Category Archives: Music

Down Home at the Harbourfront

Chiquésa is an all-female group from the Franco-Acadian community of Prince Edward Island, La Région Évangéline. While the group officially disbanded in 2007, they do still play selected engagements. These ladies blend rich harmonies and toe tapping tunes with a warm, unique style that make the music of Acadie come alive.

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Their repertoire is primarily comprised of French-traditional and Acadian songs, complemented by their own arrangements of contemporary and original pieces. They create an original blend that audiences find both enchanting and captivating.

With four lead vocalists, Chiquésa has proven that they can not only sing, but know how to sing as a group intertwining each other’s original vocals with effortless grace into a whirlwind of harmony. Throw in some energetic fiddling and dance and you’ve got the recipe for a great down-home Acadian soirée full of surprises!

Chiquesa is at the Harbourfront Theatre on Wednesday, August 31.

Rhythm Boys Roll Into Victoria

With flashes of flair and fancy footwork, and a blatant disregard for predictable stage presence, Prince Edward Island’s Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys deliver an ultimate concert experience filled with high-energy electrifying entertainment.

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With a slight bend of his knee, Gordie launches into a song. Guided by the sharp cuts of his fiddle, his famous crazy legs shake and twist with a laughing regard for physics. The whole time The Rhythm Boys deliver surefooted roots instrumentation to accompany the spectacle.

Gordie and the band are at the top of today’s vibrant old-time musical revival and are a mighty fine example of what an unending revival it is.

“This band is a real breath of fresh air and fun. Given the generic ‘roots’ label, there are heavy influences of bluegrass, western swing, Celtic and even Scottish country dance music in here. It all adds up to a mighty fine package.” – Maverick Magazine, UK.

The Rhythm Boys are at the Victoria Playhouse on August 29.

Fiddler’s Sons Join the Family

No anniversary is complete without a party! Harbourfront’s 20th Anniversary Gala celebration evening will feature well known Island favourites The Ellis Family Band and Fiddlers’ Sons. Both of these groups have appeared at the theatre numerous times throughout the years and we are excited to have them back.

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The Ellis Family Band, comprised of brothers Rick, Brian, Steve and Dave Ellis and Greg MacDonald, has been a household name across PEI since the 1970′s. In 1983 they set out to Nashville to record their first single, Easy to Love, an instant hit across Canada, leading to a Juno nomination for Top Country Group. Over the next four years they toured extensively and recorded two more albums in Nashville. They had a #1 song, Thank You For Being My Friend, and top ten hits with fan favourites like Summer Nights, Why Am I Still Crying, and arguably their most popular song, Mother of Mine.

Fiddlers’ Sons is currently comprised of Eddy Quinn on lead vocals, John B. Webster on guitar and Keelin Wedge on fiddle, vocals, guitar and bass. Since its inception in 1997 (along with original member, the late Garth Matthews), the group has released several recordings, including the popular All the Way to Cardigan, and won numerous PEI Music Awards for their signature Celtic and roots traditional sound. They currently host the popular Close to the Ground Concert Series at the Kaylee Hall in Poole’s Corner.

An evening of great music, lots of memories and a few surprises are in store, and the celebration will continue after the show at a reception in the theatre lobby.

The Ellis Family Band and Fiddler’s Sons are at the Harbourfront Theatre Wednesday August 24 at 7:30 PM

Elvis is in the House

He is back by popular demand!

Join everyone’s favorite tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, International World Champion Elvis re-creator Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings as they recreate Elvis Presley’s now historic “Aloha from Hawaii” show from January 14, 1973.

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Thane Dunn has the uncanny ability to make audiences feel as if they are watching the real thing live and has been referred to as “the full Elvis package”. He is not only endorsed by world famous rock photographer John Rowlands who was hired by RCA to photograph Elvis live in concert during the ‘70s, but also by the Hank Snow Museum. He is the winner of the World’s Largest Elvis tribute artist contest and the World’s Largest Elvis Gospel Competition.

His portrayal of Presley is so convincing that it’s been called spooky. There are no wigs or glued-on sideburns in this production and he is not lip syncing, he actually sounds like Elvis.

He wears exact replicas of the costumes popularized by Presley in the early ‘70s. One even bears a stud that once adorned Presley’s very own suit, worn in Detroit on April 6th, 1972 during the filming of the MGM documentary “Elvis on Tour”. He will be wearing an exact copy of Elvis infamous Aloha costume from 1973. No expense has been spared to give you the full Elvis experience.

This world class show is backed by his Cadillac Kings. These incredible musicians, including ECMA and Shai Gospel award winners, have Elvis’ TCB band’s sound down pat. The show also features an amazing soprano singer all the way from England who has the most amazing Kathy Westmorland sound in the business and an onstage right-hand-man who not only sings harmony but also brings Thane his water, catches his guitar, passes him teddy bears, and puts scarves around his neck for the ladies.

Opening the show will be AM /Gold with their tribute to solid gold hits from Olivia Newton John, the Bee Gees and Elton John to name a few.

So get out your bell bottoms and dust off those Florsheim boots because this show is taking you back to your favourite decade. Time machine leaves promptly at 7:30 pm, so get there early.

Elvis is at the Harbourfront Theatre on Saturday, August 20, at 7:30 PM.

Choir! Choir! Choir!

Canadian music scene darlings Choir! Choir Choir! will take over Memorial Hall next week with a special one-off fundraiser performance for Charlottetown’s outdoor visual arts festival, Art in the Open. On August 26 at 8 p.m., the Toronto-based choral group will teach and guide the assembled crowd in singing ‘Ahead By A Century’ by the Tragically Hip in the natural echo chamber that is Memorial Hall at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

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Choir! Choir! Choir! is led by creative directors Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman. The duo takes a non-traditional approach; there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir – just show up and they will teach you an original arrangement to a song you love. No choral or performing experience is required, just a love of music and singing with a large crowd. In some recent performances, more than 1000 people have shown up to sing together.

The total capacity for this event is 300. These spontaneous concerts are often captured on video or cell phone and become viral hits online and with traditional media, such as this recent video example from the Luminato Festival.

Tickets are $20, all included, and the proceeds go towards Art in the Open Festival, of which the Confederation Centre Art Gallery is a co-presenter. “Nobu Adilman has a long connection to P.E.I., and he has been interested in participating in Art in the Open for years,” says Confederation Centre Art Gallery Curator and Art in the Open Co-Curator Pam Wendt. “We are really excited to kick off this year’s festival with Choir! Choir! Choir!, and especially to present it at Confederation Centre. Memorial Hall will be a spectacular location for this truly memorable event.”

Founded in 2011, Choir! Choir! Choir! has amassed a dedicated and passionate community of singers and a thriving international fan base on YouTube. In June 2016, the New Yorker said of the group “Choir! Choir! Choir! has fashioned a profound way for people to connect and interact.”

The ensemble has performed with renowned artists such as Patti Smith, Tegan and Sara, and Rufus Wainwright, and onstage at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall with the likes of Debbie Harry and The Flaming Lips. Choir! Choir! Choir! exists to celebrate music and push the boundaries between practice and performance, artist and audience, offering therapeutic benefits with the ultimate side effect: a powerful community.

Choir! Choir! Choir! will be offered for $20, all included, on Friday August 26, 2016 at 8 p.m. All ages and levels of musical training are welcome. Bar service will be provided and the doors open for Memorial Hall as of 7:30 p.m.

Pulling Into Port at the Harbourfront

Sometimes, you put the right people in the right room at the right time, and everything clicks. Sometimes they make magic . . . for a moment. And on the really rare occasion, it starts something big.

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For Port Cities, the sum is definitely greater than the parts, no matter how great those parts are. They were three of the East Coast’s brightest rising stars, all hailed as formidable songwriters and performers, each with their own promising solo careers. But that was then. Now, each brings distinct strengths to bear to create a sound that’s different from anything that they’ve done on their own, or anything you’ve heard from the rich East Coast before. Breagh Mackinnon, Carleton Stone and Dylan Guthro are Port Cities.

You’ll know the difference the very first time you hear them. Striking songs, skillfully crafted arrangements, and best of all, three incredible singers that make the most exciting vocal blend in years. That’s the combination people are raving about and what you’ll find on their new, still -unreleased debut.

Port Cities is at The Harbourfront August 17th at 7:30 PM.

Janet McGarry Teams Up With Peggy Clinton

Five-time Eastern Canadian Female Vocalist Bluegrass Award winner, Janet McGarry has a voice that is centred and rooted in her heart, which is perhaps why she is so often recognized for having an honest and crystal clear voice, drawing comparisons with some of the most soulful voices of our time. She continues to be a dominant presence in bluegrass music, both at home and abroad. She has shared stages with some of the most revered performers of this genre, and of her time. With eleven albums to her credit, each have earned her awards, accolades, and much deserved respect from the music industry.

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Janet will be appearing with her band “Wildwood” presenting a great mix of traditional bluegrass and gospel music. Joining Janet will be band mates Denise MacLeod on fiddle, Gail Mullen on bass, Dylan Ferguson on guitar, and Janet’s husband, Serge Bernard on banjo, guitar, and mandolin.

Janet and Serge have performed for many years at bluegrass festivals and many other events throughout Eastern Canada and beyond. Their unique vocals make them crowd favorites wherever they appear. Janet is also a proud “Daughter of Bluegrass”, a group of International leading women in Bluegrass and she released her latest album “Beneath a Painted Sky” in 2014

Peggy (Perry) Clinton grew up in St. Edwards, PEI, but now makes her home in Souris with her husband, Stephen and four children. Singing from the age of five, she has played in many band formations through the years and Peggy is most often accompanied with keyboard player extraordinaire, Johnny Ross.

Peggy’s first self titled album won her a Music PEI Award in 2015 for Weekend Warrior and was also nominated for “Country Recording of the Year” and “Female Solo Recording of the Year”. Peggy also placed in the top 23 in Canada for the CBC Searchlight in 2015 for her self-penned song “You’ll Never Have”.

Peggy’s style is rooted in classic country but she also sings classic rock ‘n roll, easy listening and pop crooning just as well. She delves into a song with a keen interpretative sense with her powerful voice, but then can deliver a lullaby with the same sensitivity.

Peggy brings an infectious energy to her shows, and for this performance, she will be joined on stage by Johnny Ross, her father Alphy Perry and a few other friends; Victor Doucette on lead guitar and vocals, Steven Perry on fiddle and Cathy Doucette on bass.

In the words of a recent review of their show “All I can emphasize is that I wish I had more writing space to tell you all about this country-flavoured, classic rock n’ roll spiced, Celtic-seasoned, antic-infused delight. But I suppose you’ll just have to take my generalized words for it on this occasion when I say that it was an extravaganza of talent and a smorgasbord of diversity.”

Janet McGarry and Peggy Clinton appear at the Harbourfront Theatre on August 11th at 7:30 PM.