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Jazz fest highlights an amazing June

Posted on June 5, 2019 by Lethbridge Sun Times

June is already looking amazing with Pridefest coming up, and the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival coming up in a few weeks. But the big event this week is the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival beginning this week with several shows, starting with local jazz musicians performing at the Young Lions Concert beginning at 12:45 p.m. June 7 in Galt Gardens. Later on, at 7 p.m., Nikka Yuko Japanese Centre and the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival present Kaley Kinjo and the Hypocrites performing at City Hall. Tickets are $45 advance, $50 at the door.
Saturday, June 8 will be just as busy for jazz buffs. The fun begins at noon with jazz in the Park featuring Rondell Roberts, Montuno West at 1:20 p.m., Velle Weitman and Kootenay Soul at 2:40 and the Dirty Catfish Brass band winding up the free event at 4 p.m.
The Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival has another collaboration at Casa later on that day as they are joining up with the Lethbridge Folk Club to bring Oscar Lopez back to Lethbridge. His concert begins at 7 p.m, Tickets are $30.
Several venues will be featuring the Suppertime Jazz series, including James Oldenburg and Paul Holden playing the Firestone Restaurant, June 6 from 6-8 p.m. Streatside Eatery features the Sheldon Arvay Duo, June 8 from 6-8 p.m.
And local blues band CODA performs as a trio at a special Blues Brunch, June 9 from noon-2 p.m.
The Suppertime jazz series continues June 11 with Anna McBryan at the Telegraph Taphouse from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dale Ketcheson will be at Mocha Cabana June 12 from 5;30-7:30 p.m. and the Joe Porter duo wind up the series June 13 at Firestone, from 6-8 p.m.
But things heat up Tuesday, June 4 , which is off the hook with three outstanding shows happening.
Nelson based musician Cam Penner makes a long awaited return to the Owl Acoustic lounge with Jon Wood on Tuesday, June 4
Just down the street Leeroy Stagger and Rebeltone Sound returns home to play a special show at Mortar and Brick in support of his new CD “Me and the Mountain.”
He will be joined by special guest Steve Marriner. Tickets are $50 for the show, which begins at 8 p.m.
And Keith Catfish Woodrow brings back his monthly Slice of Blues jam to the Slice a little later on, around 9 p.m.
Karen Romanchuk and Bruce McKay play the Stoketown Brunch Series at 11:30 a.m. June 8.
And for something completely different from jazz and folk, U of L-based community radio station CKXU is starting to put on shows at Theoretically Brewing.
They kick off summer at Theoretically Brewing June 7 with Tyra Whitson, Chief N’ Council, Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset playing at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.
The Slice features Edmonton folk rock with Kane Incognito and Saskatoon indie pop band Too Soon Monsoon plus local rock band Biloxi Parish, June 7.
The Slice brings back local metal band Tyrants of Chaos and Quietus from Edmonton on June 8. Admission is $10.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge has an interesting weekend planned, with pop music from Saskatoon’s Friends of Foes and local pop musician Tyler Vandendool plus Max Hopkins, June 7
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is hopping all day long Saturday, June 8 beginning at 2 p.m. with the LGRC Family jam. It will be followed by the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp band swap from 4-6 p.m. Local musicians mirror Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp by forming a band, and learning a set, possibly writing a song and performing their first show all in a week. See the results from 4-6 p.m. As it is a fundraiser, there is a suggested donation of $10.
And the Calgary-based indie rock band the Ashley Hundred and Edmonton’s Nature Of play at night. Admission is by donation.
For comedy, Yuk Yuks Comedy returns to Average Joe’s, June 7 with Matt Foster and Calgary comedian Sam Walker opening. The laughs begin at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 day of the show. Over at Good Times, Ryan Short performs on June 8 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10.
Rock in the new week with Judas Priest and Uriah Heep at the Enmax Centre. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal gods have a string of popular songs including “Breaking the Law,” You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” “Turbo Lover” and many more.
Tickets are $97.50, $87.50 and $67.50. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. with ’70s rockers Uriah Heep who have their own slate of hits including “Easy Living,” “Return to Fantasy” and “Look At Yourself.”
Downtown, Calgary-born, Toronto-based ’70s classic rockers The Stampeders will be playing their many hits like “Wild Eyes,” “Sweet City Woman” and “Hit the Road Jack” at the Yates Theatre, Monday, June 10. Tickets are $63.50.
“It’s been a lot of fun since we reformed in 1992,” said guitarist Rich Dodson, who left the classic rockers known for a variety of hits which spanned a variety of genres including country, rock, pop, flirted with elements of jazz and even dabbled in disco for a few years.
Dobson left the Stampeders in 1977 to do some solo projects and reunited with bandmates bassist/vocalist Ronnie King and drummer vocalist Kim Berly in 1992.
“It’s been very productive,” said Dodson, who is pleased the current tour, which comes to the Yates Theatre on June 10, has already had several soldout dates.
“We’re in the Yates this time. We used to play Whoop-Up Days a lot. But this tour is mostly theatres, which is really comfortable for the audience and for us. We started playing more theatres about four years ago,” he continued.
“We really enjoy meeting everyone after and signing autographs,” he said, adding they play perhaps 65 dates a year, mostly on weekends, though they spent April playing a mostly soldout tour of the Maritimes.
He noted the band is a product of the ’70s and all of the different types of music surrounding them then.
“Growing up in Calgary, country music was always around us. But we started off as an instrumental band like the Ventures,” he said, adding moving to Toronto exposed them to more musical styles. “We experimented with horn sections because we wanted to try something different. But the core has always been the three of us,” he continued.
“We all just get along. It’s like we‘re brothers,” he said.
“It’s been 23 years since we’ve been back together and time just flies by. It’s still a lot of fun being on the road,” he continued.
He noted he‘ll keep playing as long as he can. They released their last album of new music in 1998 with “Sure Beats Working.”
“I turn 72 this year, and Mick Jagger is still out there playing and doing backflips and he’s like 80,” he said.
“We’re getting older, but we sure appreciate things a lot more,” he said.

Things are ready to go for this year’s Lethbridge Jazz and Blues festival, which begins June 7 with several big shows.
“Things are coming together really well,” said Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival president Don Robb.
“We have our venues and artists lined up,” he said.
“It begins on June 7 with the Young Lions concert in Galt Gardens. And after that Kaley Kinjo and the Hypocrites are playing at City Hall. It will be a really classy show,” Robb said. Tickets for that show are $45 in advance, $50 at the door.
“Jazz in the Park features an all-star lineup performing for free beginning at noon with Rondell Roberts followed by Montuno West, Velle Weitman and Kootenay Soul and the Dirty Catfish Brass Band will bring the day to a close,” said Robb, noting there is no backup plan for the outdoor events, so they go rain or shine, smoke or no smoke.
“We hope the smoke will dissipate and there will be no rain. It would be too expensive to have a backup plan for them,” he said.
“We have the Sweet Inspiration Gospel Choir on June 12 at Southminster United Church and Dawn Pemberton conducting. We also have an excellent local choir and a band with Randy Epp on piano and HBO3 (Paul Holden, James Oldenburg, Brad Brouwer),” he said.
“And I’m really excited about Jim Brenan at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre. He’s bringing a 10- or 11-piece band with him,” he continued.
“And anybody who likes drums or or is a drummer won’t want to miss Larnell Lewis, June 14 at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre. He’s a phenomenal drummer. He usually plays with Snarky Puppy who are quite big now and a lot of other people,” he said.
“On Saturday, June 15, after you’re done your Saturday chores, come on down to the Owl for some music with Tricia Edwards. She’s a pianist from Calgary and bringing her band with her,” he said.
“And the Shuffle Demons wind up the festival. They’ve been playing for a lot of years. They are a really fun and exciting group. We’ve been trying to get them here for several years, but the schedule has never worked until now,” he said.
You can whet your appetite for jazz music with the suppertime jazz series, which has been changed slightly. It continues this year’s focus on collaborating with other organizations like the Lethbridge Folk Club and Nikka Yuko Japanese Centre for a couple shows.
“We’ve been working with some familiar venues like the Streatside, Telegraph and and Firestone and Stoketown who have been working with us for years. They wanted to do their shows earlier,” Robb said.

Pridefest is coming up and Ashley Thomson is excited to return home to Lethbridge to kick it off with her one woman production of Elise Forier Edie’s 2011 play “The Pink Unicorn,” June 9 at 3 p.m. at SAAG.
“It’s a really beautiful story about a conservative Christian mother who learns her daughter comes out as transgendered,” said Thomson, who is a veteran of many a New West Theatre Christmas show and several university of Lethbridge performances and played Puck in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
“It’s a beautiful story as she questions her religion and her spirituality and her family. She tells the story from a lot of different characters’ point of view, but there is no costume changes,” she continued.
“But it really is about love and acceptance. It takes place in a fictional Texas town, so it is fun to play with a Texas accent,” she said.
“It’s interesting playing a character who is struggling with themselves and their religion and spirituality,” she said, adding her friend started a theatre company in Saskatchewan and put on the play.
“So she put it on my radar. It’s a fairly recent play. It was written in 2011 and it won the solo drama festival award in New York City in 2013,” she said.
“I feel honoured to be part of Pridefest. It is an interesting time for gender fluidity, where you don’t have to be put into a specific box,” she said.
“And the girl is only 14 years old. Southern Alberta is also very conservative. So I think people will find the character very relatable. The mother may remind them of their friend, neighbour, family or themselves,” Thomson said.
“I thought this was a great opportunity to tell a different kind of story,” she said.
“And Pridefest is all about love and diversity,” she said.
“T Pink Unicorn” takes place at SAAG at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 9. Admission is a suggested $10 donation.
“But we won’t turn anybody away,” she said.
Reviews
Metis musician at the Slice
Winnipeg musician Patrick Alexandre LeClerc brought the blues and a touch of Metis history to the Slice, Thursday, May 29 for approximately 20 people.
Unfortunately I missed bluesman Vince Andrushko’s opening set, but they combined the two bands for a third set or more blues and a touch of country.
LeClerc and his band the Nor’ Westers, guitarist Dwayne Dueck and drummer Jeff Laird played a solid set of gritty, ’50s sounding blues featuring LeClerc thumping his upright bass. They went old school with a solid version of “My Babe.”
Dueck tore into many a tasteful guitar solo throughout, and sneaked behind LeClerc to add extra background vocals.
“Killing the Blues” was a highlight that came near the middle of set, which included some ’50s-style rock and roll.
LeClerc switched to acoustic guitar to give a preview of his new concept album inspired by the Red River Rebellion.
He noted his great great grandfather was part of the Rebellion and sang a song he wrote from his perspective, then switched back to bass for another song called “Red Coats” about warning that the British troops advancing.
He added a couple of covers of a John Prine song and Bill Kirchen’s Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen song “Seeds and Stems,” showing of his more soulful side.
They wound down their set with an old F Holes favourite.
After a break the fun began, but I was going to leave, but didn’t want to miss the “Winnipeg mashup” featuring both Vince Andrushko’s band including bassist T.E. Fodey from the D Rangers, and Leclerc’s band jamming together.
With Fodey taking over on bass, that allowed LeClerc to bust out his harp for a whole lot more blues, most of it sung by Andrushko, who played some excellent guitar. And sang a couple classics like “St. James Infirmary” and Hank Williams’ “Mind Your Own Business” to wind the show well past 1 a.m.

Local pop band Stars From Streetlights returned to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 25. They had a good crowd enjoying uptempo synth pop powered by the powerful voice of Austrian Graf.
They slowed things down with a slower version of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.” Graf noted they released their first CD all the way back in 2009 and played music dating back to then.
But they wound down with more of a mellow Portishead, trip hop feel.

Calgary country/roots musician Amy Nelson brought her band to the Slice for a good old time and a hot set of uptempo twangy country music in support of her new CD “Educated Woman,” Saturday, May 25.
She strummed guitar, crediting opening act Carter Felker for teaching her a how to play a lot of guitar.
Mike Watson added extra twang with his steel guitar Her twang and swagger, not to mention big white cowboy hat, reminded me of Nikki Lane.
Bassist Beth Curry sang harmonies while getting into a groove. Nelson switched to banjo for a couple more bluegrass-tinged songs.

Casa opened two new artists kiosks with a barbecue and live music, Saturday, May 25.
A decent crowd enjoyed burgers and chips while enjoying an array of live entertainment.
Mary-Anne McTrowe played a variety of ’80s classics and a couple of originals on her ukulele, covering Martha and the Muffins, the Spoons and They Might Be Giants, to name a few.
After her set, Mi Columbia Linda put on a vibrant display of energetic traditional Columbian dancing.
Bryan Bradfield brought out his dobro. He played some beautiful slide-powered blues and traditional country music.
Friday Tyler Vandendool Hush Hush Noise Owl
Lily Fawn brought her new electro pop project Hush Hush Noise to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 24 for approximately 30 people.
After a quick set of appealingly plaintive, keyboard powered pop music from Vandendool, Lily Fawn and Eric Hogg played an intriguing set of hauntingly beautiful experimental pop music from their debut self-titled CD.
Lily Fawn started off behind her drum kit and playing the saw and singing in her ethereal, high-pitched whine while bandmate Eric Hogg sang and played guitar. Both played with keyboards and sequencers.
They’re hypnotic set was pretty laid back and had a similar feel, though they broke away to play a highlight which had more of a ’50s doo-wop feel. Lily Fawn switched to a baritone ukulele a few songs in which continuing to play with sequencers. They ended their set with an up-tempo rocker “Masochistic Love” which had a more ’70s-style B-52s feel.
Rancho Deluxe at the Slice
Local roots rock band Rancho Deluxe played a successful CD release party at the Slice, Saturday, May 24.
I missed their first set and most of the music from the actual CD “Lucky Stars,” but caught an excellent set of roots and country music featuring drummer Brad Brouwer, bassist Paul Holden, lead guitarist Tyler Bird and George Arsene singing lead vocals and playing rhythm guitar.
They played some John Prine and an excellent version of Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “Carny Man.”
Bird sang his always enjoyable version of the Volebeats’ “Highway 318.”

June 5
Beaches — open mic
June 6
Slice — open mic
Good Times — Amateur night comedy open mic
Firestone — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Suppertime Jazz James Oldenburg duo 6-8 p.m.
June 7
The Slice — Too Soon Monsoon, Kane Incognito Biloxi Parish
Galt Gardens — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Young Lions Concert 12:45-4:30 p.m.
City Hall — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Kaley Kinjo and the Hypocrites 7 p.m. $45 advance $50 at door
Galt Museum — Skate of the Art fundraiser$25
Owl Acoustic Lounge — VandenDool, Friends of Foes, Max and the Minimums
Casino Lethbridge — Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Road band
Theoretically Brewing — CKXU Summer kick off with Tyra Whitson CHief N’ Council, Taylor Ackerman’s Global acid Reset $10 7 p.m.
Honker’s Pub — open mic
June 8
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Casa — Lethbridge Folk Club Oscar Lopez $30 with Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival
Galt Gardens — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Jazz In the Park noon-5 p.m.; noon Rondell Roberts; 1:20 Montuno West; 2:40 Velle Weitman and Kootenay Soul; 4 p.m. Dirty Catfish Brass Band
Casino Lethbridge — Suzanne Scott and the Dusty Road band
Owl Acoustic Lounge — LGRC Band Swap
Good Times — Ryan Short 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. Cover $10
Stoketown — 11:30 a.m. 2 p.m. Karen Romanchuk and Bruce Mckay
The Slice — Tyrants of Chaos and Quietus
Streatside Eatery — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival suppertime Jazz Sheldon Arvay Duo 6-8 p.m.
June 9
Casa — Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival 11 a.m. Karl Roth Trio
Casa — Ukulele jam
Stoketown — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Blues brunch Coda Blues Trio noon -2 p.m.
June 10
Yates Theatre — Stampeders $63 7 p.m.
Enmax Centre — Judas Priest with Uriah Heap Tickets on Sale Dec. 7
Owl acoustic Lounge — open mic
June 11
The Slice — Protosesquence
Smokehouse — Bubba and Randy’s unfiltered comedy open mic
Telegraph Taphouse — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival suppertime Jazz Anna McBryan 5:30-7:30 p.m.
June 12
Southminster United Church — Sweet Inspiration Gospel Choir with Dawn Pemberton 7:30 p.m. $10
Beaches — open mic
Mocha Cabana — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival suppertime Jazz Dale Ketcheson 5:30-7:30 p.m.
June 13
Slice — Applefest Press Kit fundraiser On The DL, In Cahoots, Jolene Draper & The Inquisitive Few, Junkman’s Quire and Global Acid Reset.
Sterndale Bennett Theatre — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Jazz Evening With Jim Brenan $20 7:30 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Mariel and T Buckley
Firestone — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival suppertime Jazz Joe Porter Duo 6-8 p.m.
June 14
Sterndale Bennett Theatre — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival Showcase with Larnell Lewis 7:30 p.m. $30
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Sled island kick off with Mombod Stripmall Chief Mountain, Ghost Woman
Slice— Shaela Miller with Ryan Langelois
Average Joe’s — Dueling Pianos with Cal Toth
Casino Lethbridge — Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer
June 15
Slice — A Little Slice of Everyone variety show for Pridefest$10
Southern Alberta Ethnic Centre (5 St.-6 Ave S) — Global Gala with Horizon
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival jazz lunch with Tricia Edwards 3-5 p.m. $15
Marigold tape release with Slut Prophet and Broke Til Friday
Sterndale Bennett Theatre — Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival Jazz evening with the Shuffle Demons 7:30-9:30 p.m. $25
Casino Lethbridge — Breanne Urban and Southern Flyer
Good Times — Mike Dambra 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m,.$25
June 16
Casa — ukulele jam 2-3 p.m. June 17
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
June 18
Smokehouse — Bubba and Randy’s unfiltered comedy open mic
Theoretically Brewing — 6 p.m. Shed Island mini festival with Winona Forever, Lovelet, Lev Snows, Garbage Dreams, LAPS, Energy Boost, J Blissette, Body Lens, $15 advance $20 at door
June 19
Slice — Ivan Hartle with Matt Storm and Tyson Ray Borsboom
Beaches — open mic
June 20
Slice — open mic
Good Times — Amateur night

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