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Lethbridge Jazz Festival features superb talent including Holly Cole

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The Lethbridge Jazz festival announced their lineup up this week.Don Robb announces the line-up for the 2018 Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
 The eighth annual Lethbridge Jazz and blues festival is  June 8-16 all over the City, but the major events  are centred around the the Enmax Centre.
 The festival begins at the Gate , June 8 with the always popular Young Lions concert featuring plenty of talented young musicians performing beginning at 12:45 p.m.
 Jazz at the park in Galt Gardens, June 9 features an all local lineup beginning at noon With Papa King and the Boogiemen followed by Paul Kype and Texas Flood, ,Hippodrome, new band the Metrik Jazz Tentet and the Lethbridge Big B and at 4 p.m.

The festival welcomes several new venues including the Stoketown Cafe which hosts a blues brunch on June 10 at noon, with a performer to be announced.
The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens brings back New York based, Hiroshima born guitarist Nobuki Takamen, who was a highlight of last year’s festival. this time he brings a band Tickets, available through are $35.

Jazz jams have always been a staple of the festival and jazz music in general. The Owl Acoustic lounge hosts the jazz jam again this year, June 12 at 7:30p.m.
The Sweet Inspiration Gospel  Concert is another popular draw.

 Marcus Mosely hosts this year’s concert at Southminster United Church, Wednesday, June 13. Admission is $10.
 Johnny Summers and the Calgary Jazz Orchestra return to the festival this year to play the Canadian Western bank lounge, upstairs  at the Enmax Centre, where several big shows will be happening due to losing the use of the Yates/ Sterndale Theatre due to renovations. They play everything from Harry Connick Jr.  and Michael Bublé to Frank Sinatra. They will also be performing a tribute to Tommy Banks, who passed away last year, with  Mallory Chipman, Banks’s grand-daughter and popular jazz musician in her own right.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:33 ) Read more...

Great stories will mark this week

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Storytelling is the essence of great songwriting. This week’s highlights include some performers who have interesting stories to tell.
 Winnipeg musician Dave Quanbury was forced to leave the United States where he had been calling Austin, Texas home for several years, but had to return home.

The Ashley Hundred return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 The experience of being separated from his new bride and friends and bands inspired him to  write a new album, “ Still life With Canadian,”  for which he is touring in support of including  a stop at the Slice, April 21.
Vancouver Island musician Kat Kado, got inspired by an interesting part of Canadian history — the story of Cougar Annie,which inspired a constantly expanding one woman multi-media show— Cougar Annie Tales
 She visits Lethbridge for the first time , Sunday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Lethbridge welcomes the Watoto choir to the First Baptist Church, April 20 at 7 p.m. The choir includes orphans and vulnerable children from Uganda who bring worship music from the Watoto Church in Uganda.
 Watoto Church formed during the civil war in Kampala, Uganda and placed thousands of orphans in families, empowered vulnerable women, rescued babies and former child soldiers and sent children“s choirs all over the world. Admission to the concert is free, though donations to Watoto will be accepted.

Classical music fans will want to be at La Cité Des Prairies for The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Chamber series C featuring Musaeus String quartet performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Adagio-Allegretto;
Franz Schubert’ String Quartet in E Flat Major and Antonín Dvořák’s String Quintet in G Major.
 There are lot of other fun shows happening as well.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:19 ) Read more...

Dave Quanbury turns U.S ban into something positive

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Though it might not have seemed like it at first, Getting banned form the United States may be the best thing that ever happened to Winnipeg musician Dave Quanbury, who returns to the Slice, April 21 in support of his new album “Still Life With Canadian.”

“ It’s about me getting banned from the United States for five years,” said Quanbury, who was last in Lethbridge last May.

Dave Quanbury returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 He was living in Austin with his wife, who was attending university in the Texas capital, when authorities found he didn’t have a green card, which forced him to move back to Winnipeg in 2014 and caused him to undergo an existential crisis and a tough period of self reflection and life assessment.

“I married my wife there, but it’s not enough. I could have applied  for a green card, but didn’t. So that was definitely part of it,” noting he got turned away trying to cross the border.
“I had no funds, no stuff, no  job or home and had to move in with my sister and I had to couch surf,” he said.

“I couldn’t see my wife. I was playing in several bands down there. I had a life down there. My friends had to send me my stuff and I had to give away a piano I had down there because I didn’t know what else to do with it,” he said, noting that experience inspired him to write songs.

“I wrote more in that first year than I ever had before. I was inspired by that existential crisis and extreme depression. I wrote all the songs on my own and had to turn it in to something I thought people would want to listen to,” he said, adding it also lead to a stylistic change.

“When I was in Austin, I had just released an album of New Orleans inspired big band music. When I moved back I started using more drum machines and synthesizers, he said, adding it is also a far departure from the folk and country music he made with his popular duo with Brandy Zdan in Twilight Hotel.

“I still sing some of the songs I sang with them, but wouldn’t want to try to sing the songs Brandy sings. Nobody wants to hear that,” he chuckled, adding he hasn’t seen her for years.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:04 ) Read more...

Ten Minute Detour blends ’80s pop with modern rock

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 I didn’t get to a lot of shows this week, but was glad I made it to the Slice for Calgary’s  10 Minute Detour, Saturday, March 31. With the addition of a keyboardist/guitarist  to the core of frontman Andrew Shier, bassist Mike Stokes  guitarist Jordan MacNeil and drummer Ross Watson.

Andrew Shier of Ten Minute Detour at the Slice, March 31. Photo by Richard Amery
They were a fascinating contrast of styles  ’80s to ’ 08 ranging from ’80- pop and Can Con along the lines of Harlequin and Streetheart, especially vocally,  to more modern garage rock influences along the lines of  the Strokes and The Hives. They sounded like Harlequin meets the Strokes with a touch of Cage the Elephant.

 The band  played most of their two CD “Lay It Down” and their latest “Common Pleasure, added some new songs and some genuinely beautiful ’80s moments.

They teased the enthusiastic audience with a few bars of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

 They tapped into the ’90s for an impressive cover of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” and the Pixies’ “ Where is my Mind.”

 But the highlights were their own catchy , gritty songs like JDK from their  “Lay it Down” CD and “Nashville Geographic” and more experimental, groove fuelled songs like “Poli Shore” from their newest CD.
 They were called back for an encore of a Black Keys’ song.

 —By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

Shaela Miller tells her story on Bad Ideas

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Local country musician Shaela Miller continues to tell her story on her third full length CD “Bad Ideas,” her long awaited follow up to “Curtains,” her 2014 collaboration with local band Treeline.Shaela Miller performing new music at the Windy City Opry at the Slice. photos by Richard Amery
“My songs all come from personal experience. My songs are just me telling my story,” Miller said.
“I hope my story will be relatable to other people. I just write from my heart,” she said.

“‘I Never Wanted’ is about my #metoo moment, though I wrote it before #metoo,” she continued, adding a lot of her songs have a darker, more melancholy themes.

“I like to call my genre country noir, though I don’t know who coined the term. A lot of classic country has darker themes, which is something that speaks to me,” she said.

 She has a released a video for Colour My Love,” for which she won a Storyhive $10,000 grant and on April 14 will start work on another video with the same director Laura Combden for “Hard Knock Upside My Mind.”

“My favourite song is  ‘Friend Tonight,’ which is probably the best song I’ve ever written. The concept is just so relatable about friends and how sometimes the lines can get blurred,” she explained.

On this Cd, Miller welcomes a familiar cast of characters in the core band of drummer Tyler Bird, pedal steel guitarist Skinny Dyck, bassist Paul Holden and lead guitarist Evan Uschenko.
She also sings a duet with Matt Patershuk on “Nothing Lives In this House.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 April 2018 14:50 ) Read more...
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