Folk, Rock, Blues, Jazz, World, Spoken Word, & Everything In Between.
A little something for everyone!
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Carlos del Junco Music & The Blue Mongrels
Tuesday, March 27th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
It’s probably a good thing Carlos wasn’t there when the harmonica appeared in North America in the 1860s. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can probably roll with it when he says they are very mediocre harmonica players. Aspiring harmonica players Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid might have overreacted and pulled out their pistols…
To say he plays the harmonica is like saying “Jimi Hendrix plays guitar”. He blows the blues harp through a prism — suddenly it seems he’s holding every color in the musical rainbow right there in his hands.
Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz (hence the name for his band “The Blues Mongrels”). The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies, to swampy roots rock.
Playing a ten hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed the unique ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed “overblow” technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. Overall, this approach to the diatonic harmonica, although much more difficult to achieve, is in many ways more expressive and communicative than the mechanized tone produced by the chromatic harmonica . Carlos is one of the few pioneers of this overblow method, bringing musical credibility to what has still been considered by many in the music industry – a fringe folk instrument. The sophisticated sound produced by del Junco is at once sensitive, soulful, and sexy while never forgetting the rawness inherent in blues music.
Black Umfolosi Music (Official)
Wednesday, March 28th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
One of Africa’s great musical exports and one of the most successful groups we have ever booked in Canada, Black Umfolosi 5 blends acapella singing with dance and traditional costume in a show that has played some of Canada’s largest venues, but is so simple to produce it can also easily work in smaller theatres. For decades now the guys have been entertaining world music fans in too many countries and continents to mention. Absolutely brilliant.
Their performances are energy driven and completely engaging, mixing a great gentleness of spirit and song with an exuberance in dance. Their trademark harmonies mixed with intricate rhythms, clicking and clapping are highlighted during their brilliantly choreographed shows with a full range of movements from subtle to vibrant stomping and leaping! Their famous Gumboot Dances showcase the traditional styles and rituals of the South African mining regions and are a particular crowd pleaser.
The Black Umfolosi 5 also provide workshops and residences in dance, voice, theatre, costume design, poetry, mime and also address various issues affecting society today.
Thursday, March 29th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Ellen Doty is a soulful Canadian vocalist and songwriter with a world-class voice. Her music incorporates everything from pop and jazz to soul, folk, and indie music: a sound that is uniquely hers. A true storyteller whose works are as intimate and as personal as their handwritten lyrics, Ellen’s immense talent for songwriting is only complemented by her stunning vocals. Rich, sultry, and sweet, Ellen’s voice draws listeners in and takes them on an unforgettable journey. Originally from Okotoks, Alberta, Ellen has been a performer since age five- she sang and played “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from the Lion King at her first grade talent show.Doty’s first album “Gold”, a more traditional sounding pop-jazz album, was released in 2014. It reached the top 10 on several college radio charts in Canada, and she followed up the release with a crowd-funded, self-booked, 42 stop Canadian tour. In the past couple of years, Doty has been touring quite extensively in Canada. She had the chance to open for two-time Grammy-winner Gregory Porter, and recently completed a Western Canada concert theatre tour with award-winning saxophonist Eli Bennett from Vancouver.
After nearly two years of experimentation and songwriting, Doty’s long-awaited sophomore album “Come Fall” is set for release in February of 2018. The project seeks to strip the music down to its bare bones, leaving a raw and incredibly spacious sound. No bass. No background vocals. No horns. No layers. Just piano, voice, and drums. The mixture of pop, jazz, soul, folk, and indie music, is a sound that is undoubtedly hers. The album was recorded at Sumbler House near Toronto with drummer Davide Di Renzo (Cassandra Wilson, Tom Cochrane, Molly Johnson, etc.) and pianist Mark Lalama (Kevin Breit, Sisters Euclid, Daniel Romano, etc.). It was engineered by Juno-award winning engineer John “Beetle” Bailey, and features co-writes with many notable writers including Justin Rutledge, Andy Stochansky, Danny Vacon (The Dudes), and more.
Friday, April 6th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
A veteran performer at 22,Mason is very accomplished as a musician and songwriter.
As the front man, lead guitar player and driving force of award winning rock band “Cosmic Brew” Mason has electrified audiences continuously with his powerful singing and his extraordinary guitar playing.
He is known around BC as one of the top lead guitar players of his generation and has been featured on several recent recordings in local studios.
Mason grew up in Penticton, and was a fixture at The Penticton Market from the time he was 10 years old, playing classic rock and folk music from the 60’s and 70’s as well as some of his original music.
He was a featured musician at Penticton’s Showcase an unprecedented three times and was the runner up in Okanagan Life Magazine ‘Best of The Okanagan “for best musician in the Okanagan 3 years ago.
Recently signed to a record deal, Mason is currently recording and producing his first solo album and is looking forward to going to Asia and Europe in the near future, when the album is released.
He loves getting back to his roots, playing his acoustic guitar and singing to friends in an intimate environment.
Saturday April 7th
Van Django’s music is punchy, driving and rhythmically inventive, combining a wealth of musical influences while maintaining their roots in the gypsy jazz made famous by the 1930’s Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Since the group’s formation in 1998, they have toured extensively in Canada as well as international forays to the USA and Europe.
Van Django is an acoustic string ensemble made up of four of Canada’s most talented and eclectic musicians; violinist Cameron Wilson, guitarist Budge Schachte, guitarist/cellist Finn Manniche, and bassist Brent Gubbels.
These men put on a great show and we are honoured they return over and over again.
“They have it all – musicianship, musicality, humor and that swingin’ Django sound. Sit back, relax, and be transported to 1930’s Paris” Scott Wilson, Jazz Yukon
Premium – $43
Wings – $33
Wednesday, Aprill 11th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Louis Armstrong was once asked what his favorite kind of music was, and his response was simple; “Good music”. Petunia & the Vipers’ sound may not sit comfortably in one certain genre, but “Good Music” describes it well.
Hank Williams on acid… Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie’s Hobo junction… Avant-Country night club scene music… One of the best bands in the world today, of any kind… hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show… A new music that springboards off of music of the past and jumps into the present day, left with only echoes of the past… Something in between 1920’s and steam punk. It’s good for your mind… These are just a few of the words uttered by folks around the globe trying to pin down a description of all that is Petunia & The Vipers.
Petunia & The Vipers play several tours a year while Petunia is not touring on solo or duo missions. The full band is a typically a five piece, however a violinist is added when required, or when other accompanists are unable to play. The Vipers play in various other projects and are well known through their efforts. Guitarist Stephen Nikleva and Lap Steel player Jimmy Roy are former Ricochets, of Ray Condo and the Ricochets, while Patrick Metzger plays bass with several projects, including a bluegrass band led by some-time violinist Kathleen Nisbet.
Friday, April 13th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac are the two multi-instrumentalists who make up Madison Violet. Born in Montreal and raised in Kincardine, Ontario, Brenley used to spend her summers in Lisa’s hometown of Creignish, Nova Scotia, but they never met on the east coast. It was a chance meeting that set them on their musical journey, later finding out that not only did Lisa know Brenley’s extended family, but that their father’s sat next to one another in high school in Cape Breton. Since their fateful meeting in 1999, the pair has been nominated for numerous ECMA awards and a Juno award, won a Canadian Folk Award for Vocal Group of the Year, the Maxell John Lennon Songwriting grand prize, and many more. Currently on tour in support of their latest release, The Knight Sessions, Madison Violet have released 7 studio albums,as well as a live cd and dvd recorded in Germany.
When you hear them, the first thing you’ll notice is that their voices blend together, symbiotically, like family: Born to sing the same songs. And over the past decade and a half, the pair have taken to genre-bending, moving effortlessly from folk to pop to electronic to Americana. In a word, they are musical chameleons.
Saturday, April 14th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Erin Costelo is an artist who is mining the truth – through writing, arranging, producing and masterful live performance. With a voice unlike any other in Canada she has the ability to successfully float between genres and stages, her unwavering vision continuously offering the best sound and voice to a feeling, idea or story.
With songs that sound like they were written by your heroes, she’s had the opportunity to open for heroes like Mavis Staples, Dr. John and Bettye Lavette and has recently performed with Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band.
Her latest, self-produced album Down Below, the Status Quo was nominated for a total of 12 awards in her home on the East Coast of Canada. It is a magical, moonlight-soaked reverie, filled with drama and intensity; in one moment a defiant cry and in the next a desperate whisper. It has been described as “embodying the spirit of Nina Simone” and “conjuring the ghost of Donny Hathaway”.
Erin will be joined by Clive MacNutt on guitar.
The Return of…..
The Black Hen Roadshow
Tuesday, April 17th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Featuring Steve Dawson, Leeroy Stagger, Steve Marriner, and Ndidi Onokwulu.
The acclaimed Black Hen Roadshow is back, and better than ever. Coming to stages across Canada in the spring of 2018, this third incarnation of the travelling revue features one of our best line-up of artists yet. It’s going to be an evening of unique collaborations and authentic musical entertainment like no other, cementing the Roadshow as one of the finest touring showcases of contemporary roots music in the country.
Steve Dawson and his Black Hen label need no introduction to Canadian roots music fans. A musician’s musician in the truest sense, he is both a highly sought after producer and in demand performer. Known for bringing the best out of everyone he works with, the multiple Juno Award winner and renowned guitar slinger couldn’t be more excited about taking this incredible group of musicians on the road. “Each of these powerhouse performers has their own unique artistic voice, and having, them all together on stage at once is guaranteed to create plenty of musical magic.”
Leeroy Stagger has had a very good couple of years. In 2015, the seasoned troubadour surprised many when he out paced all other comers, to win Alberta’s 2nd annual Peak Performance Project. Since then the Vancouver native, now living in Lethbridge, has been moving from strength to strength, steadily building his fan base through touring and his new radio show on CKUA – and just last month, releasing a highly anticipated new album, that’s garnering rave reviews and plenty of radio airplay too! Live, Stagger delivers his from-the-heart songs with an authenticity and power that is undeniable, making him a perfect fit for the BH Roadshow format.
Both as the dynamic front man for Juno Award winning blues juggernaut Money Junk, and as a solo artist in his own right, Steve Marriner has been blowing away audiences for the better part of two decades (which is all the more remarkable, considering he’s only 32 years old). Whether he’s ripping it up on the harmonica, or crooning a classic blues ballad, the stage never fails to come alive when Steve is in the spotlight – as he proved nightly on his recent touring as part of the Colin James band.
With a stage presence that is at once beguiling and dramatically intense, Ndidi Onukwulu is a Juno nominated and Maple Blues Award winning performer who has taken her music around the world. As Exclaim! Magazine so aptly put it, “her exceptional voice blazes with confidence…sophisticated, surprising and surefooted, this is seriously heady stuff.” Needless to say we couldn’t agree more.
With busy first call upright bassist Jeremy Holmes by his side, Mr. Dawson will lead this remarkable collection of renowned artists through two killer sets of authentic and inspiring music, that is sure to be remembered as one of the best shows of the season. The first set will consist of each headliner taking their turn playing songs with Steve and Jeremy in support and the second set will see the entire entourage take the stage to play a full set of collaborative group numbers.
For more on the artists, see below:
Steve Dawson: http://www.stevedawson.ca/
Steve Marriner: http://monkeyjunkband.com/
Leeroy Stagger: https://
Ndidi Onukwulu: http://ndidio.net/
Wednesday, April 18th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Harry Manx has been dubbed an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. His unique sound is bewitching and deliciously addictive to listen to.
Born on the Isle of Man, Manx spent his childhood in Canada and left in his teens to live in Europe, Japan, India and Brazil. He honed his hypnotic live show on street corners, in cafes, bars and at festivals. But it was Indian music that captured his attention and in the mid 80s he began a five-year tutelage with Rajasthani Indian musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Grammy winner with Ry Cooder for A Meeting by the River). Receiving the gift of Bhatt’s custom-made, self-designed Mohan Veena (a 20-stringed sitar/guitar hybrid) was the catalyst for Harry to forge a new path with his now signature east-meets-west style of music. While the mohan veena itself is beyond exotic, Manx uses it within traditional Western sound structures.
Manx is a prolific artist, releasing nine albums in a eight-year span with no signs of stopping. He has received seven Maple Blues Awards and his mantel shelf also holds honours from the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Vancouver magazine Georgia Straight, and the South Australia Blues Society. He received CBC Radio’s Great Canadian Blues Awards for 2007 and his albums have garnered five Juno nominations.
Blend Indian folk melodies with slide guitar blues, add a sprinkle of gospel and some compelling grooves and you’ll get Manx’s unique “mysticssippi” flavour. It’s hard to resist, easy to digest and keeps audiences coming back for more.
Aidan and Mandy
Saturday, April 21
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Similar but different.
One listen and you’ll hear it; powerful and soft, edgy and smooth, poignant and lyrical, passionate and soothing. Aidan Mayes and Mandy Cole combine these seemingly opposite elements with deft simplicity. Smooth harmonies, heartfelt lyrics, and playful guitar are the main ingredients that make up this grounded, inspiring, and talented duo. They might tell you openly that their heroes are Janis and Joni, Fiona and Tori, but secretly they’d whisper their love for all things musical theatre. So it’s fitting that it was their love of musical theatre that brought the two together, during the Soundstage production of the rock musical Hair in Penticton, B.C. While it’s easy to compare this duo to the folk/country harmonies of the Dixie Chicks, Blue Rodeo and Indigo Girls, comparisons such as these do no justice to the unique sounds Aidan and Mandy achieve through their similar, but different musical stylings.
There is something distinctly Okanagan about this pair. A little bit country, a little bit folk, a little bit rock and roll, and a little bit different from everything else in the world. This might be a recognizable description of the desert region of B.C. to an outsider lucky enough to visit on occasion. Wherever the wine flows, the lake sings, and the stars shine, the sounds of Aidan and Mandy won’t be far away. From their humble beginnings busking at the Penticton market, the two quickly realized they had something special, discovering an almost instantaneous and insatiable appetite for their music within the community. It wasn’t long before their voices were dazzling sold-out audiences and landing on festival bills alongside 54-40, City and Colour, Mother Mother, The Current Swell and Yukon Blonde.
Yet, it is their friendly and down-to-earth demeanours, epitomizing the values of their Okanagan roots and a “true to themselves” attitude that may best describe the soulful and powerful sound of Aidan and Mandy. They hope you’ll find listening to their music as uplifting and rejuvenating as creating it has been for them. If you find yourself sipping a glass of wine, sitting next to a lake on a starry summer night, it might just be time to give Aidan and Mandy a spin.
Wednesday, April 25th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Vancouver’s Hippest Blue Funk Band is Original, Tight & Funky!
Brickhouse is one of the most uniquely “Vancouver” music experiences and unofficially, seeing Brickhouse LIVE is one of the TOP 10 coolest things to do in Vancouver.
For more than 10 years, Brickhouse was the official late-night house band for the famous Yale Hotel. It was on the Yale stage that the band built a legion of fans as diverse as you can get: hipsters, university students, baby boomers, tourists and musicians from 19 to 55+; all experienced the band live and soon grew to love Brickhouse and their brand of groovy, bluesy funky music. It’s rare for anyone who hears Brickhouse not to want to get up on the dance floor and find some “Room to Move”. Inevitably, you wait to catch that magical groove the band gets into; where 6 musicians turn into the Brickhouse machine…an almost-hypnotic meld of mind, body and soul where the audience, by singing and dancing along, becomes part of one of the best live music experiences you can find anywhere.
With their brand of original, funky tracks and cleverly covered classic R&B tunes, Brickhouse blends classic and modern (Blue Funk) with ease and makes hearing and seeing Brickhouse an addictive experience.
Friday, April 27th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
The Fugitives, established in 2007, have released four records, which have been nominated for multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards and a Western Canadian Music Award. Their previous album, Everything Will Happen, spent ten weeks on the top ten Canadian folk charts, and earned them a support slot across Western Canada with Buffy Sainte-Marie and an appearance at UK’s Glastonbury Festival. Their follow-up, “The Promise of Strangers”, is set for release on January 26th on Borealis Records.
A folk collective headed by songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod, the band has toured extensively through Canada, Western Europe, and the UK, often joined by renowned multi-instrumentalist Steve Charles, violinist Carly Frey (Echo Nebraska), and banjo player Rob McLaren (Union Duke). Over the past ten years, they’ve earned a reputation for unforgettable live shows, brimming with complex harmonies, infectious storytelling and top-notch musicianship. As the CBC has it: “This show is simply brilliant”. Performance highlights include major folk festivals across Canada, headlining slots in overseas americana festivals, and a recently sold out run across the UK on its rural touring circuit. In 2018, the band will tour across both Canada and the EU, and venture into the United States via an official showcase at Folk Alliance.
“Despite their all-acoustic lineup, the Fugitives bring enough energy to the stage to light up a small city… The East Van quartet conjures up a sound that’s like the missing link between Leonard Cohen, the Pogues, and the immortal Shorty Shitstain.” — Georgia Straight
Thursday, May 3rd
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Two time Juno, 7 time Maple Blues winner Jack de Keyzer and his 6 piece band return in 2018 with the brand new release Checkmate. A tribute to the great Chess Records, Chicago blues giants. Talk to Me Baby, Ain’t Superstitious, All Your Love I Miss Loving, Do Right Woman, and 10 more great tracks filled with urgency, virtuosity and fun! De Keyzer plays the blues world wide. His music has taken him from the Arctic Circle to Puerto Escondido, Mexico; from Athens, Greece to Hornby Island, BC and many points in between. One of Canada’s most awarded and in demand blues guitarists, Jack has released 12 CD’s and 1 DVD. An exciting live performer, soulful vocalist and world class song writer, de Keyzer performs an average of 100 shows per year and has brought audiences to their feet at many major Jazz and Blues Festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France) The Ottawa Blues Festival and Puerto Blues, (Mexico). Much celebrated, de Keyzer has been nominated for the Juno (Blues Album) 5 times and won the Juno twice in 2003 and 2010. He has also won 7 Maple Blues Awards. Always touring with an incredible band of top musicians. This is a must see show for fans of high energy blues guitar and lovers of blues, rock and soul music. De Keyzer is Canada’s King of the Blues.
“If Jack de Keyzer was from Chicago, New York or LA, he’d be famous” Bob Dylan
“The finest blues guitarist in Canada” Jeff Healey
Win: 6 The Corktown Sessions/ Blues Album of the Year 2010
Win: 6 String Lover/ Blues Album of the Year 2003
Nomination: Electric Love/ Blues Album of the Year 2013
Nomination: Blues Thing/Blues Album of the Year 2007
Nomination: Down in the Groove/Blues Album of the Year 2001
Maple Blues Award
Guitarist of the Year 2007,2005, 2004
Entertainer of the Year 2004
Electric Act of the Year 2004
Down in the Groove/ Blues Album of the Year 2000
Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement) 2001
International Songwriting Competition
Honourable Mention “The Way That I Love You” 2010
1st place Win ” That’s The Only Time” 2007
Great Canadian Blues Award
Winner CBC listeners vote 2009
Friday, May 4th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
“Naomi Wachira is an artist of formidable talent and heart. Her music & songwriting brings together harmonies that speak across continents and cultures.”- Northwest Music Scene
“I am an African girl, well I know where I’m coming from, and I know who I want to be…” is the defiant soul-anthem that jumpstarted Afro-Folk singer/songwriter Naomi Wachira onto a whole new path and calling. The words, from the title track of her first EP African Girl (2012), paved the way for this Kenyan-born, Seattle-based artist, who is determined to make a contribution in the world by offering music that is poignant, hopeful and life-giving. Five years later, after a critically acclaimed self-titled album Naomi Wachira (2014) and an acoustic EP I am Because You Are (2015), comes her sophomore album Song of Lament, which she says, “was born out the many tragic losses we’ve witnessed globally – ranging from cases of police brutality to the refugee crisis – that made me grieve about who we’ve become, but also burned a desire in me to create art that would serve society at large and hopefully lessen the chaos around us.”
With music that is both uplifting and somber, there is no doubt Wachira is determined to create a niche in the world and perhaps inch us closer to one another as we remember our shared humanity. Like the two predecessors she has long admired, Tracy Chapman and Miriam Makeba, she hopes that she can contribute to making the world a better place. Asked about what she hopes to accomplish with this album she says, “if there’s one thing I learned from my parents, it is to try and leave a place better than I found it. My hope is that this album will do just that. I know we are certainly living in dark times, but I hope that we will all find the courage to be light in whatever way we’ve been gifted… that we will seek to understand those who are different from us and find ways to both acknowledge and celebrate our differences and similarities.”
Saturday, May 5th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
“Built around core players Woody Forster (Vocals and Guitar) and Devora Laye (Vocals, Washboard, and Saw), The Burying Ground lay out a feast of southern old timey acoustic gems that pay homage to southern Americana and goodtime blues inspired by the ghosts of Charley Patton, Memphis Minnie, and The Mississippi Sheiks.” — David Morrison (Folk Radio, UK)
A band that shines when performing live, The Burying Ground has been charming audiences large and small across Western Canada and the United States, lending new life to old songs while performing original tunes. Known for their songwriting, they aim to shed light on aspects of the human experience that resonate into the modern day, touching on mental health, the traumas of war, social justice and good old fashioned lost and found love.
They have a lively, gritty sound with tight harmony and a driving rhythm section reminiscent of the music of the juke joints and jazz halls of the 1920’s and ’30s. The band moves effortlessly between toe-tapping dance music, the yearning of country blues and the embellishments and energy of ragtime and jazz.
“While they may be devoted to the precious music of a long gone golden era, they still have an awful lot to offer the present and future, as music this good is evidently timeless.”
David Morrison, Folk Radio UK
“If you have the opportunity to see The Burying Ground perform, do not miss their innovative musical interpretation of blues and rags, with a modern perspective, that few bands have mastered.”
— Greg Keffer, Fraser Valley Blues Society
Monday, May 7th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
2018 JUNO NOMINEES
It’s been almost exactly a year since Weaves released their acclaimed debut LP. The self-titled album was among the most anticipated of the year, and was lauded internationally upon its release for its exuberant approach to guitar pop, which was described as “one of the most unpredictable sounds of 2016” (MTV), and “a triumphant assault on all things conventional” (i-D). It was a whirlwind year for the band who spent a nearly uninterrupted 12 months on the road, playing festivals across the globe, and touring with their fellow 2016 breakout artists Sunflower Bean and Mitski. Propelled forward by their own momentum, which they corralled like the barely contained energy of their explosive live sets, it was a transformative experience, and upon returning home to Toronto the band’s leaders, singer Jasmyn Burke and guitarist Morgan Waters, found themselves possessed by an irrepressible burst of creative energy.
But be wary: the more you listen, the more habit forming Weaves becomes.
Picture the classic rock band. It’s likely you’re thinking of a four-piece: bass, guitar, drums, vocals. Though they might at first glance look pretty standard, Weaves are not doing that kind of math. On their debut, the Toronto quartet shed the restraints of indie rock structure and form, letting something more emotional drive their sparse and artistic sound. Emerging from their city’s well-established noise rock scene, Weaves’ music is difficult to pin down, yet undeniably memorable.
Wednesday, May 9th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Megan Bonnell is quickly becoming one of Canada’s leading voices as a songwriter, performer, and artist. A two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee, Megan has spent the last three years touring Canada, the US, and making groundbreaking debut performances at European festivals including BIME Live Festival in Bilbao, the Barcelona Jazz Festival, and The End Festival in London.
Separate Rooms, the third full-length album from Toronto singer-songwriter Megan Bonnell, is the timely and bold statement of a self-assured woman navigating an increasingly dark and perplexing world. Bonnell has never been easily pigeon-holed into the predictable mold of the singer-songwriter and Separate Rooms embraces this edict, turning traditional musical genres on their heads. With her hallmark honesty, Bonnell effortlessly tackles such intense subject matter as mental illness, early pregnancy loss, and the dissolution of love. But, the new album is also a contradiction – it’s a lover’s appeal for space and independence and, at the same time, a desperate yearning for young and innocent love.
Within its songs, Separate Rooms offers Bonnell’s raw account of some of life’s most profound moments. “Breakdown”, the upbeat album opener, embraces the blurred lines between sanity and insanity and challenges the sexist notion that emotional women are somehow unstable or crazy. “Separate Rooms”, the album’s title track and a co-write with Donovan Woods, is the mature realization that true love carries with it as much loneliness as it does companionship.
Despite the personal nature of the album’s lyrics, the production of Separate Rooms was a largely collaborative process. Joining the production team of Chris Stringer and Joshua Van Tassel, Bonnell manages to meld anthemic pop appeal with the textured, layered nuances of 70’s new wave, epic alt-rock ballads of the 90’s, and traditional folk craftsmanship.
Desirée Dawson is well known as the love spreading human who won the CBC Searchlight Competition in May 2016. Desirée currently calls home Vancouver, the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), Stó:lō, Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples. Desirée’s single “Hide” Won her the title of CBC searchlight winner and is her first single on iTunes, Spotify, to play on CBC radio and to get 1mm streams on Spotify. Her second released single, and title track to her album, Wild Heart, spent many weeks on the CBC top 20 and was remixed by over 2000 producers from all corners of the globe. Her latest single, Where Do We Go, is her 3rd song to be broadcasted across Canada on CBC radio. Desirée’s debut album, Wild Heart, came out February 2017. Wild Heart has been added to many prominent playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, Stingray music, and many more stations. Desirée has been performing all over the world at renowned venues such as the Vogue theatre in Vancouver, Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, CBC Music festival in Toronto and many more. Desirée is currently working on a new album set to be released summer 2018. Desirée makes a point of having every song be honest and emotionally charged. She is very passionate about healing as a collective, using the power of melodies, lyrics and instrumentation to impact listeners. Through this, her music has managed to travel the world over.
Jody Okabe is a queer, Tsimshian, Japanese, and French Canadian artist and musician born and raised in Northern BC. She discovered her voice in her late 20’s through organizing community open mic nights with friends in Merritt BC. Ever since then she keeps singing because she believes in the power of music to heal, and to connect us to this earth, our hearts, and to each other. She currently resides in Vancouver, the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), Stó:lō, Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples.
Tuesday, May 15th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
To find a unique voice on so ubiquitous an instrument as the acoustic guitar is quite an achievement: to do so within a centuries old idiom where the instrument has no real history is truly remarkable.
Tony McManus has come to be recognised throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic Music. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art. In Tony’s hands the complex ornamentation normally associated with fiddles and pipes are accurately transferred to guitar in a way that preserves the integrity and emotional impact of the music.
Self taught from childhood, initially through listening to the family record collection, McManus abandoned academia in his twenties to pursue music full time. The session scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh provided the springboard for gigs around Scotland and a studio set for BBC Radio, frequently rebroadcast, began to spread the word.
His ability to reach audiences unfamiliar with traditional music is remarkable.Whatever work McManus brings within his scope the listener is assured a journey into the depths of the music in the company of a great talent.
David Sinclair & Keith Bennett
Saturday, May 19th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
David Sinclair and Keith Bennett return to The Dream with their extraordinary musicianship and quirky, unpredictable musical buffet.
Sinclair is a humble master of acoustic guitar and commands it like few others. Sinclair plays with the grace, dexterity and wisdom of a person who has dedicated his life to being the best guitarist he can be. His dedication is evident in every phrase, whether he is picking at warp speed, simultaneously playing percussion and an intricate melody, or gently strumming a tender ballad.
Bennett’s expressive and nuanced playing redefines the sound of harmonica, and his improvisation is staggering. With each hole of a chromatic harmonica containing four different reeds, it’s mind-blowing to watch Bennett extract fast, complex phrasing from the instrument (which he plays upside down). Bennett also simultaneously “doubles” improvisation on guitar and harmonica.
In addition to their instrumental wizardry, Sinclair and Bennett sing beautiful vocal harmonies a la Everly Brothers.
The duo’s arrangements can only be described as eccentric, with originals that include “Celtic-inspired surf music” and “an illuminated Tai Chi stickman in the dark”. Innovative arrangements of standard tunes (“what if U2 was Hungarian?”) complete a repertoire that spans big band, classical, blues, roots and gypsy jazz.
Inherently modest, gentle-spirited individuals, Sinclair and Bennett bring authentic exuberance to their music, playing straight from their souls. Listeners are drawn in by their pure, emotional energy.
Having performed together worldwide, including two previous sell-outs at The Dream, Sinclair and Bennett return on May 19th for their 100th performance together. It promises to be a special evening for another lucky audience, whose hands, feet and voices will inevitably join in with the band.
Jason Elmore and Hoodoo Witch
Wednesday, May 23rd
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Based out of Dallas, TX, “Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch” is an original high-energy trio that blends hard-hitting rock, jump/swing blues, vintage soul/r&b, and traces of 60’s country into a unique-but-familiar sound that maintains the essence of American roots music while simultaneously offering a fresh take on its various genres and sounds. Jason Elmore is uncommonly seamless in his ability to tailor his performance to suit the venue and demographic, without compromising the integrity of the band’s mission, which is to give 110% with every single performance, whether performing for a crowd of 2 or 2,000.
Having grown up with an obsession for all genres of western music, Elmore is remarkable in his ability to appeal to fans of any type of music with his virtuoso-level guitar playing, soulful and powerful old-school vocals, and keen sense of songwriting. It is common to see an artist excel at one of those three things, but Jason is uncanny in his ability to express himself with an original and unique voice as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. All one needs to do is watch him play live one time in order to have a good understanding of how all of these different genres of music have a common thread when it comes to eliciting an emotional response from the listener and taking them to that special place where only the music exists and the troubles of the world are temporarily put on hold.
The band released their 3rd full album, titled ‘Champagne Velvet’ in September 2016 on the Underworld Records label. The album debuted at #13 on the Billboard Blues Charts, #3 on the Roots Music Report blues charts, and held the #1 chart position on the Texas music chart for 6 consecutive weeks! It is currently receiving international acclaim and airplay, as is the band’s 2010 album “Upside Your Head” and 2013’s “Tell You What”, all of which showcase the band’s eclectic sound and versatility. In October 2017, the Dallas Observer named Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch “best blues act” in their ‘Best Of Dallas’ series and the band was also voted “best blues act” at the Dallas Observer Music Awards in 2012. However, this is not a blues act in the traditional sense of the word. The band’s sound is original and eclectic but is at times similar to 70’s-era rock such as Cream, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Grand Funk Railroad. They convey a fresh sense of excitement and fire that is uncommon in the contemporary blues scene. This is a high-energy act that excels at bringing unrestrained boogie to the party while simultaneously showcasing all 3 band members’ mastery of instrument and voice.
So get ready to groove with Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch, baby!! These boys can flat GET it!
Saturday, May 26th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Arsen was here in 2017 and blew us away! You don’t want to miss this show!
A Maple Blues Awards nominee, guitarist, songwriter and singer Arsen Shomakhov is an electric blues performer truly dedicated to the style’s roots yet never hesitating to borrow means of expression from other genres. He established himself as a blues-devoted virtuoso musician in his native Russia making it to the IBC in Memphis in 2005 and winning the new talent contest at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, AR in 2007.
After moving to Vancouver, BC in 2008, has performed at a variety of festivals across the Canada and US including: Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival, Montreal International Blues Festival, Mt. Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival, The King Biscuit Blues Festival, Waterfront Safeway Blues Festival, Edmonton International Blues Festival, Calgary International Blues Festival to name a few.
Arsen’s album “On the Move” reached number 2 in the US and number 1 in Canada on the RMR airplay charts and hit Top 25 Blues Albums of the 2010 worldwide. In the same year Toronto Blues Society nominated Arsen for the Maple Blues Awards.
In 2014 and 2016 Arsen Shomakhov Band represented British Columbia at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
ALLAN CROSSLEY QUARTET
Saturday, June 2nd
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
The Crawford & Crossley group returns for their second appearance at The Dream Cafe, the first appearance was a sold out affair! The show includes great jazz standards, songs from their first cd, Images of You, released last year at The Dream Cafe, some new original Crawford & Crossley tunes from their upcoming cd, and some special guests bringing a couple of vintage Andrew’s Sisters numbers.
This year’s lineup includes Larry Crawford on winds, Yanti on vocals, Stefan Bienz on bass, Allan Crossley on keys and Scott Gamble on drums.
Larry Crawford plays saxophones, flutes, and clarinet when he is not writing music. He spent 25 years as a featured soloist in armed forces bands and has extensive radio, television and studio experience. His musical presence has come to be known as a special treat for the South Okanagan for decades. Yanti’s vocals are to be heard almost everywhere in and around Penticton. Whether or not you’ve heard her, you’re in for a great evening as she delivers on ballads and up tunes with lightning-fast lyrics. Stefan Bienz and bass have performed with many, many beloved local groups and is often invited to the Dream Cafe stage. He is known for his solid rhythms and playful solos. Allan Crossley, piano player, arranger and leader, spent his career as a music educator, leading an award-winning high school jazz program. He’s delighted to be retired and finally have time to make his own music as well as collaborating his own lyrics with Larry’s melodies. “Who wouldn’t be pumped to be able to use words like ‘controvertible’ in a swing tune?”
Sing & Swing
Saturay, June 9th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Sing ‘N Swing started up in September of 2016, as the Princess Margaret Secondary School Senior Jazz Combo. It was soon evident that audiences would appreciate these young players playing great music from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
Fronted by 16 year old Jessica Singleton on vocals, this band plays a Michael Buble style of music. Sing ‘N Swing features many great tunes by the Gershwin brothers, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart in a modern jazz style.
Sing ‘N Swing is thrilled to bring back some old favorites performed by a teenaged group. We hope you enjoy!
Friday, June 15th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
VIBRANT. GENUINE. SOULFUL
Dawn Pemberton has deep musical roots that take her powerful voice from gospel and soul to jazz, funk and world music. She has become a staple of the Vancouver music scene and can often be found tearin’ it up as a vocalist, teacher, facilitator, choir director and “go to girl” for live performances and studio sessions. A passionate songwriter and performer Dawn crafts her music with a sense of adventure, quirkiness, and serious groove and shapes it into her own unique and dynamic package.
Tight, expressive and bold, Dawn will hit you where it counts, funk you up and make you say “Go ‘head!”
An evening with Neil Osborne of 54-40
Saturday, June 16th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
As lead singer and chief songwriter of 54•40, Neil Osborne has achieved critical acclaim, released a dozen albums and weathered the fickle music business for more than three decades. He is known primarily as a rock musician but is also an accomplished producer often taking the production reins of 54•40 albums and is also a songwriter of amazing depth and clarity. 54.40’s body of work is impressive. After thirty years in the musical trenches, the band have varied their sound and earned proven commercial success via impressive record sales from ten studio albums, two greatest hits packages and a double live album. “One clue to 54•40’s longevity lies in their ability to make music that has a distinctly individual sound yet covers many styles – tender ballads, fiery rockers, provocative political songs, self-confessed lyrically banal romps.” Kerry Doole reported in Impact.
As a songwriter Osborne has penned such fabulous signature 54•40 songs as ‘I Go Blind’, ‘One Gun’, ‘Since When’ and ‘Ocean Pearl’’ which have crossed from the realm of rock to a broader base. His lyrics range from the most politically astute observation to the most innocent love song and everything in between. Besides penning over 20 charting radio songs, Neil Osborne has been very active participant in the overall production of every 54•40 album. Most notably Neil co- produced Casual Viewin’ (Columbia) with Matt Johnson. That same year, the record buying public would be treated to another taste of Osborne’s production prowess with the self-titled debut release of Paloma. Paloma was a hybrid jazz / electronic musical creation between 54•40 members Brad Merritt, Matt Johnson, former 54•40 guitarist Phil Comparelli, songstress Coco Love Alcorn and a producer / collaborator Dr. NO which was in actual fact Osborne’s alias for the project.
Osborne has produced albums for former “Wailing Jenny” Cara Luft (The Light Fantastic on Black Hen), Vince Vaccaro (Cordova Bay Records) and the second album for Jets Overhead titled No Nations. Along with band mate Dave Genn, Osborne produced the critically acclaimed 12th and 13th releases for 5440 “Northern Soul (True North) and Lost In The City (Smilin’Buddha) respectively, which has lead him to collaborations with his own daughters’ project “Kandle” for Montreals’ Dare To Care Records.
Sunday, June 17th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Ali Hassan is a stand-up comic and actor as well as the host of Laugh Out Loud on CBC Radio and SiriusXM, on which he wrangles top Canadian comedians for a listenership of over 1 million people.
Previously the Lead Comedy Panelist on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Ali can be seen on television now with recurring roles on Man Seeking Woman (FX), Odd Squad (PBS Kids), Game On (YTV), and the upcoming CTV mini-series Cardinal.
Ali has also acted in the films Breakaway, French Immersion and GOON. He brings ten years of experience performing stand-up comedy internationally. Ali has performed at both the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and JFL42 in Toronto, the Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival in Jordan, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the UK.
As a father of four, Ali Hassan is well versed in dodging difficult questions. Or just making up the answers. But when his kids start to ask about religion in general and Islam in particular, Ali begins to consider his heritage. In this solo show, Ali Hassan (Man Seeking Woman, Odd Squad, CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud) delivers a bitingly funny piece of work on flunking out of Sunday school, ingesting forbidden fruits, and becoming a cultural Muslim. The show is a refreshingly hilarious antidote to our increasingly troubling global climate, delivered by this mainstay of television, film, radio and stage. “A gifted stand up comic” – Montreal Gazette
Friday, June 22nd
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Tiller’s Folly is the Pacific Northwest’s critically acclaimed, internationally travelled acoustic power trio, planted at the forefront of a bold new movement in progressive roots music. A highly regarded Canadian Celtic group-turned-historians, this award-winning ensemble has shifted to what might be more aptly termed Acoustic Roots Music.
BRUCE COUGHLAN – songwriter, vocals, guitar
Pacific-Canadian born songwriter and sixth generation Canadian possessing a profound connection to his Celtic roots. Bruce Coughlan is a true bard (a collector of songs) and the founding member of Tiller’s Folly.
As principle songwriter and vocalist for Tiller’s Folly, Bruce has navigated the band through a long succession of subtle, yet defining changes. From performers of Celtic music to interpreters of the genre, into an influential entity in the course of progressive Celtic and Canadiana music.
With a growing list of commissioned works and soundtrack credits, this composer/lyricist is a creative force of rare ability. Bruce Coughlan is a multifaceted talent and will undoubtedly be recognized as a great Canadian songwriter in the league of Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers.
NOLAN MURRAY – fiddle, mandolin, mandocaster
Nolan has a long history as a multi-instrumentalist gun-for-hire who at an early age, parlayed an impressive list of championships into a touring/recording career that has spanned decades.
Throughout that time, he’s left his musical imprint with a long list of iconic performers including Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, John Fogerty ,The Irish Rovers, Randy Travis, John Cowan, Ricky Van Shelton, David Frizzell, Patricia Conroy, Gary Fjellgaard, Jess Lee, Funk Brother’s Bob Babbitt, Wrecking Crew’s Larry Knechtel.
Highlights of awards include Oregon State fiddle Champion, Top ten Grand Masters Champion, Top ten US National Fiddle Champion, International World Bluegrass Championship Band. BCCMA Instrumentalist of the Year 89,90,92, Western Canadian Bluegrass Fiddle Champion and CCMA Citation – All Star Band. Beyond his explosive improvised solos, lies a broad pallet of richly diverse influences. In joining Tiller’s Folly in 2002, Nolan Murray caused Tiller’s Folly to encompass an ever widening range of musical styles.
LAURENCE KNIGHT – bass, vocals
A forty-year veteran of Western Canada’s vibrant music scene who’s first love is Rhythm and Blues. Early in his career, Laurence earned a solid reputation in Vancouver’s Blues music community, touring and recording with the Foreman Young Band, Jim Byrnes and the legendary Long John Baldry, just to mention a few.
In a shift from R&B to Folk music Laurence once again found his stride while performing and recording with many of the West’s most iconic artists, including Roy Forbes, Shari Ulrich and Ferron.
Laurence is an expressive bassist, and energetic performer who adds his soulful, rhythmic signature to the Tiller’s Folly blend.
Saturday, June 23rd
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Since the release of his first album Gravity in 2000, Rob Lutes has steadily built a collection of exquisite songs that inhabit the intersection of blues, folk, Americana, and the contemporary singer-songwriter genre. Known for his masterful fingerstyle guitar work, soulful vocals and intense live performances, the New Brunswick-born, long-time Montreal resident is a former Kerrville New Folk winner and a Maple Blues, Canadian Folk Music Awards and Lys Blues nominee. His 7th album, Walk in the Dark, was released to much critical acclaim in September 2017. He was nominated for two 2018 Maple Blues Awards, as Songwriter and Acoustic Act of the Year.
‟Lutes is a fine roots/blues writer, one of those gems you find by chance as you’re going through a town and he’s going through a town and you just want a beer and he gives you the show of the year.” – Bob Mersereau, CBC.ca
‟A great songwriter, a man with a great way with words and also a fantastic guitar picker!”
– Michael Jerome Browne
‟Widely acknowledged as a gifted songwriter.”
– Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen
Lindsay Beaver & The 24th St. Wailers
Thursday, June 28th
Doors 6pm Show 8pm
Singer, Drummer, Songwriter, and Bandleader Lindsay Beaver is much more than a young woman with musical talent, she is a force that knows no bounds. Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – Lindsay has been leading her band The 24th St. Wailers across North America and Europe for the past several years playing her own blend of Rock n’ Roll, Soul, Punk & Blues. Her limitless voice and ferocious standing-drumming, once seen – never forgotten, have become known across festivals, theaters, and clubs from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Her songwriting and albums have given her an impressive list of accolades and awards that include a 2015 Juno Award nomination (Canadian Grammy), 15 Maple Blues Award Nominations, a 2015 Blues411 Award, multiple Sirius/XM INDIE award nominations, as well as several nationally syndicated radio features and numerous 4 & 5 star reviews in publications from around the world.
Her unforgettable live performances are executed with electric energy and amazing finesse, which draws upon a deep well of influences that range from Little Richard to The Ramones, and from Howlin’ Wolf to Iggy Pop – Lindsay’s unique style combined with this killer band, provides her catalog of songs with the perfect mix of originality, tradition, and attitude to establish a true identity.