The Good Lovelies

The Good Lovelies

Stellar Harrison fest lineup announced

Andy Hillhouse, executive and artistic director of the festival, introduces this year's artists

Last week, the Harrison Festival Society announced the lineup for its 38th Harrison Festival of the Arts.

After the last six to eight months of travelling to conferences, writing grant proposals, preparing promotional materials, seeking sponsors, partners, and donors, and attending to the kind of day-to-day problems and details that come up in an arts organization, the society revealed what they have in store for the event that is the central purpose of the Harrison Festival Society.

“This year I would like to highlight two themes that run through our programming: discovery and re-working tradition,” said Andy Hillhouse, executive and artistic director of the organization. “These themes are there in some form every year of course but seem particularly relevant this year.”

Roots festivals in general are about personal artistic discoveries, and about hoping to find that particular performer you’ve never heard of with whom you resonate, he added.

“There will be many performers coming who were new to me in the last year or two, and who I am excited to get the chance to bring to Harrison,” Hillhouse said.

The Young’uns is a male vocal trio from England that sings songs about life in their corner of England, either a cappella or with minimal instrumentation, and with often hilarious banter in between songs.

Another international vocal act the festival will be presenting on the beach is the Cuban a cappella group Novel Voz, who perform a variety of styles including Cuban son and American swing.

“This year I encountered the sizzling Canadian electric blues guitarist Cecile Doo-Kingue for the first time over a total of three performances in the last 6 months,” said Hillhouse.

She comes with her power trio and will perform in a sizzling blues extravaganza double bill with Toronto’s 24th Street Wailers on July 13.

Also from Montreal, Haitian born Vox Sambou has been busy establishing a reputation across the country and abroad as a captivating live performer with a strong social conscience.

In his day-to-day life he runs a youth centre in one of Montreal’s most socially challenged areas, and his musical shifts from rap to reggae, afrobeat, and traditional Haitian rhythms within a set.

The dynamic Brazilian performer Flavia Nascimento comes with her quintet, and with her huge smile, playful energy, and repertoire of Northeastern Brazilian music she will motivate dancing on the beach and, in addition, bring her clowning skills to Children’s Day.

The society also presents Yemen Blues, from Israel. This is funky, groove oriented middle eastern music that combines traditional Yemenite singing style with west African grooves, blues-funk, and other Afro styles.

There are some returning favourites to the festival as well.

The ever-loved 24th St. Wailers join another popular favourite, The Paperboys, who last played in Harrison Memorial Hall five years ago, and who will get the crowd on their feet in the hall on Saturday July 16.

Elage Diouf, originally from Senegal, was at the festival several years ago as part of the brothers Diouf.

He is now a widely recognized performer on the Quebec world music scene.

David Francey, who over the past 15 years or so has steadily risen to the level of Canadian folk music icon, is coming to the hall on Sunday July 10, following on a successful performance on the beach two years ago that had the office flooded for ticket requests, despite it being a free event, according to Hillhouse.

“As we are a roots music festival, the idea of re-working tradition is a mainstay from year to year, even if we don’t always foreground it,” he said. “This year, I am featuring some performers who have made a special effort to research traditional music in archives and old recordings, and who have re-interpreted the music they discover in their own distinct ways.”

Richmond BC born Norah Rendell, now a resident of Minneapolis, reinterprets rarely heard Canadian traditional songs that she has researched, backed by the delicate string arrangements of the Back Forty.

Another locally based group now making waves across the continent is the brother and sister team Qristina and Quinn Bachand.

“Guitarist Quinn is a true prodigy who I have known as a masterful guitarist since he was about 11 years old, and who now at the ripe old age of 20 is a force to behold,” Hillhouse said. “The duo’s latest album Little Hinges is based firmly on the idea of tradition and innovation.”

Originally from Bowen Island and now residing in Toronto, Sarah Jane Scouten will be at the festival with her band the Honky Tonk Wingmen to sing her retro folk songs and to delve into her repertoire of B.C. folk songs from the collection of the late B.C. folklorist and collector Phil Thomas.

Singer Melisande presents a contemporary spin on traditional Quebecois song, dubbing her style electrotrad.

While her performance is fresh, fun, and engaging, she digs deep for her source material and honours the traditional singers whose recordings she draws from.

The Estonian group Trad.Attack!  has a similar blend of reverence for the old mixed with a contemporary sensibility and a dynamic performance style, combining bagpipes, flutes, and sampling of field recordings with drums and driving rhythm guitar.

The Ragpicker String Band digs into the vast repertoire of acoustic blues from the interwar period and unearths some great gems of that genre.

Hannah Shira Naiman is a young banjo player steeped in Southern old time music, who writes new songs faithful to that tradition.

Finally, banjoist Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project will come to the Memorial Hall on Friday July 15.

Stone has been to Harrison before, but this particular collaboration is getting him wider acclaim than ever, earning him a Grammy nomination and five star reviews in the Boston Globe and other major publications.

He has dug into the archives and recordings of folklorist Alan Lomax and has assembled a talented bunch of North American bluegrass, old time, and folk musicians including California-based singer Moira Smiley to perform them.

Moira was last in the village in 2014 with her vocal group VOCO.

“This year we have some strong, young indigenous Canadian and Hawaiian talent,” Hillhouse said, continuing down the list. “IsKwe is an indie R and B Anishanaabe performer from Manitoba who has grown by leaps and bounds as a songwriter and performer since first emerging on the scene just a few years ago, and is now a confident and uniquely compelling singer with a powerful classically trained voice.”

Shauit is an Innu reggae artist from northern Quebec who combines roots reggae and dancehall grooves with lyrics in his native Innu language.

From Hawa’ii, Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole is steeped in the ancestral spiritual and cultural traditions of her ancestors, and honours this heritage through contemporary songwriting and an unusually powerful singing style.

“While we bring acts from far afield, we also continue to support the finest local BC talent,” said Hillhouse.

Both Saturdays in the hall will feature two of Vancouver’s most popular feel-good festival acts.

Opening on July 9 is The Boom Booms from East Vancouver, and The Paperboys are playing the following Saturday.

The Boom Booms are just releasing their third album this Spring, and have developed a large local following for their good vibe and soulful music influenced by styles as diverse as Al Green, Brazilian samba, and reggae.

Keith Bennett and David Sinclair are two Vancouver music veterans who have each appeared on numerous recordings and tours, from Sarah McLachlan to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and David Boxcar Gates is a fine acoustic blues player from Vancouver specializing in Delta and Piedmont blues styles.

The closing evening of the festival at the hall on July 17 will feature The Good Lovelies, a popular female vocal trio from Toronto who are touring on the heels of their latest CD and will appeal to fans of acts like The Be Good Tanyas or the Wailin’ Jennies.

Moving on from the beach and evening hall shows, the festival will continue with the multidisciplinary aspects it is known for.

The Literary Café this year will have a South Asian theme, with literature readings by authors of South Asian heritage and a musical performance by a Rajasthani folk group, Rajasthan Josh, who is in B.C. for the Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver.

The visual arts are on display in the festival’s annual art market that stretches along the waterfront, and by a display in the Ranger Station featuring a group show of work in various media inspired by a trip undertaken by the artists down the Yukon river as part of the Canadian Wilderness Residency Program.

The organization will continue their tradition of collaborating with the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) for theatre night as well.

Children’s Day will continue under the direction of Janet Hutchinson, who has some fresh ideas this year, and will include storytelling, a theatre tent, crafts, performances by Charlotte Diamond, Hannah Shira Naiman, and Flavia Nascimento, and other favourite activities including the popular climbing wall.

 

The 38th annual Harrison Festival of the Arts runs from July 9 to 17 this year. Full festival passes cost $140 for adults until June 24 ($155 afterward), with students and seniors $125 for early birds ($140 after June 24). For more information, visit www.harrisonfestival.com.

 

 

Just Posted

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read