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Lisette Xavier returns to Lethbridge to sing

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The Owl Acoustic lounge was all about pop music on Saturday, June 23.

 Lisette Xavier performiung at the Owl Acoustic lounge. photo by Richard AmeryWhile I missed local pop band Stars from Streetlights, I was in time for the return of Vancouver based musician Lisette Xavier.
“ A lot has happened since I lived in Lethbridge.

For example I play music now and I don’t work at the Penny anymore,” she observed from behind her piano, in between playing preprogrammed drums and bass.

 She sang appealing, catchy, heartfelt pop music.

— by Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 July 2018 10:52 )

Uncovered and Black Tie Affair perform with AC vocals students

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An intimate audience gathered at the McNally Arts Centre for an afternoon of show tunes featuring the students of AC Vocals, Saturday, July 23.

Andi Roberts sings with her daughter. Photo by Richard AmeryBlack Tie Affair at AC Vocals' recital. Photo by Richard Amery
 “Two Fourths” of Uncovered, who had a busy day as they were also performing at the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival later in the afternoon and at Casino Lethbridge on the weekend.

Jono and Danny played a quick set of ’90s hits including Matchbox 20.

 After their set, vocal teacher Andi Roberts’ students performed a variety of show tune hits from musicals like “Pocahontas, ” and “Wicked” and several others.

Roberts sang a duet with one of her daughters, which was a highlight.Uncovered played several shows on the weekend including at AC Vocals' recital. photo by Richard Amery
The afternoon ended with a rare performance by Roberts’ jazz  combo Black Tie Affair, featuring  Sheldon Arvay on guitar, drummer Brent Hogan and a bassist filling in backing Roberts’ vocals during a brief set of jazz crooner standards including  “Girl From Ipanema.”

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 July 2018 10:38 )

Eve 6 and Blind Melon bring Average Joes back to the ’90s

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Average Joes took a step back into the ’90s, Friday, June 22 with Blind Melon and Eve 6 playing to an enthusiastic crowd.Blind Melon’s Chris Thorn at Average Joes, June 22. Photo by Richard Amery

 Eve 6's Max Collins at Average Joes, June 22. Photo by Richard AmeryBlind Melon, are best know for their hit “No Rain showed they are much more then their best known hit. I arrived a little late and missed founding member Chris Thorn playing banjo in between playing groovy riffs and fitting solos on guitar. But I arrived in time to see him break out the mandolin for a song.

Their set was all about jamming, big grooves and guitar solos.

 Their lead singer Travis Warren sounded uncannily like heir original singer Shannon Hoon, who passed away from a drug overdose in 1995.
 they had a a lot of die hard fans in the audience, who were surprised Blind Melon was the opening act, yet they sang along with almost every  word including and most prevalently “No Rain” which came near the end of the set.

 I wasn’t as familiar with the music as most of the audience  were, but I enjoyed the experimentation and jamming, though not so much the eye blinding strobes and lasers shooting into the audience.

Warren also showed he was a pretty talented guitarist as well, plucking an acoustic in between scampering and writhing all over the stage.

 Long, mellow jams were the order of the set, though they picked up the pace on “Galaxie,” near the end of the set.
After a break, Eve 6, played an energetic, hit heavy set of late ’90s/ early 2000s pop punk music. Bassist Max Collins, wearing dark sunglasses, ran back and forth across the stage, traded mics with guitarist Jim Siebels.Eve 6 at Average Joes, June 22. Photo by Richard Amery
“Open Road” and “Think Twice” came early in the set.

Collins joked one of their big hits  “Here’s to the night,” had become to go to prom song in the 2000s, but he rededicated as a tribute to Eve 6’s Blind melon's Chris Thorn playing mandolin Average Joes, June 22. Photo by Richard Ameryaudiences. They played one of my favourites “Amphetamines” and I had to leave for another gig.

— by Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 July 2018 10:23 )

Ann Vriend and band play sultry soul and R and B music

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 Edmonton songstress Ann Vriend brought her own band to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, June 22.

I caught Vriend winding up their first set by belting out a soulful version of Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” so was glad they played a second set.

Ann Vriend playing the Owl with her band. Photo by Richard Amery
 She had a solid band behind her including a talented keyboardist Brennan Cameron, who allowed her to let loose on the microphone, such as on a beautiful version of “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” which opened the second set.

 They had  a lot of groove a throughout. Vriend’s voice dripped with soul throughout as set of a few choice covers and mostly original material including the outstanding “Everything is Going to be Fine,” which she noted will be on her next album.

— By Richard Amery, L. A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 July 2018 10:08 )

Centric Music festival features classical music in new places

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Classical music aficionados have a wonderful weekend of music lined up as the sixth annual Centric Music festival, which features six concerts, July 6-8.Ryan Kolodziej is excited about The Centric music Festival, July 6-9. Photo by Richard Amery
“ All of our performers have a Southern Alberta connection this year,” observed artistic director / executive director Ryan Kolodziej.
One of the biggest changes to the festival this year, is incorporating two new venues— the Lethbridge Public Library and Cité Des Prairies in addition to Casa.
“We held all the concerts at Casa last year,” continued Montreal based Kolodziej who is doing triple duty for this festival, which he has had to organize from his adopted home in Montreal, where he teaches piano at  the private school College Stanislas.
“I had to do a lot of Skype dates. I had a lot of personal meetings during the fundraiser earlier this year, which is important to do,” he said
“I’ve had a lot of support. Fortunately we have a board now and it’s still growing. We’ll probably have another member after this festival too. And and my father has been really supportive,” he said, adding he is looking forward to being able to use La Cité Des Prairies as a venue this year.

“I look forward to hearing the acoustics in Cité Des Prairies this year,” he said.

 Centric begins with the first gala concert Friday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Casa, features Cuban born, Lethbridge based international guitar sensation Iliana Matos, hailed by critics as “the guitar guru” and “powerful and intense” by Classical Guitar Magazine. She is professor of guitar at the University of Lethbridge Department of Music, a prize winner of multiple international competitions and one of the world’s foremost performers of Ibero- American guitar music. She will perform a selection of works by Eduardo Martin, Joaquin Malats, Agustin Barrios Mangoré and others.

“ She took over from Dale Ketcheson. We’re going to have Dale do a pre show talk with her before the concert. So it will be like a passing of the torch,” Kolodziej said.
He is excited about playing with Edmonton born, Montreal based Juno award winning violinist Andrew Wan during the highly anticipated closing gala concert on Sunday, July 8 at 7:30 p.m.
 Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Wan is also artistic partner of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and a member of the New Orford Quartet. He has been a soloist with major symphonies throughout North America and has performed worldwide with artists such as the Juilliard Quartet, Daniil Trifonov, Vadim Repin, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Marc- André Hamelin, Jörg Widmann, Menaham Pressler, and Cho- Liang Lin. Collaborating with pianist and Artistic Director Ryan Kolodziej, Mr. Wan will present Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances and the sublime Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano, Op. 100 by Brahms. Crowning this concert is Franck's transcendent Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 July 2018 14:53 ) Read more...
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