet feel, kind of 6/8, but not really. After the intermission they kicked off with a Latin feel in Andrea’s original Marianna, followed by an achingly slow (Andrea’s direction to the trio) version of the standard The Very Thought of You. This was followed by I Found a New Baby. Then more original tunes  including a new untitled work simply called Untitled and the final piece of the evening PMS. A title that doesn’t mean what you think. It is a nod to three modern Jazz master musicians, the bassist John Patitucci the guitarists Pat Metheny and John Scofield – PMS.

Here are more images from the evening.

204-andrea-petrity210-stefano-valdo  230-stefano-valdo214-robin-tufts254-andrea-petrity220a-robin-tufts   224-robin-tufts268-andrea-petrity306-robin-tufts242-andrea-petrity    244-andrea-petrity270-stefano-valdo232-robin-tufts240-stefano-valdo  100-cymbals258-andrea-petrity   266-andrea-petrity280-stefano-valdo

As always in the Studio 64 Jazz and Blues Concert series the music in this concert was a joy to experience. There is something about the interplay and shifting textures of live jazz that cannot be beaten.

The musicians in the trio would like to thank the Studio 64 Organizing Committee, Volunteers, the audience and A B&B AT 228 for their hospitality. They would also like to thank Elaine Rudser fo her astonishing art work on the walls of the performance space.

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KIMBERLEY KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL – Breakwater

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The stellar “Celtic Band”  Breakwater (Jeff Faragher – Cello, Guitar & Vocals; Aurora Smith – Fiddle & Vocals;  Ben Johnson – Drums;  Rob Fahie – Bass) performed in two concerts, one in Cranbrook, one in Kimberley,  in March of this year – see the review below:

“It’s all in the mix”………… BREAKWATER

Two weeks ago they performed at the Kaslo Jazz Festival. Since we last heard them in Kimberley they have “kicked it up a notch” with tighter ensemble playing, blistering solos and new material. The fact that they continue to expand their repertoire and are constantly bring new material on board gives them a distinct edge over their contemporaries. There was no sitting on their laurels for this band on this tour. Their older material was well represented with the sly segue from the traditional Canadian Log Driver’s Waltz to J.S. Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. Similarly with Cold Play’s , Viva La Vetta sliding into Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony. But it was not all Classical high jinks. There were healthy doses of traditional fiddle music that included a set of jigs – The Roaring Barmaid / Morrison’s Jig / The Swallow Tail Jig; the Lunasa Set of the Spootiskerry Reel and the Road to Bagra . I couldn’t let the tune with the weird name pass me by so I looked it up in the The Sessions and in the comments it was described as “composed by Shetland fiddler Samuel Ian Rothmar Burns in 1980. Spootiskerry is the name of a farm in the Burns family. A “skerry” is a group of rocks which is covered by the sea, but can sometimes be visible depending on the tide.” So there you have it – my little bit of trivia for the day. Although the strength of the band is in 124. Aurora Smithinstrumental music they did throw in a few vocals. Aurora did a fine job on the classic highland ballad Wild Mountain Thyme (Will you go Lassie go), and Scarborough Fair.  Jeff lead the audience in a soulful version of There is more Love Somewhere. What was missing from the evening was Jeff’s version of the classic Maritime song Song of the Mira ……. maybe next time. There was TV Music – The Theme from Dr Who; film music – The Curse of the Black Crow from Pirates of the Caribbean and a rip roaring version of Amy Cann’s the Catharsis Reel. Aurora and Jeff are very much front and centre in the music but they would not be as successful as they are with out Rob Fahie providing the solid bass parts and the outstanding drumming of Ben Johnson. I have a personal dislike of drummers performing in Celtic bands. I feel they are trying too hard to tap into the pop culture ethos and as a result the music suffers. Drummers always have a tendency to play way too loud without any sensitivity or thought to musical dynamics. Ben is not like that. He is more like a percussionist searching for the right textures to enhance the music. Way to go Ben!. The band finished the evening with an encore version of The Ashokan Farewell from the Ken Burns PBS documentary on the American Civil War. For some unknown reason the light during the performances was a little “dodgy” never-the-less here are some more images from the evening.

102. Aurora and Jeff  108. Jeff Faragher110a. Ben Johnson116. Aurora Smith126. Jeff Faragher   142. Jeff Faragher138. Ben Johnson184. Rob Fahie120. Aurora Smith  118. Aurora Smith010. Cello

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KIMBERLEY KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL – The Selkirk Trio

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AFTERNOON TEA WITH THE SELKIRK TRIO, Studio 64, Kimberley BC, Sunday August 7, 2016

112. Selkirk TrioFor most people the idea of Classical Music usually means symphony orchestras, opulent concert halls, musicians in formal attire and patrons dressed to impress. It doesn’t necessarily follow that the symphony is the be all and and end all of classical music. The great virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin, no stranger to large orchestras and concert halls, is reputed to have expressed the notion “that the true essence and application of music is to be found in chamber music”. If there is any doubt to that concept one has only to spend time with The Selkirk Trio. A couple of hours with Sue Gould (piano), Nicola Everton (clarinet) and Jeff Faragher  (Cello) and you should become a true believer in chamber music. Over the years I have attended at least three concerts of the trio and each time I am impressed with their program selection, their technical virtuosity and their musicality. The strength of the trio, and chamber music in general, is the lack of filters. There is no sound re-enforcement to get in the way and distort the true sound of the instruments. The musical arena for chamber concerts tends to be human scale with the audience and the musicians all within hand reach of each other. The nuances of musical dynamics and shading are right there in and around the audience. The trio kicked off the concert with the Cuban classical composer and jazz musician  Paquito D’Rivera’s Afro. Jeff doubled on Djembe  to provide some authentic 142. Clarinetatmosphere. This was followed by Ludwig Van Beethoven’s  Trio in B Flat Major, Opus 11, the second movement. My favorite item in the trio’s program is the 7 Balkan Dances  by the Croatian composer Marko Tajčević. Nicola obviously revels in these short but intricate pieces that bounce around the essentially odd rhythmic elements of Balkan music. I have tried to find a recording of these particular pieces but so far I have not been successful. I only think it fair to suggest that the trio needs to record them at some future date.

Sue and her coat of many colours

Sue and her coat of many colours

Pavel Karmanov is a Russian rock musician with musical credentials that go way beyond the limits of that style of music. Sue Gould selected his minimalist composition Birthday Present to Myself. The Minimalist School of classical composition is a recent innovation and is best exemplified by the music of Phillip Glass and Steve Reich. Minimalist  compositions usually consists of repetitive melodic motifs that need to be comprehended as part of the larger composition. A friend of mine declared that Steve Reich’s classic minimalist piece  Six Marimbas to be  some form of advanced Chinese water torture. Of course I beg to differ. It is one of my favorite pieces of music. I am looking forward to spending more time with the music of Pavel Karmanov.

Nicola kicked off the second half of the program with some Klezmer compositions by the Canadian composer Milton Barnes (1931-2001). The pieces were scored for clarinet and piano duo.

Nicola's Freilach dancing shoes

Nicola’s Freilach dancing shoes

In this day and age we all have toys. For Jeff it is the looping pedal. Jeff has just completed a solo CD recording project entitled Voices Within. One of the object of the exercise was to give Jeff the opportunity to experiment with a looping pedal. This is a device that is very common in pop music circles. It allows a performer to lay down  tracks of music in an orderly fashion to create a complete solo performance. In this case Jeff chose a number of cello pieces where he performs all the parts. To give some idea of how the process works Jeff gave a working demonstration by using the looping pedal to first lay down the melody of The Largo from Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos, BV351. He then went back and, while the melody was playing, he added the bass part. He followed this up by finally adding the harmony part thus completing the piece. “Boys and Their Toys”……… Sue was not to out done. Her toy was a relatively simple device attached to the iPad containing her musical scores. With a tap on the foot pedal she is able to turn the pages, thus overcoming a major nuisance for pianist playing off the printed page. Nicola did her “party piece” with the Klezmer tunes, Jeff did his “party piece” with Vivaldi and the foot pedals. Sue’s “party piece” was a solo performance of Bela Bartok’s Romanian Dances for Solo Piano. The trio came together to perform Nino Roto’s  (of God Father film music fame) Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano. For the encore the trio  played an arrangement of The Ashokan Farewell from Ken Burn’s CBS Civil War Documentary. It was a hauntingly beautiful end to a great afternoon of music.

084a. Cello100. Jeff Faragher   126. Sue Gould

Happiness is a sun tan and a good clarinet reed

Happiness is a sun tan and a good clarinet reed

“Jeff, what are you doing down there?”

"I'm playing with my toys"

“I’m playing with my toys”

162. Jeff Faragher  164. Jeff Faragher

154. Sue Gould124. Sue and Nicola  135. Nicola Everton

The concert is over .... I can lay myself down and sleep

The concert is over …. I can now lay myself down and sleep

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KIMBERLEY KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL – The Love Bullies

THE LOVE BULLIES on the outdoor stage at Centre 64, Saturday Evening, August 6, 2016, 7:30 pm500. The Love Bullies

The Love Bullies – Shantal Vitals (guitar, vocals), Kevin Herring (Telecaster guitar), Joni Brent (Bass guitar, vocals), Caroline Connolly (lead vocals and flute) and Paul Jahn (drums) are back in town and this time I knew what to expect. They performed on Stage 64 (Centre 64) back in March of last year. At that time I was completely taken aback by the big hair, boots, and the polyester fashion statements from a bye gone era. Well on Saturday evening the ladies appeared just as tacky as the last time; Kevin Herring was still doing his best impression of “a man in black”, and the working man in the back was still the same drummer. As with their last visit they dished up a solid  evening of vintage pop that included Tunnel of Love, Stupid Cupid, Shake it all Over, These Boots Were Made for Walking, Uneasy Feeling, Hernando’s Hidaway, plus a whole lot of other well known songs of the pre-classic rock era. Sprinkled among the old pop standards they squeezed in  a couple of their original songs. The weather, despite heavy rains in the morning, was co-operative and gave the organizers a nice mild summer’s evening. Once the band got going the crowd showed their appreciation by getting up and dancing the night away. Below are some images from the evening.

216. Shantal Vitalis  222. Shantal and Kevin228. Caroline Connolly  236. Kevin Herring230. Joni Brent246. Caroline Connolly  250. Caroline Connolly254a. Kevin Herring258. Time to dance   300. Time for dancing256. Paul Jahn   260. Joni and Kevin268. Kevin Herring274. Shantal Vitali276. Kevin and Joni  284. Shantal and Kevin282. Joni Brent286. The ladies334a. Joni Brent292. Shantal Vitalis304. Caroline Connolly  310. Caroline Connolly308. Kevin Herring312. Joni Brent316. Joni Brent  318. Joni Brent324a. Joni Brent326. Caroline Connolly332. Shantal Vitalis  330. Joni Brent338. Kevin Herring   340. Caroline Connolly360. Kevin Herring353. Kevin Herring  336. Joni Brent368. Kevin Herring364. Joni Brent

So there you have it. A great show by a band that is most likely the “Most Entertaining Rock Band on the Planet”.

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The Red Cannons – Three Guitars and a Back Beat

The Red Cannons at Studio 64, May 28, 2016, 8pm

090. The Red Cannons

The Essence of Rock and Roll  – “Three Guitars and  Back Beat”. Well, this “band of brothers”,  Evan Boechler (rhythm and lead vocals), Braden Boechler (lead guitar and vocals) Landon Boechler (drums, vocals) and their fetching bass player, Jen Perry had it in spades. A Kimberley resident came across the band in performance near Edmonton and recommended them as Rock and Roll participants in the Studio 64 Spring Concert Series at Centre 64. To get from their home base in Spruce Grove, Alberta (just west of Edmonton) is a big trip and I hope the band enjoyed performing for this very pumped audience. They kicked off the evening with an original tune called One Little Bat an then worked their way through some classic Rock and Roll such as  Credence Clearwater’s Have you Seen the Rain? and Bad Moon Rising, the Beatles Come Together, Shake Rattle and Roll, The Rolling Stones Honky Tonk Woman, Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Good, The Tragically Hip’s New Orleans and for a “party piece” Evan and Landon got together on the drum kit to do a duet on the classic surf tune Wipe Out. To show their appreciation the audience just got up and danced beside and in front of the stage. Here are images from the night.

100c. Jen Perry102. Jen Perry   108. Jen Perry200. Braden Boechler015. Header302. Evan Boechler136. Jen Perry404. Landon Boechler210. Bradon Boechler   410. The drum solo - duet126. Jen Perry400. Landon Boechler  406. Landon Boechler402. Landon Boechler314, Evan Boechler     322. Evan Boechler212. Bradon Boechler  328. Evan Boechler104. Jen Perry140. Jen Perry

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“It’s all in the mix”………… BREAKWATER

Breakwater March 2016 Cranbrook Poster

Saturday March 12, 2016, 7:30 pm at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook performing on the small stage in the foyer.

To the purists this may not really be “Celtic” music but to the rest of us it turned out to be a really interesting “mash up” (Jeff Faragher’s words) of what is a really fascinating 502. Jeff Faraghermix of musicians, tunes and styles. Breakwater is a quartet of musicians from the West Kootenays that includes Jeff Faragher on Cello, guitar and vocals, 706. Aurora SmithAurora Smith on vocals and Fiddle, Rob Fahie on Double Bass and Ben Johnson on Drums and Percussion. These musicians come from 902. Rob Fahievaried backgrounds with impeccable credentials. Jeff is an outstanding classical celloist who has played in a number of local solo and chamber group situations as well being the conductor and soloist with the Symphony of the Kootenays; Rob is originally from the Montreal jazz scene and is also one of the principal bass players in the Symphony of the Kootenays; Aurora is a 210. Ben Johnsonfiddle player who teaches in Nelson and also performs as a classical violinist in a number of orchestras, including the Symphony of the Kootenays. Ben Johnson is a drummer and percussionist whose primary interest is in Balkan, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern music. Apart from percussion he plays a number of instruments from that part of the world including Greek Bouzouki, Oud, Saz and many other instruments with unpronounceable names. With that as the kick off point it is hard to imagine the music being anything other than interesting. The central core of the repertoire is Celtic, specifically, fiddle music, to which the group adds music from the classical masters (J.S. Bach, Dvorak), film music (Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean), pop music(Coldplay), Canadian (Song of the Mira, Log Drivers Waltz), folk music (Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind), Bluegrass and just about anything else that tickles their imagination. The front line of fiddle, cello and double bass is a combination that fits well with the repertoire. To prove the point they kicked off the evening with a J.S. Bach minuet that morphed into the fiddle tune The Ash Plant. This they followed up with a rousing set of Aurora’s fiddle tunes (The Roaring Barmaid / The New Reel / The Tamlin Reel). After that whirlwind performance  Aurora knocked it back a notch by singing The Banks of Loch Lomond followed by the band’s exploration of Jay Ungar’s classic tune  The Ashokan Farewell (from Ken Burns PBS Documentary on the American Civil War). For the rest of the evening it was more of the same. Lots of fiddle tunes, including two that I noted for later research when I got home. They were The Pelican Reel (by Gordon Stobbe) and Catharsis (by Amy Cann). There were lots of songs including Jeff Faragher’s outstanding version of Song of the Mira with the tag fiddle tune Stolen Apples (another tune I will have to research). All in all it was an evening of fine music in a performance space, the foyer of the Key City, that has lots of promise. It is a more intimate arena than the performance area in the main theatre. It had good sight lines and sound. However, the lighting was really poor, and I do mean poor. It was dim and marred by undesirable tints from the overhead LEDs. They will have to work on that. A black backdrop curtain would also improve the visuals.

506. Jeff Faragher720. Aurora Smith916. Rob Fahie248. Ben Johnson712. Aurora Smith  714. Aurora Smith  724. Aurora Smith919. Rob Fahie514. Jeff Faragher   208. Ben Johnson   516. Jeff Faragher  728. Aurora Smith726. Aurora Smith

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Sunday March 13, 2016, 7:30 pm at the Studio 64 (Centre 64) in Kimberley.

242. Breakwater

The concept of the “Small Stage” at the Key City and Studio 64 in Centre 64 is much the same. The idea is to create a small performance area with a cabaret like atmosphere with available refreshments and snacks. By and large they have both succeeded, albeit with 5 year head start Studio 64 is closer to finalization.  Within the past few years Studio 64 has manged to improve the performance area with a large black back drop curtain and a sophisticated lighting system. The lighting and sound are managed by Ray’s music and the results are first class. All that remains to be improved are the sight lines by the installation of a slightly raised stage for the performers. That is in the works. On the other hand the Key City “Small Stage” is only in the first year of development. On the positive side, with the raised stage the sight lines are good but there is real need for a black backdrop curtain and an improved or better managed lighting system. The sound is good but the lighting is very, very poor.

Breakwater performed the same program at both venues and with the better lighting the Studio 64 performance had more appeal. Below are images from the latter concert. You be the judge of the visuals.

120. Aurora and Jeff    124. Jeff and Rob200. Aurora and Jeff444. Ben Johnson612. Jeff Faragher  614. Jeff Faragher  616. Jeff Faragher628a. Jeff Faragher802. Aurora Smith  819. Aurora Smith   835. Aurora Smith811. Aurora Smith950. Rob Fahie   952. Rob Fahie   969. Rob Fahie980d. Rob Fahie980b. Rob Fahie404. Ben Johnson   400. Ben Johnson406. Ben Johnson829. Aurora Smith813. Aurora Smith962. Rob Fahie

Breakwater – two fabulous concerts with great visuals and great music. I’m looking forward to their return to this area. When they do make sure to mark it on it is on your calendar.

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“It’s the oatmeal that holds it together” – Blackthorn Band

THE BLACKTHORN BAND IN CONCERT, at Studio 64 in Kimberley, March 5, 2016 at 8pm. This is the first concert of the Spring season at Studio 64.

I admit it. Celtic music in its many forms and disguises pulls at my cultural and emotional heart strings. And so it should. My ancestors immigrated from Dublin in the mid-1870s to settle in New South Wales, Australia. After I arrived in Canada in the 1970s I married a Scottish lass from Glasgow; My son was born in Australia and has since married into an Irish American family. He carries Irish, Australian and Canadian passports. So, as you can see, there is a lot of cultural baggage there. Celtic music in Australia tends to be predominantly Irish, although in the early days “German Bands” made their mark on traditional music. Waltzes, Varsoviennas, and Schottisches are sprinkled throughout the traditional repertoire. In Canada, Celtic music is different. There is no doubt the principle bonding agent is as Scottish as oatmeal and as a result other musical bits and pieces just seem to stick to an underlying “Scottishness”. The other influences are in there; the Irish, Quebecois, Arcadian, English, Metis, American, and just about everything else that makes up the Canadian cultural mosaic. That mix pretty well describes the repertoire of the Vancouver based band Blackthorn. The band, Michael Viens (vocals, 6 and 12 string guitars, bodhran, percussion and harmonicas) Michelle Carlisle (vocals, flute, piccolo, whistle, fife and alto flute), Tim Renaud (vocals, bass, octave mandolin, 12 string guitar and bodhran) Rosie Carver (vocals and fiddles) provided an exceptionally strong evening of instrumental and vocal music.610. The Blackthorn Band

They kicked off the evening with a set of tunes from their latest recorded CD Open Skies that included the English Victorian music hall tune Country Life, Robbie Burn’s Rattlin’ Roaring Wilie, and from Cape Breton’s legendary fiddle master Dan R. MacDonald’s repertoire The River Bend. That pretty well set the tone for the evening – marvelous four-part harmony singing, interspersed with with strong instrumental tunes featuring fiddle and flutes. Each performer got an opportunity to shine on their own little 111. Michelle Carlisleparty pieces; Michelle Carlisle on her original song Open Skies, Rosie Carver on the French Canadian Mouth of the Tobique (one of my favorite French Canadian tunes), Nathaniel Gow’s (Scottish) Petronella and a four section traditional French reel Le violon accorde comme une viole; 315. Rosie CarverTim Renaud shone on the Andy M. Stewart’s mighty ode to the girl of his dreams The Queen of Argyll – it gave Tim a chance to step up to the plate with his octave mandolin, a instrument that always causes some confusion – is it an octave mandolin, a 410. Tim Renaudmandola, or a short scale Irish Bouzouki? – most of it depends on how it is tuned. Attached to the song The Queen of Argyll was Rosie Carver’s little dash of Hungarian spice in the tune Paprika, a very interesting tune in an unusual 10/8 time signature. Michael Viens party pieces included Las Vegas in the hills of Donegal and a selection of French Canadian tunes from his 216. Michael Vienschildhood in Maillardvile, the French Canadian quarter of Port Coquitlam. It was an outstanding night of music that came to an emotional close with full on audience participation in the grand finale of Loch Lomond and The Dark Island. I don’t know why the lines “you take the high road and I’ll take the low road and I’ll be in Scotland before ye” exerts such strong emotional pull on a bunch of foreigners who have never been to Scotland. Never-the-less that strong pull was there and the audience was singing it’s heart out at the close of the Saturday night concert at Stage 64 in Kimberley. Here are some more images:

247. Michael Viens  107. Michelle Carlisle  270. Michael Viens  300. Rosie Carver  205a. Michael Viens117. Michelle Carlisle602. Michelle and Michael  119. Michelle Carlisle204. Michael Viens  311. Rosie Carver  400. Tim Renaud137. Michelle Carlisle330. Rosie Carver070. Rosie's dress  020. 12 string  080. Michelle's shoes133. Michelle Carlisle   143. Michelle Carlisle   131. Michelle Carlisle325. Rosie Carver  706. Micheal, Rosie and Patron

Thanks to the organizing committee, the many volunteers, the sponsors at The Burrito Grill and A B&B at 228 (Lorne and Gail Knutson) this was another successful sold out concert.

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Oh, What a Party……..”

Midwinter Beach Party

A fine way to kick the winter blues out the door is to have a party. The local band Hot Muck (Brian Morris – lead; Ryan Person – banjo and guitar; Rick Krewwnchuk – drums; Sean Downey – bass; Ally Blake – fiddle) was invited to open for the Ska / Reggae band Sweetleaf from Victoria. As well as being motivated by the will to have a good time there was the added notion that the funds raised would go to the installation of a stage in the Stage 64 performance area in Centre 64. From among the mirth, mayhem and fun times of the evening here are some snapshots of the musicians working up a sweat……

004, Hot Muck Header100. Ally Blake  122. Ryan Peterson  110. Sean Downey136. Brian Morris130. Ally Blake  132. Ryan, Brian, Sean134. Sean Downey

and the main event – SWEETLEAF

500. Sweetleaf504.  512.  518514.510.528.516.  532.  534.522.  544.  506.542.

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“I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound” – Buffalo Springfield

Saturday January 30, 2016, 7:30 pm at Centre 64 in Kimberley: Noemi Kiss and Rita Deane – Voice and Classical Guitar

We live in an era of complete sensory overload so it is nice to stop, step back and listen to sounds that are entirely human scale. There are no Marshall stack amplifiers with three guitars and a thudding back beat here. No fifty member symphony orchestra going full blast. No bar room high level back ground noise. No overhead TV sports distractions. Just a duo of voice and classical guitar performing music from across the musical spectrum. And the best thing yet….. an intimate venue where you can actually hear the music. That just about describes the concert by Rita Deane (Classical Guitar) and Noemi Kiss (Soprano) on Saturday night at Centre 64 in Kimberley.

152. Rita and Noemi

Both musicians  currently reside in the West Kootenays. Rita was raised in Rossland and has been studying guitar and piano since the age of six. She went on to study in Cordoba (Spain) and Salzburg (Austria). Noemi was born in Hungry and studied in Budapest and London. Noemi now resides in Agenta (it’s a long way from the centers of Euopean music to the jungles of British Columbia). Both musicians are fully fledged professional musicians who mostly teach and perform in the West Kootenays. The Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance  has made it possible for the duo to tour though out the East and West Kootenays and perform the following program.

Kiss and Deane program-ed_edited-1

To truly listen and appreciate this music, as in the words of the Buffalo Springfield song, one does have to stop. Then take a moment to re-calibrate  one’s senses to actually hear the sounds. Once done, a different aural universe becomes evident. The old saying “less is more” is very true in this instance. The concert space literally filled with sounds that would be completely lost if the music was amplified. As you can see from the above program of love songs the music covered in this concert is a broad spectrum of styles. From the music of the Elizabethan Lutenist John Dowland, through the Classic Era music of Mauro Giulani and Fernando Sor; the modern Classical composers, Joaquin Rodrigo, Heirto Villa-lobos and Benjamin Britten, to some traditional Irish and Hungarian folk songs and onto some arrangements of Eva Cassidy, including Sting’s Fields of Gold.
My pick of the music performed would be the Villa-Lobos piece, the John Dowland song and Sting’s Fields of Gold and that maybe because they are my favourite composers. In addition to those particular pieces the Hungarian folk song Volt Nekem szeretom   had a very special appeal to me for no other reason that it reminded me of the Agnes Baltsa 1985 album of Songs My Country Taught Me (a marvellous collection of Greek songs).

Here are some images from the Green Room (trying to keep warm)

100. Rita Deane  102. Noemi Kiss  106. Rita Deane 106. Noemi Kiss        104. Rita Deane

022. William (Grit) Laskin guitarSome images from the concert:116. Noemi Kiss  124 Rita and Noemi   130. Rita Deane   134. Noemi Kiss  136. Noemi Kiss  142. Noemi Kiss  150. Rita Deane  166. Rita Deane    168. Rita Deane  174. Rita Deane   244. Noemi Kiss  300. Rita Deane   300a. Rita Deane   302. Rita Deane 176. Rita Deane  246a. Noemi Kiss  310. Rita and Noemi

There was a third partner in the room – Rita’s magnificent William Laskin (“Grit”) Guitar with its distinctive arm rest bevel. That particular feature improves player comfort and has been adopted by a number of other luthiers. Rita has had the instrument for over 10 years and it was originally purchased at a price equivalent to that of motor vehicle. It is Rita’s baby and there is not a scratch or a bump on it. The standard features of a William Laskin classical guitar these days include Indian Rosewood back & sides, Sitka Spruce soundboard, Spanish Cedar neck (with Carbon Graphite reinforcement), Ebony fingerboard (w/ Ebony binding), Rosewood bridge w/ Ebony & Bone tie block, Ebony binding, Bone nut and saddle, Sloane tuners (bronze plate with ebony buttons). He offers enough non-standard features and custom options to please the most discerning musicians.

020. The Grit Laskin arm rest bevel   064. Rosewood Back

In a nutshell this was a “deliciously delicate” performance and I suggest that when they play again in Cranbrook next Saturday they should not be missed.

Feb6 Cranbrook

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Saturday February 6, 2016, 7:30 pm at the ROYAL ALEXANDRA HALL in Cranbrook: Noemi Kiss and Rita Deane – Voice and Classical Guitar

100. Royal Alexandra Hall402. Noemi and Rita

Synchronicity is a concept which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no casual relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related (Wikipedia). Is that what this was? If so then bring on more of the same. The meaningful coincidences could be the musical collaboration of a Classical Guitarist from Nelson, BC and a magnificent Soprano from Hungry coming together in the acoustic environment of the Royal Alexandra Hall in Cranbrook. It was evident within minutes of the musicians entering the room that they were were enthralled by the acoustics. For the audience it was a chance to hear live music without any of the sonic distortion of added amplification. It was a real treat. I have been to a number of concerts in this hall and I have found that any artificial sound re-enforcement has had a negative impact on the music. For me there was only one drawback and and that was the natural prohibition on taking photos during the performance. The click of a camera shutter would have destroyed the musical ambience of the evening. I had to settle for some pre-concert shots  during the sound check. I can live with that………………….. The program was a recap of the sold-out concert in Nelson and the follow up performances in Fernie and Kimberley with the added zest of a unique acoustic environment

334. Rita Deane   202. Noemi Kiss   418. Rita and Noemi450. Rita and Noemi422. Rita and Noemi412a. Rita and Noemi436. Noemi and Rita

Thanks must go to the Kootenay Cultural Alliance for making this very special performance possible.

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Four on the Floor – The Alan Brecker Quartet

THE ALAN BRECKER QUARTET, Saturday November 21, 2015, 8pm at Stage 64 (Centre 64) in Kimberley. This was the last concert of the Fall Jazz and Blues Series.

This is what I call “Four on the floor straight ahead Jazz”. A solid rhythm section and one or two melody instruments, a copy of a Jazz Fake Book, pick a tune and let’s hit it , one and two, and three and four ….., and that was the name of the game on Saturday night with The Alan Brecker Quartet at Stage 64 in Kimberley. The solid rhythm section, Alan Brecker on piano, Stefano Valdo on electric Bass, Taylor Hornby on drums with the lead solo Tenor Sax of Pat Belliveau. There were added vocals by Alan 010. Pat Headerand some magnificent melodic bass solos by Stefano on a huge 6-string bass that added variety to the sonic spectrum. These four session musicians from Calgary love to play jazz and the gig here in Kimberly gave them ample opportunity to delve into a selection of songs and tunes from the Jazz Fake Book. The Jazz Fake Book, for those who don’t know, is one of several published, copyright approved, collections of a huge number of jazz standards and songs from the American Song Book. It is almost a bible for improvising jazz musician. “Want to play some tunes? What have you got in the Fake Book that we could play?” That’s pretty well how an “off the cuff” session would play out. There are no elaborated arrangements, the tunes are usually presented as an abbreviated one or two page chart that notates the basic melody, chords and possibly some brief instructions about style and tempo. Nothing is set in stone and the musicians are free to make any number of musical choices in performing the piece. In doing so, some of the “off the cuff” choices can yield some adventurous and interesting musical moments. Case in point is the quartet’s rendition of the well known I Remember April. Who would have thought that this ballad had such potential as a hard driving Samba. Thier version would be rig082. Stefano's Bassht at home at a carnival in Rio. Alan has a thing for the songs of Jimmy Van Heusen and and during the evening he indulged his passion with more than one Van Heusen song. The standout, of course, was  Here’s That Rainy Day (from the show Carnival in Flanders) with some brilliant  mallet and brushes work by Tyler Hornby behind Stefano’s extended bass solo. Some other tunes that came off the pages of the Fake Book were Somewhere Over the Rainbow, How High the Moon and the Louis Armstrong classic What a Wonderful World. Another high light of the evening was Alan’s Stride/be-bop solo version of Summertime. Despite their popularity there are some tunes that just never wear out. Summertime is one of them.

 

Here are the images from a wonderful evening of “Four on the floor, straight ahead Jazz”

414. Alan Brecker  100. Tyler Hornby  204. Pat Belliveau 217. Pat Belliveau 107. Tyler Hornby  308. Stefano Valdo 200. Pat Belliveau  114. Tyler and Stefano  227. Pat Belliveau  300. Stefano Valdo  400. Alan Brecker102. Tyler Hornby   209. Pat Belliveau   125. Tyler Hornby221. Pat Belliveau  462. Alan Brecker 142. Tyler Hornby 337. Stefano Valdo  412. Alan Brecker

This was the last concert in the brilliant fall series organized by the “Alive at the Studio 64 Committee”. Many, many thanks from me and others I am sure. I for one am looking forward to what will be another brilliant Spring Concert series in the New Year.

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